All posts by ACAR

Listen to the voices of a feminist revolution in Iran

In the aftermath of the brutal murder of Mahsa Amini, and in solidarity with the protesters in Iran, a collective of Iranian feminist academic-activists has published yesterday an open letter. In support of the nationwide protests that followed in Iran, the authors called the goal of the uprising of the Iranian people “the end of the theocratic military” which “uses multifaceted violence against the marginalized bodies”.
The Iranian state has set a deadly crackdown on protesters and restricted Iranians’ access to the Internet. The letter has already been signed by hundreds of academics and artists around the globe.  

Source: Radio Zemaneh, Link for signature (Farsi only)

Support Programme of the EU for Ukrainian Artists

The European Commission has published a special call under the Creative Europe programme for Ukrainian artists worth € 5 million. The call supports artists outside their country, cultural organisations in Ukraine, and preparation for the post-war recovery of the Ukrainian cultural and creative sector. Three projects will be selected, each with support up to 2 million € for short term, one up to 1 Million € for mid term project goals for financing by consortia set up within countries associated to the Creative Europe programme. Ukrainian organisations will also contribute, giving grants to small-size initiatives implemented at grass root level.
The call is open until 29 November 2022.

Yulia Tsvetkova Acquitted

The trial against Yulia Tsvetkova was held behind closed doors mid of July. The 29 years old feminist and LGBT activist was facing a maximum of six years in prison and has been acquitted of controversial “pornography” charges (see ACAR’s previous posts 1, 2, 3).  Tsvetkova’s case drew international attention after she was placed under house arrest in 2019 . Amnesty International declared her a prisoner of conscience and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam acquired her works. In June, Tsvetkova was added to the Russian justice ministry’s list of “foreign agents.”

“With regard to the future of the drawings, the court has clearly expressed its findings that the original position and context in which these drawings were included do not allow them to be considered pornographic,” he said. This is important not only for Yulia, but also for the entire artistic, museum, and academic community, which, in the event of a guilty verdict (and given the possibility of an appeal, this risk still remains) may be forced to put underwear on ancient sculptures.” (Aleksandr Pikhovkin, Yulia Tsvetkova’s lawyer)

Sources: The Art NewspaperBBC News, The Moscow Times

Joint Statement against CETA

On the occasion of German government delegation with Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to Canada, and ahead of the announced ratification of the EU–Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) by the German parliament, German and Canadian civil society organisations have published a joint statement to stop the ratification of CETA. 

“While most parts of CETA have been provisionally applied in Europe and Canada for nearly five years, the agreement’s controversial investment protection provisions have not. These provisions, including the planned Investment Court System (ICS), would grant foreign investors the privilege to sue states before a private arbitration tribunal instead of in national courts when public policies affect their ability to profit. This chapter would come into effect only after full ratification of CETA in all EU member states.”

The full ratification of CETA would massively expand investor privileges not only for Canadian and European companies but also, for example,  for U.S. corporations with subsidiaries in Canada and in Europe. Any obligations for investors are not foreseen. Neither does the agreement enable the civil society organisations to bring a claim when a company violates environmental, labour, health, safety, or other rules.

The statement has been signed by a wide spectrum of environmental organizations, trade unions and cultural associations.

Source: Trade Justice Network : Joint statement

Tel Aviv: Alfa Theatre Fights Against Closure

The independent Alfa Theatre in Tel Aviv/Israel is under pressure since many years (See ACAR post 2019). As a small fringe theatre with professional Jewish and Arab actors, working in both languages the Alfa has many times been threatened by governmental authorities as supporter of terrorists.  The Ministry of Culture has now decided to stop any financial support. The theater has already filed a lawsuit against the ministry in 2019 and managed to get the cancellation of the annual subsidy reversed. Since then, Alfa continues to fight against closure and starts now another Court appeal. Avraham Oz, director of the theatre asks for donations for the Court appeals expenses.

Letter of Avram Oz, Professor Emeritus from the University of Haifa and resident director of Alfa Theatre

Artists in Exile – Residency opportunities in UK, Turkey & Jordan

Artists connecting in Transition (ACT) is a new international programme hosted by Culture in Transit (UK), Arthereistanbul (Turkey), MedeArts (Jordan) and the Fanak Fund. ACT is currently looking to select and host artists with lived experience of forced migration, exile or displacement to these countries, who are interested in applying for a residency. The three host organisations are looking to select and host two artists in each residence, open to artists in exile currently based in the partners’ respective countries: UK, Turkey and Jordan.

For eligibility and selection criteria, and to apply, please visit the relevant website of the partners: Culture in Transit, Artheristanbul, MedeArts, Fanak Fund
Deadline: Friday 8 July 2022
Residency timeline: 5 September 2022 until 27 January 2023 (part-time)
Digital launch of art works and local exhibition: February until March 2023 (dates tbc).