Palestinian youth orchestra disbanded
Palestinian authorities has disbanded a youth orchestra and barred its Arab conductor, Wafa Younes, from a West Bank refugee camp after it played for a group of Holocaust survivors in Israel as part of the annual Good Deeds Day organised by Israeli billionaire Shari Arison.
According to various sources neither the orchestra nor the audience initially knew where the other was from and the performers had no idea the audience were survivors of the Nazi genocide — or even what the Holocaust was.
When parents and leaders back in West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp realised where the group had been, they shut down the program, saying Younes had dragged the children into a political issue.
Accused of exploiting the children
The youths according to Jerusalem Post said their conductor, Wafa Younis, tried to explain to them who the elderly people at the event were, but chaos on the bus prevented them from listening
Younes, who had been training the modest orchestra for about three years, was quoted to say that camp officials wished to take over the funds of the ensemble and regretted that officials destroyed the group.
Campaign for cultural boycott
Freemuse has at several conferences facilitated discussions on the pro and cons of cultural boycotts.
The Jerusalem Post – 29 March 2009:
‘PA dismantles W. Bank youth orchestra’
ABC News – 29 March 2009:
‘Palestinian Orchestra Shut After Holocaust Concert’
Pacbi – 30 March 2009:
‘The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott’
|Related reading on freemuse.org|
|Pre-election tension in Zimbabwe
Artists and cultural workers in Zimbabwe fear that they may find themselves in trouble if their performance or artwork suggests criticism of the government.
Speaking to BBC World Service’s Arts In Action programme, journalist Thomas Deve spoke of the role the country’s music is playing in the weeks leading up to Zimbabwe’s presidential election.
“We are in a situation where music is used for political opposition and certain messages are left to various audiences to interpret the music,” he said.
“There is self-censorship among the DJs where they feel that if they promote a certain type of music officially they will be told that this is not the line to promote at the moment.”
Story and interview from BBC
Article on the situation of protest music in pre-election Zimbabwe