Young Fathers, the Mercury Award-winning group from Edinburgh, have announced their withdrawal from Berlin Pop-Kultur to protest the festival’s acceptance of sponsorship from the Israeli Embassy in Germany.
The band are the third group of UK artists, and the eighth in total, to withdraw from Pop-Kultur in solidarity with Palestinians living under occupation and in exile.
Artists for Palestine UK warmly thanks all fellow artists who act in support of the Palestinians’ urgent need for rights and freedom – despite considerable misinformation put out by the festival organisers and in German media coverage.
Young Fathers, who performed in M.I.A.’s Meltdown Festival at the London Southbank in June 2017, said in their statement:
“Young Fathers have a long history of opposing any form of hatred including racism and anti-semitism and we support the principle of a peaceful solution that allows Palestinians the right to return to a safe homeland and that allows Israelis and Palestinians of all faiths (and none) to live together in peace. This is a very tiny act on our behalf in the grand scale of things but one we still believe is worth it.”
In our open letter to UK musicians, published last week and endorsed by Brian Eno and Roger Waters, Artists for Palestine UK called on all those participating in Pop-Kultur to protest Israeli sponsorship and withdraw. Thurston Moore has tweeted in support of the appeal.
Young Fathers join Iklan, featuring Law Holt, academic and artist Annie Goh, Finnish black metal band Oranssi Pazuzu, Emel Mathlouthi, Abu Hajar from Syrian rap band Mazzaj, Islam Chipsy and Hello Psychaleppo in cancelling their appearances at Pop-Kultur.
Young Fathers were signatories to Artists for Palestine UK’s open letter to Radiohead that requested the band not to play Tel Aviv, alongside TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, Thurston Moore, Dave Randall, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and many others.
Syrian rapper Abu Hajar, in the first wave of withdrawals, said that art needs to be ‘against all that is regressive and discriminatory in this world’. Artists for Palestine UK will continue to make the case against co-operation with a state that practises racism against the indigenous inhabitants of the land, the Palestinians.