Young Fathers affirm support for Palestinian rights despite cancellation by German arts festival

Ruhrtriennale arts festival in Germany have asked Mercury Prize-winning Young Fathers to declare themselves non-supporters of the Palestinian-led BDS movement for human rights, as a condition of appearing at the festival later this summer. In a statement on June 12, the festival announced the cancellation of the UK group’s concert, saying:

Regrettably, the Young Fathers have not distanced themselves from BDS. (…) The Ruhrtriennale distances itself in all forms from the BDS movement and wishes to have absolutely no connection with the campaign. We have therefore decided to cancel the concert.

Today, Young Fathers have asked Artists for Palestine UK to publish the following statement :

Regrettably, Young Fathers will not appear at Ruhrtrienalle Festival this year as the organisers have decided to cancel our show due to our views opposing the current Israeli Government’s grave violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people and our support of the non-violent and anti racist human rights movement, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

We feel it is a wrong and deeply unfair decision by the festival to take this stance and to also ask us to distance ourselves from our human rights principles in order for the appearance to go ahead.

Anyone who knows the band and our history will know we oppose all forms of hatred and racial discrimination. Always have. And we, like BDS, ‘do not tolerate any act or discourse which adopts or promotes, among others, anti-Black racism, anti-Arab racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism, sexism, xenophobia, or homophobia.’

We support one of the only peaceful protests a person can take, in the hope to achieve a just and comprehensive peace that allows Palestinian refugees the right to return to a safe homeland, and that allows Israelis and Palestinians of all faiths (and none) to live together in peace.

With love,

Young Fathers

Photo credit: Richard Saker for The Observer


14 thoughts on “Young Fathers affirm support for Palestinian rights despite cancellation by German arts festival

  1. Juliana Farha says:

    How sad that the country responsible for the Holocaust has failed utterly to grasp what silence and collusion in the dehumanisation of an entire people make possible. I guess it’s too tempting – and too easy – to wash their hands and their conscience with Palestinian blood.


  2. isis says:

    you made the right decision. no respectable organization would make such a demand at a time when Palestinians are facing bullets with their bare chests. shame on them and good for you!


  3. Jaime says:

    Well BDS is racism, fraud and terrorism, and the Germans already had some Palestinian terroritss shoot up one of their Olympic events, so I can well understand why these boys should take a hike.


  4. Siobhán victorian says:

    You are doing the right thing. No matter what anyone says, keep up with your courage and your beliefs. I am now going topple music and buying your music to support your decision. Well done!


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