The Palestinian Campaign For The Academic And Cultural Boycott Of Israel (PACBI) has called for the boycott of the three German venues.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has called for the boycott of Leipzig venue Conne Island, Hamburg venue Golden Pudel and Berlin venue ://about blank, petitioning them to “end their shameful complicity in whitewashing Israel’s decades-old oppression against Palestinians, especially by ending their censorship.”
Led by The Palestinian Campaign For The Academic And Cultural Boycott Of Israel (PACBI), BDS states that all three venues have participated in anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab racism. BDS points towards a recruitment call for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) posted on Conne Island’s website, as well as the venue’s head booker’s criticism of the #DJsforPalestine movement, which saw various members of the electronic music community taking to social media to show solidarity with Palestine, following controversy surrounding Meteor Festival in Tel Aviv.
BDS also highlights the cancellation of a Room 4 Resistance party by ://about blank last year due to the collective’s pro-Palestine politics, and states that Golden Pudel “has cancelled and denied shows to previously booked DJs who have given their support to the nonviolent cultural boycott of Israel in solidarity with Palestinian rights”.
“Conne Island, Golden Pudel and ://about blank should end their shameful complicity in whitewashing Israel’s decades-old oppression against Palestinians, especially by ending their censorship”, says BDS in a statement. “Until then, we urge artists and cultural workers to refuse offers from these repressive, anti-Palestinian venues, and we call on progressive club-goers to refrain from attending, in support of freedom of expression and in principled opposition to racism, censorship and intimidation against progressive artists who support Palestinian human rights.”
“It is a good reflection of the public handling of this topic if we get attacked equally by BDS supporters and BDS opponents for abstruse reasons. The magazine “Titanic” (political satire magazine) could not have made it up any better.
We are taking this as a compliment and keep going our own ways.
://about blank shared the following statement with RA:
“The current call for boycott by the “Campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel” (PACBI) against subcultural leftist places like the Golden Pudel Club, Conne Island and ://about blank is fully in line with BDS’s strategy of polarisation, separation and demonisation. Unfortunately, several (pop)cultural events and festivals were affected by this in the past years when being targeted by the BDS movement.
We will not respond to this strategy of provocation, particularly as the accusations derive from the obsessive worldview promoted by the BDS campaign which divides the world into friend or foe. ://about blank will furthermore not take a one-sided position in the Middle East conflict, as we already expressed in September 2018:
“When we founded ://about blank, it was clear to us: Even a politically oriented techno club that putters around with numerous contradictions cannot be the place where such a highly complex and contentious conflict like the one concerning Israel and Palestine is negotiated. We are cognizant of the fact that there are multiple perspectives, arenas of discourse, experiences, and personal backgrounds attached to this distressing conflict—which is why we are not adopting a partisan position.”
Rather, we focus on direct exchange, listening to each other, and recognizing different backgrounds and contexts. We are convinced that this is essential for finding a way out of the dilemma, and to contribute to a productive discussion at eye level instead of being caught in an endless loop on social media. Last week, for example, a discussion night took place at ://about blank which was part of the event series “The Amplified Kitchen.” There, a diverse audience including Israeli, Palestinian, queer, inter- and anti-national positioned persons of club culture engaged in a discussion with each other, recognized and respected differences, discovered similarities and held a controversial face-to-face debate.
We will continue on this path.
://about blank, 19.08.2019
*Please note that this statement is the translated version of the original German statement. It was neither translated nor checked by a professional translator or a native speaker.” [Clarification: This addendum is part of ://about blank’s statement to RA.]
We will update this story as it unfolds.
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