When Protesters Target Artists

Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company, which just concluded performances of Ohad Naharin’s Max at BAM, drew anti-Israel protesters last week demanding that people boycott Israel and all aspects of Israeli life, including the arts. Laura Collins-Hughes recently wrote about what she witnessed outside of BAM. Here’s an excerpt from her post:

A lone leafletter stood amid the throng entering the opera house, a tall, gentle man with a stack of photocopies he was having very little success giving away — partly because he was tentative in offering them. “They’re a dance company!” an indignant young woman was saying loudly to him. “What is the logic?”

Collins-Hughes goes on to explain the futility of demonstrating against artists for political reasons, and mentions how this strategy can especially hurt American artists abroad considering the US’s bad reputation during the past eight, tumultuous years:

Artists abroad are asked to answer for their country all the time. That’s part of what makes cultural diplomacy so important to PR-savvy governments. When artists travel, like it or not, they are ambassadors of their people. But if, for example, American artists were held accountable for outrages perpetrated in their name, they would have had very few foreign takers for their work during the Bush years, so fervently did the people of other nations despise the actions of our government.

This entry was posted in BAM, criticism, International, New York City, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s