The director and artist condemned the decision to ban the showing of pro-Palestinian films at documenta 15, a contemporary art exhibition in Kassel, Germany. The summer festival, which is set to end at the end of the month, has been embroiled in a controversy over the censorship of pro-Palestinian films.
The advisory group overseeing the festival’s programming recommended censoring a series of films about Palestinian solidarity. art newspaperThe series, Tokyo Reels, is a film set restored by a film research and production collective known as Subversive Film. The collective aims to highlight “the overlooked and as yet undocumented anti-imperialist solidarity between Japan and Palestine”.
In its report, the advisory panel said the film was “propaganda for Palestinian goodwill made between the 1960s and 1980s.” said it was “filled with anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist settings” presented as objective facts.
However, the move was condemned by both the Indonesian collective Ruangrupa, the curator group behind the series, and the investigative committee for Artistic Direction, which chose Ruangrupa as curator.Artistic Direction of Documenta 15 The committee issued a statement yesterday expressing solidarity with the curators.
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“The pressure put on the entire documenta team by the media and politicians has become unbearable. We believe them.” [ruangrupa] should also be heard. We applaud the artist for staying true to Lumbung’s principles in the face of attacks on integrity,” the statement continued.
More than 100 individuals from Documenta 15’s have denounced an advisory group’s report alleging the film was anti-Semitic and lashed out at the crackdown. “This report crosses a new line and we categorically reject it,” said the letter denouncing the advisory group. “This line shows a racist streak in the pernicious structure of censorship. We condemn the nefarious attempt to censor Tokyo Reel’s presentation.”
A documenta spokesperson reports in art newspaper Documenta 15’s artistic director, Luan Lupa, has the sole right to decide to temporarily remove Subversive Film’s work Tokyo Reels from the exhibition, and is unwilling to follow the recommendations.
Documenta 15 has come a long way since January when the German media and local politicians began challenging the stance of many of the exhibition’s participants supporting Palestine and boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS). , has been plagued by allegations of anti-Semitism.
Many German institutions and groups have adopted the highly controversial International Holocaust Memorial Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, conflating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitic racism. Last week, a German court ruled that the dismissal of a Palestinian journalist who used the IHRA was illegal.
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