Almost 238 artists and academics have called on the UK to reverse its decision to refuse visitor visas for Palestinian filmmakers from the besieged Gaza Strip.
Yousef Nateel and Hussein Owda’s have been invited to attend the world premiere of their film “Gazagraph” as part of “The Past in the Present” film programme developed for Creative Interruptions, a major research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
They were also due to take part in an academic conference and networking events at Sheffield Hallam University, the British Film Institute, Kings College London, Regents University, Migration Matters Festival in Sheffield and HOME in Manchester next month.
Signatories said they “are alarmed at the recent trend of rejecting entry to academics and artists from Gaza… Over the last two years, there has been a significant increase in the number of rejections.”
In the case of Gaza, the systematic isolation of its artists and academics by the British government not only impedes academic and cultural exchange but also colludes in Israel’s efforts to isolate and inflict collective punishment on the people of Gaza.
Musicians Roger Walters and Lowkey joined actress Miriam Margolyes and historian and Professor Ilan Pappe in signing the letter along with 334 others calling on “the Home Office to reconsider their decision and allow Yousef and Hussein visitor visas to the UK to share their creative talents”.