Renowned Egyptian artist Hassan Khan is one of a number of artists who chose to cancel their gigs at the German Ruhrtriennale festival after it cancelled an August show by The Young Fathers over their support for the BDS campaign, which calls for the boycott of Israel over its occupation of Palestinian territories.
In its statement on the website, the festival explained that it had asked The Young Fathers “to distance itself from the campaign Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).”
“The Ruhrtriennale distances itself in all forms from the BDS movement and wishes to have absolutely no connection with the campaign,” and as such has decided to cancel the concert when the band “regrettably” did not distance itself from the campaign upon request.
On his personal Facebook page, Khan said that he and other artists will not be participating in the Ruhrtriennale.
“We urge the festival to reconsider its actions. Unfortunately, under the present conditions, we will be unable to perform with a clear conscience when our colleagues have been publicly punished for exercising their rights in expressing a political position peacefully,” the statement read.
The Egyptian artist, musician and author described the festival’s decision as “punitive… proscriptive… and revealing of a deep misunderstanding of the contemporary world and our place as responsible citizens in it.”
Khan’s statement was co-signed by other festival performers Tony Elieh, Mazen Kerbaj, Sharif Shenaoui, and Raed Yassin.
Khan was set to premiere his electronic music piece titled Live Ammunition! on 12 September at the Engine House, during the 6th week of the festival.
The Ruhrtriennale is an arts festival of music, dance, theatre, performance and fine arts, taking place in former industrial buildings in the Ruhr Area in Bochum, Germany, between 9 August and 23 September.
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