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2018Annual Programme
Debate - Subcontracted Nations Exhibition Curator: Najwan Berekdar
- Place: Gallery

Tickets: Free Entry

Criteria for normalization and freedom of expression

The consensus among Palestinians, whether in Palestine or in the Diaspora and with the exception of very few, is to celebrate the accomplishments of the BDS movement around the world and its increasing impact on isolating the Israeli regime academically, culturally, and to a certain extent economically. These achievements have led the Israeli regime to consider the BDS movement a “strategic threat” par excellence. Whenever the campaign is successful in pressuring an international company (like Orange and Viola) into withdrawing from all Israeli projects, or a famous singer cancels a performance in Tel Aviv, everyone rejoices, and rightly so, for the BDS is a movement of all Palestinians. However, when discussing normalization, and despite the general consensus around the criteria for what is considered as such, cultural criteria remain controversial. Whenever the BDS movement lobbies to stop local and Arab acts of normalization (according to the current criteria), some people react strongly and raise their voices accusing the BDS movement of constituting some form of “restriction on cultural and media freedoms”. Some even considered that what the BDS movement is doing amounts to “a strangulation of Palestinian artists” calling for developing new criteria to assess films and cultural works prior to making judgements about them or issuing decisions by other groups banning these works particularly when such a decision is taken without watching the product in question. One of the cultural journalists said “we refuse custodianship over our minds. In my opinion, no one in this country owns certificates of nationalism to give out to people or has the right to assume a higher moral and nationalist ground over anyone else. We should keep our minds open as long as the product in question does not harm us.» However, he stressed that “freedom cannot be divided and the same should apply to the boycott.” As such, it is necessary to expand the boycotting to areas other than p