Palestinians thank artists boycotting apartheid Israel-partnered Pop Kultur Berlin
At least four artists withdrew from the festival, joining fifteen others since 2017
Palestinians thank Lafawndah (and bandmate Trustfall), Alewya, Franky Gogo and Gigsta for withdrawing from Pop Kultur Berlin festival that is partnered with apartheid Israel.
These artists responded at short notice to private and public appeals from human rights defenders asking them to consider cancelling their shows in solidarity with Palestinians.
They join at least fifteen artists since 2017 to distance themselves from the festival’s intentional whitewashing of its partner Israel’s apartheid regime and massacres in besieged Gaza.
Alewya gets straight to the point in her statement withdrawing from @popkulturberlin. Solidarity is every day. Solidarity is precious. Thank you, Alewya.#popkultur #FreePalestine pic.twitter.com/gsNPDBNQ1s
— Boycott Pop-Kultur Festival (@BoycottPKBerlin) August 26, 2022
In a futile attempt to prevent such principled actions of solidarity from festival artists, Pop Kultur Berlin organisers irrefutably concealed the resumption of this partnership until just days ago.
We commend these artists for their principle and courage in heeding the call of the oppressed, despite the inevitable financial losses incurred in cancelling their plans at the last moment.
Evidently shaken by the numerous, direct expressions of solidarity with Palestinian rights, some German politicians have fallen back onto familiar ground of entrenched anti-Palestinian racism and shameless, hypocritical complicity in Israel’s crime against humanity of apartheid.
Klaus Lederer – Deputy Mayor of Berlin, its cultural senator and chair of Musicboard Berlin that organises Pop Kultur – described as “disgusting” the campaign and artists boycotting the festival while urging their peers to do the same. He pledged his “determined resistance”.
Lederer, it should be noted, has been issuing these despicable threats for at least five years with little impact other than trashing the reputation of his own supposedly progressive music festival. He and Claudia Roth – Germany’s culture minister who condemned the campaign and the artists who heeded its appeals while speaking at the festival’s opening night – should instead focus on their moral obligation to end links of complicity with Israel’s apartheid regime.
No surprise there: Lederer speaks at rallies that call for the bombing of besieged Gaza. #PopKulturBerlin pic.twitter.com/XTqaZkH5l5
— Boycott Pop-Kultur Festival (@BoycottPKBerlin) August 24, 2022
We reiterate our call to boycott Pop Kultur Berlin festival, including its 2023 edition and all future editions that include partnership with apartheid Israel.
Any German cultural institution partnering with and trying to artwash apartheid, engaging in anti-Palestinian censorship or otherwise adopting repressive measures against our nonviolent struggle for freedom, justice and equality, may face similar measures as Pop Kultur Berlin.