Sep 1, 2011

#BDS: An open letter to Guilherme Botelho

"Dear Guilherme Botelho,
We are dismayed to learn that you are planning to present your performance « Sideways Rain » in Israel. You are one of the most prestigious choreographers in Switzerland. Your performances abroad open the doors to international stages for other artists of this country. Thus by addressing this letter to you, we fully realize the importance of the event that you intend to participate in. We appeal to your political responsibility both as artist and as citizen, hoping to convince you, purely through the moral strength of these arguments, to make a strong gesture and reverse course.

In writing this letter to you, the BDS movement remembers that in 2008 you gave a performance of « Approcher la Poussière » in Ramallah. By doing so you offered a moment of joy to the Palestinian people who have been bruised by 60 years of oppression. Today, by going to dance in Tel-Aviv, you do the opposite. You are going to participate in a sort of fake symmetry between the oppressors and those who are oppressed: having honoured, by your presence, people who are fighting for their survival and their freedom, your new performance, in the same manner as any other prestigious visit, will be considered by the Israeli authorities as a form of artistic legitimization of its doings that violate human rights and humanitarian conventions."

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