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FUND & PAY ARTISTS
UNCONDITIONALLY

​Respect Palestinian artists by paying for work, removing political stipulations for funding and factor in the additional costs faced.

12

A BRIEF CONTEXT 

      While the huge surge in solidarity for Palestine is positive, this often comes with the expectation that Palestinian artists should give their creative work and time for free. Whilst standard pay rates should always be a basic consideration, this is particularly important for Palestinian artists facing multiple financial challenges. Some of these include funding cuts, rejection of funding due to political stipulations, Israel destroying equipment and cultural centres, additional costs caused by the occupation and loss of income when work is canceled.

 

ARBITRARY FUNDING CUTS  

      The majority of cultural funding in Palestine comes from international donors. A form of soft power, these funding streams are linked to the political interests and whims of the country they come from and can disappear overnight. One example includes Al-Harah Theatre in Bethlehem, which had two of its main funds cancelled for 2024.

 

REJECTION OF FUNDING DUE TO POLITICAL STIPULATIONS

As the Palestinian arts sector continues to grow and build a strong voice internationally, foundations, government bodies, and charities are cutting funding using political stipulations to control freedom of speech. In 2020, the Palestinian Performing Arts Network, the umbrella for most Palestinian arts organisations, rejected the political conditions of E.U. and Sida funding. The conditions would have compromised the core values of the organisations and also made it impossible to work within Palestine. This resulted in the loss of the majority of core funding to the whole Palestinian cultural sector. 

 

ADDITIONAL COSTS CAUSED BY THE OCCUPATION

     This can be everything and anything from the high price of fuel, having to pay Israel for being imprisoned, to having to delay rehearsals because of repeated invasions. One detailed example is the cost of the overland journey from the West Bank that involves crossing three borders (Palestinian / Israel / Jordanian) as Palestinians are denied the right to airports by Israel. If an artist wants to tour internationally, this alone costs 150 euros one way, which is rarely factored into international travel budgets.

ISRAELI DESTRUCTION OF CULTURAL BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

      Detailed more extensively in Demand 4, the whole cultural infrastructure in Palestine, particularly Gaza, is being raised to the ground. A simple example of how even destroying one piece of equipment can harm a cultural organisation is at The Freedom Theatre, where investing in a new laptop that could run sound, lights and subtitles was essential. A piece of equipment that cost 1800 Euro was a huge but crucial investment for the theatre if it wanted to continue tackling productions on tour. After much deliberation, the computer was bought. Less than one month later, the Israeli army smashed it in a raid on the theatre.

LOSS OF INCOME

Detailed more extensively in Demand 11,  Palestinian artists, there are hundreds of examples of Palestinian artists having their work cancelled, which often means losing their income. There are also many reasons that plans cannot go ahead in Palestine. In the West Bank, this could be due to the down of checkpoints, electricity cuts, or the need to postpone a show due to someone being killed in the community. While organisations try to cover additional pay, these obstacles are so frequent that it becomes impossible, especially due to reductions in funding. 

EXAMPLES OF ACTION TO INSPIRE YOUR OWN

ORGANISE A
STRIKE FUND

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Ravers For Palestine have set up a strike fund for DJ's to be able to join the boycott in Germany as not all musicians are able to turn down a paid gig. Solidarity should never be a privilege, so they are proposing a crowdfunded strike fund to ensure all our peers are able to boycott.

JOIN A FRIENDSHIP GROUP
OR FORM YOUR OWN

French Friends Of The Freedom Theatre

The Freedom Theatre has friendship groups in France, USA and Sweden who are crucial to supporting the theatre from fundraising to advocacy to tours. Join a friendship group or create your own

ORANISE A
FUNDRAISING EVENT

Event organised by Jacque Lauritsen in Denmark

When The Freedom Theatre was raided and destroyed in December, groups worldwide organised fundraising events so that the venue could replace its equipment.  Both for The Freedom Theatre and other cultural venues this financial support is crucial as there is no way otherwise to build back after attacks, it also helps inform audiences what has happened.

ATTACKS ON FUNDING IN PALESTINE

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