Norway: Israeli Dancers Rejected from Arts Festival

29 March 2018
Norwegian arts festival rejected six Israeli dancers over government's use of "propaganda" to "whitewash ... oppression of the Palestinian people".
Photo: Feminine Tripper Facebook


On 19 Mar 2018, six Israeli choreographers who applied to participate in the “Feminine Tripper” festival, an arts festival focusing on femininity and gender identity, received individual letters from festival organizers rejecting their participation on the claim that Israel “uses culture as a form of propaganda to whitewash or justify its regime of occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people,” reported The Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

The organizers of the festival, Kristiane Nerdrum Bøgwald and Margrete Slettebø, defended their actions in an article written for Dagbladet. The organizers emphasized that they “are also against censorship” but that their politics surrounding the issue of Israeli/Palestinian art provided a moral roadblock when assessing whether or not they would allow Israeli artists to attend the festival.

Conversely, the Israeli artists insisted that “artists (in Israel) are fighting in order to obtain their freedom of speech and expression due to recent censorship attempts by the Israeli minister of culture”. They further went on to explain that two of their own, Maayan Cohen Marciano and Adi Shildan, “were marginalized by our own minister of culture” as well as the festival, wrote Ynet News.

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