We stand in solidarity with Palestine and join the world in calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
As an organisation and as individuals we stand against racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism. We have great compassion for all deaths and suffering. We acknowledge the Jewish community affected by the October 7th attacks. We also stand alongside Jewish and Israeli critics of the Israeli State.
We stand with artists who are putting their careers on the line to stand up for what they believe in. We support the Open Letter from Artist Against Apartheid published by our friends at Overland. Our arts and culture are not divorced from life, but rather informed by it. As Arundhati Roy notes, “The trouble is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out.”
Arts Minister Tony Burke highlighted the hyper local context Utp is in when he commented on the recent decision by our local council to fly the Palestinian flag until there is a ceasefire in Gaza. “Until the [Bankstown Canterbury] council had made that decision [to fly the Palestinian flag] there was nowhere in Australia where those colours were being acknowledged as worthy of grieving… it gives people the chance to know there is recognition and not selective grief… we can’t say we only grieve for certain people who are slaughtered, we can't have a situation as a nation where we only formally acknowledge particular deaths.
At the end of 2023 we will hold a healing lunch at our space in Bankstown for First Nations and Arabic-speaking communities to come together, to continue a long history of solidarity. Please get in touch via [email protected] if you would like an invitation.
Our fellow Western Sydney arts organisation, Sweatshop Literacy Movement, are donating 100% of sales from The Racial Politics of Australian Multiculturalism towards Aid for Palestine for the next week. We encourage you to support them https://www.sweatshop.ws/racial-politics.
Cover image: Design by Dana Albattrawi
Here are some links and resources our team has been reading: