Statement on the German Cultural Boycott

Solidarity with artists, cultural workers and collectives.

By Staff

With reference to the ongoing genocide being perpetrated against the people of Gaza and Occupied Palestine, we stand in solidarity with artists, cultural workers and collectives who are currently striking against German state-funded institutions.

Refuge Worldwide is a cultural organisation and broadcaster committed to using our resources and connections to be a critic of German domestic and foreign policy. Most recently, we have opposed the Senate Department’s “anti”-discrimination clause, Germany’s response to the ICJ genocide case against Israel, and the censorship and repression we are witnessing daily on the streets and within the educational, sports, arts and cultural spheres. 

We are over 100 days into the Israeli bombardment of Gaza. Half a million people are at risk of starvation, 25,000 have died, with 1.9 million people – 85 percent of Gaza’s population, displaced (Human Rights Watch). This violence is propped up by the governments of the USA, UK, and Germany.

On Monday, January 22nd, the Berlin Senate revoked their anti-discrimination clause due to "the legal and critical voices that saw the introduced clause as a restriction on artistic freedom." We applaud the grassroots mobilisation from groups like Strike Germany, Global South United, Notinourname UdK and Palästina Spricht, and echo their calls to continue applying that same pressure in regards to other demands. We call on state-funded institutions in Germany to refuse censorship, oppose state efforts to silence pro-Palestinian voices and call for a ceasefire.

Our full solidarity with Palestinian liberation continues. We will platform those who have lost space elsewhere, we will support and direct resources to our community, especially to those who are being disproportionately affected by censorship or by ongoing strike action.

While Refuge Worldwide does not receive any ongoing state funding, we do work with German partners to offer opportunities and jobs. We will do all we can to ensure these partners uphold the same standards that we set for ourselves.

Each project we take is judged on a case by case basis to determine the suitability of the partners involved. As a Berlin-based international platform, it is our responsibility to act in the way we expect from other institutions within this country. On this note, we announce that our event with CTM at Berghain is cancelled and residency at Panorama Bar is postponed until further notice. We will, however, honour the invitations offered to artists playing at CTM to perform on our radio station.

We stand in support of all those who have chosen to strike, and we welcome the tactic as an option for cultural workers.

Stop the genocide. End the occupation. Ceasefire now.