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BlackStar Joins Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

By BlackStar Staff

BlackStar remains in solidarity with the Palestinian people, their ongoing resistance to genocide and settler colonialism, and the global call for an immediate, sustained ceasefire.

We were founded in Philadelphia, in a lineage of global anti-colonial struggle, on land which has been stewarded by the Lenni-Lenape people for centuries. The continuous violence inflicted on our communities — from Palestine to Puerto Rico — is immeasurable and irreparable. Still, we believe in the power of cultural work to create space for imagination, gathering, learning, and radical care.

Bringing an analysis of race, gender, and power to everything we do, we recognize the inherent intersection between all systems of oppression, including anti-Black racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, and imperialism. As stated in our values, “diversity and representation are not guiding us, liberation is. Our work is centered on shifting power and defying the perceived limits of imagination.” We need artists to be the architects of a more liberatory world, through their experiments of narration.

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BlackStar is committed to the Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), put forth by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and will continue the following practices as an organization:

To support Palestinian filmmakers and visual artists whose work speaks against Israeli occupation, and to never require them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.

To refrain from participating in any project that seeks to “normalize” the Israeli occupation of Palestine and/or dehumanization of Palestinians.

To abstain from collaborating with Israeli cultural and academic organizations that help maintain the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

To abstain from collaborating with any organizations that receive funding from the state of Israel.

The BDS movement, including PACBI, rejects on principle boycotts of individuals based on their identity (such as citizenship, race, gender, sexuality, or religion) or opinion. Mere affiliation of Israeli cultural workers to an Israeli cultural institution is therefore not grounds for applying the boycott. If, however, an individual is representing the state of Israel or a complicit Israeli institution, or is commissioned/recruited to participate in Israel’s efforts to “rebrand” itself, then their activities are subject to the institutional boycott the BDS movement is calling for.

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