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Demonstrators fighting for Palestinian rights.

Portuguese Photographers Pledge to Boycott Israeli Cultural Institutions

More than forty Portuguese photographers have vowed to boycott Israeli cultural institutions that they believe are complicit in the country’s occupation of Palestinian territories. Among those who are supporting the pledge are João Pina, the winner of the 2017 Prémio Estação Imagem Viana do Castelo—Portugal’s only photojournalism award—travel photographer Nuno Lobito, and photographer, educator, and historian José Soudo.

“We support the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality,” they said in a statement issued to Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS)—a Palestinian-led movement modeled after the South African anti-apartheid boycott campaign. “In response to the call from Palestinian photographers, journalists, and cultural workers for a cultural boycott of Israel, we pledge to accept neither professional invitations to Israel, nor funding, from the Israeli state and to refuse to collaborate with Israeli cultural institutions linked to its government until Israel complies with international law and respects the human rights of Palestinians.”

According to BDS, Palestinian artists are being refused visas by the Israeli military, detained at checkpoints, and arrested. Signatory João Henriques, the winner of the 2015 FNAC New Talents Award, said, “To participate in this solidarity initiative for Palestine is to believe in the power of photography to provide testimony, to create conscience, and to have empathy for the Other.”

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