Court rules Barbur Gallery will have to vacate its premises by February 2019, tilting the case in favor of the Jerusalem municipality, which sought to shutter the gallery after it hosted the anti-occupation NGO last year
— Read on www.haaretz.com/israel-news/culture/.premium-court-orders-closure-of-j-lem-gallery-for-hosting-breaking-the-silence-1.6433358
As a person who has dedicated their life to the arts, my issue is two fold:
1. Barbur is a sacred space. It had a duty to preserve that space as an artistic institution where art could be displayed and appreciated without censorship.
By hosting a political event, regardless of the subject matter- it put that artistic safe space in harms way.
The choice to risk Barbur for a political event was inconsiderate because it put its purpose in jeopardy.
2. I support freedom of speech regardless of the topic and am disappointed in the City of Jerusalem.
However, these are two separate matters and it is a damn shame they were convoluted. To place Babur in danger giving a platform to a non-artistic event proved to be a bust.
If I wanna hear a political presentation, I’ll go to a neutral space or even a college university, but an art gallery? No. Just no.
This isn’t the US or Europe.
Israel can barely tolerate otherness in society- poking the tiger while sacrificing an important artistic institution to exist in the first place was not performing a responsible duty to the gallery and the people who rely on it in Jerusalem. The city needs Barbur- it’s a shame Barbur distorted art with the need to repurpose itself in hosting a political event that everyone knew would lead to the city closing the gallery.
Barbur made a mistake and Jerusalem is just being the fearful intolerant city that it truly is.
I hope Barbur reopens and has a clear vision that they can uphold in the future.
Embarrassed itself today.