By : Artists Against Apartheid
10 min read
"Part of being a revolutionary is creating a vision that is more humane. That is more fun, too.
That is more loving." —Assata Shakur
For over 75 years, the Palestinian people have been subject to a violent and racist occupation by Israel. Right now, we are in a crucial moment in the fight for Palestinian liberation and one in which the harsh brutalities of Israeli apartheid are under an international spotlight. For decades, the Palestinian people have valiantly resisted, and today, despite the influential Israeli propaganda machine, we see the people of the world standing with Palestine.
Artists have always played a critical role in standing on the right side of history, using artistic practices to communicate the truth and to shape public opinion through our loud solidarity. In the 1970s, a global movement of artists under the banner “Artists United Against Apartheid” helped
to defeat apartheid in South Africa. Today, that legacy is furthered by a global movement of “Artists Against Apartheid” using their practices to deepen the movement for a free Palestine! Over the last few weeks, Artists Against Apartheid has been holding events across the country to elevate the demands verberating across the world for a free Palestine. One such event was
held in Boston at the Boston Liberation Center in Roxbury. Artists and community members joined together for a free wheatpasting workshop and postering session using some of the hundreds of Palestine solidarity posters curated by Artists Against Apartheid. In locations across Roxbury, Dorchester, and the South End, passersby can now see vibrant posters with important messages standing with Palestine on vacant buildings and walls. No longer can business
continue as usual while genocide takes place—as artists, we make the call for an end to the occupation for a free Palestine loud and clear.
In the last three months, more than 11,000 artists from over 60 countries signed onto the Artists Against Apartheid letter, including Kehlani, Kid Cudi, Noname, and more—firmly standing with the Palestinian people. An excerpt of the letter reads: “As artists and cultural producers, we join hands with the people of the world and with the heroic people of Palestine, to stop this genocidal war and put an end to 75 years of occupation. We understand the power that our work has in shaping public opinion in our time. As artists, we have a unique responsibility to use our voice and artistic practices to protest apartheid and amplify the just cause of the Palestinian people and their resistance against occupation and oppression.
We, the undersigned artists, stand in firm solidarity with those resisting occupation and fighting for their right to self-determination. We commit to using our platforms to challenge at every turn the massive misinformation campaigns waged by those who have a vested interest in the destruction of the Palestinian land and people without fear of repercussions. We dedicate ourselves to standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people and to use our artistic and cultural practices as tools of liberation in the struggle for sovereignty, dignity, and self-determination.”
The list of artists signing the statement continues to grow as people around the world recognize that we cannot sit idle while Palestinians are being murdered in the tens of thousands, but must become part of the movement for a free Palestine. Out of the letter, Artists Against Apartheid has built an emerging network of artists & cultural workers who stand with Palestine—marching
together at the National March in Washington DC, creating an international art call, holding events and exhibitions across the world, and more.
Artists Against Apartheid will host a Week of Art For Palestine on January 15-22, 2023, and invites artists and cultural spaces to participate! Learn more at againstapartheid.art. If you are an artist committed to using your practice in the movement for liberation, join Artists Against Apartheid and sign the letter by visiting againstapartheid.art or scan the QR code below.
Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #165 January 2024
Check out all the art and columns of January's Boston Compass at www.issuu.com/bostoncccompass