The international BDS (»Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions«) Movement has identified Pop-Kultur as one of the targets of its global campaign. The goal of the movement is wide-reaching boycott against collaboration with Israeli artists and intellectuals as well as boycott against any artistic performances in Israel.
We have Israeli artists in our festival programme, just as we have artists from Tunesia, Syria, Russia, Poland, the UK, and other countries. The culture department of the Israeli Embassy in Germany contributed a 500 (five hundred) Euro grant towards travel costs for artists. For this reason, the embassy is listed on our website, as are the rest of our cultural partners.
The BDS campaign has put an enormous amount of pressure on all the Arabic artists in our line-up. At this point, four artists from Arabic countries have cancelled: Abu Hajar, Emel Mathlouthi, Islam Chipsy & EEK und Hello Psychaleppo. Artists from Germany, other countries in Europe, and the USA have also reported that they have received emails, Facebook comments, or Twitter messages from BDS activists. We therefore assume that all artists or their agents have been or will be contacted. The BDS Movement claims that Pop-Kultur has been »co-organised« or «co-financed« by the Israeli state, which is not true.
We believe that the only way to deal with conflict in this world is through critical discourse and dialogue. As artists and cultural workers, we in particular have the responsibility for building relationships and networks across borders, even if we disagree on certain points.
UPDATE 17 – 20.08.17
Annie Goh and Iklan featuring Law Holt have cancelled their performances at Pop-Kultur 2017.
In the meantime two more bands have cancelled their performance at Pop-Kultur: Oranssi Pazuzu and Young Fathers.
A list of the cancelled artists can be found right here.