Boycott of German cultural institutions is spreading

Since the beginning of the year, there has been a website on which artists around the world are calling for a boycott of German cultural institutions. “Germany” is accused of suppressing the right to freedom of expression and, in particular, solidarity with Palestine. So far, a few hundred cultural people have named this petition Strike Germany signed.

These include the Parisian musician and actress Yasmine Hamdan (who originally comes from Beirut) and the actress Indya Moore, who can be seen in the Netflix series “Pose”. The “star” of the group of signatories is the 83-year-old writer and Nobel Prize winner for literature Annie Ernaux.

The author was already accused of being fatally close to the BDS movement when she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2022. In 2018, Ernaux called on other artists to boycott the “France-Israel” cultural season. Also in 2019 there was a boycott of the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv. If you will, Ernaux is well versed in anti-Israel actions.

Another case in the electric scene as early as autumn 2023:

The Berlin DJ streaming platform “HÖR” was forced to respond to online criticism and calls for a boycott in a statement after it allegedly stopped two DJ performances because of their pro-Palestinian clothing. In a statement to their DJ partner from “HÖR” an attempt was made to clarify the position on this matter. The accusation was: “censoring” clothing.

Two DJs were removed from the program on November 3rd because of their clothing, which could be perceived as offensive and a “call for the annihilation of Israel,” according to a statement from “HÖR”.

At the time, DJ Sam Clarke wore a T-shirt depicting the Palestinian flag over a map of Israel. DJ Téa wore a scarf with the phrase “The land is ours” written on it in Arabic.

Reaction to Joe Chialo?

Following the news of the set cancellations, DJs such as Bored Lord, DJ Voices, EQUISS, I. JORDAN. People continued to ask that previous appearances be deleted. Deck performers such as Allecto and MJK sets that were supposed to be broadcast on the Berlin online channel canceled their set.

It is not yet known exactly who is behind the concerted “Strike Germany” campaign. In Berlin Mauschel circles it is suspected that the campaign is a reaction to the announcement by Senator for Culture Joe Chialo that funding for cultural projects will be linked to an “anti-discrimination clause” in the future.

In constantly agitated Berlin, artists continued to cancel their participation in the “CTM Festival” in Berghain. The accusation: DJ Arabian Panther was disinvited because of his “pro-Palestinian stance”. Berghain wanted to avoid negative publicity and therefore stated “renovation work” as the official reason for the cancellation. At least that’s what the artist says.

The fact that the DJ scene jet-setting around the world is now playing the political card raises questions about the substance of the allegations and the “knowledge” of the boycott faction.

Or as the historian Uffa Jensen said on Deutschlandfunk Kultur:

“I cannot understand why the handling of the German culture of remembrance is being criticized. I cannot understand various things and claims about Israel. I think it’s an impropriety that Germany is being targeted – and little is said about Hamas and the like.”