Artists for Palestine UK is troubled that the British Actors Network (BAN) has chosen to host an organisation that is funded by the UK government and currently promoted by education secretary, Gavin Williamson, called ‘Solutions Not Sides’. The event is billed as an educational workshop for actors that aims to promote ‘conflict resolution’ as an approach for understanding the situation in Israel-Palestine.
A recent report by Human Rights Watch accused Israel of “the crime of apartheid and persecution” against the Palestinian population. We are saddened that BAN, an organisation that is working to challenge abuses of power in theatre and film, does not recognise that it is inappropriate and misleading to apply a conflict resolution model while the very grave crimes of apartheid and persecution – with all the violence and trauma these entail – persist.
When BAN invited expressions of interest from the acting community in a Solutions Not Sides event, we were highly critical because the framing appeared not to centre Palestinian lives. We were delighted that BAN responded to our criticism on social media by publicly inviting us to submit an alternative event proposal for consideration. Since sending a proposal for an event for and by artists on anti-racism, internationalism and Israel-Palestine, we have heard nothing. In a follow up letter to Helen Raw, the person behind BAN, we outlined our concerns.Continue reading