Artistes, film-makers call for boycott of Israel’s Cameri Theatre in Delhi

Aditi Nigam | | Updated on: Oct 24, 2012

Filmmakers Shyam Benegal, Saeed Mirza, Bedabrata Pain and Anand Patwardhan, theatre persons Sanjana Kapoor, Samik Bandoppadhyay and MK Raina, writers K. Satchidanandan, Arundhati Roy, Githa Hariharan and about 150 eminent citizens have called for the boycott of Israel’s Cameri Theatre.

The Cameri Theatre is slated to perform at the Delhi International Arts Festival 2012, and is being hosted by the Prasiddha Foundation, a media house and the Indian Council of Cultural Relations on November 4.

The citizens, in a signed statement, have called for the boycott, as they feel that The Cameri Theatre group serves as an “official propaganda tool for the State of Israel — a State that occupies Palestinian lands and practises apartheid policies on the Palestinian people.’’

They alleged Cameri Theatre’s “complicity” in the Israeli occupation of Palestine because it “chooses to perform in the illegal settlement of Ariel, one of the largest settlements in the occupied West Bank, a statement released by the Indian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, said.

The statement said “Cameri often chooses to stage plays that convey “humane” messages to deflect criticism, but it is ready to perform these “humane” plays on stolen land. Many Israeli theatre artists, intellectuals and activists had been working hard to communicate to the world the kind of politics at work behind the “theatre arts” of Cameri, it added.

Maintaining that “Israel’s apartheid policies cannot be whitewashed with “culture”, “art” or “festivals”, the statement said at a time when the international movement to isolate Israel was gaining ground in response to the escalation of Israel’s “colonial and racist policies,” groups such as The Cameri Theatre should not be welcomed into India and appealed for a boycott.

Published on October 24, 2012
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