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Palestine Solidarity Letter


Dear reader,

This is a letter from the Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology & Hosting Lands written on November 3rd 2023, updated on November 9th 2023.

We write to express our support for the Palestinians’ unconditional demands for freedom. A freedom to live, and a freedom to live freely. Palestine has been under the settler occupation of the state of Israel for the last 75 years, facing and living under land grab and apartheid conducted by the Israeli state everyday since.

As we speak, revise, and as you read the document, Israel is leading a genocide against Palestinians. Death toll is currently at 10.000, as many children as 4000 have died, and 1.5 million have been displaced. Regular bombardments of hospitals continue unabated, along with air strikes that have wiped out entire cities. As we speak, Gaza is experiencing all manners of infrastructural attack - water and food is unavailable, houses, mosques and bakeries bombarded, electricity internet and telecommunications lines completely destroyed. As a group of few, severely targeted press journalists from Gaza bring to us the harrowing conditions of life in Palestine, we are left witnessing mass death in all forms - from children’s press conferences, to press conferences with children’s bodies around - a dignity robbed of a Palestinian’s life. It is as many have claimed to be, a second Nakba. We bear witness to women shrieking in the darkness of the night, men rescuing people from under the rubble, orphaned children in complete horror, and family members grieving over and kissing the corpses of their loved ones goodbye, while phosphorus fumes and mosque prayers engulf the air of Gaza.

We write with rage, sorrow and abhorrence at the genocide we are seeing unfolding on our screens. But we also write often with complete loss of words, at the sheer arrogance and perversity with which Israel is commiting a genocide.

We get reminded of Palestinian poet, Khaled Juma’s words:

Oh rascal children of Gaza.
You who constantly disturbed me
with your screams under my window.
You who filled every morning
with rush and chaos.
You who broke my vase
and stole the lonely flower on my balcony.
Come back,
and scream as you want
and break all the vases.
Steal all the flowers.
Come back..
Just come back..

Hosting Lands is committed to the politics of land, to questions of access, belonging, usership, ownership, the disappearance of landscapes and ways of life. We regularly ask ourselves how to host in inhospitable lands? And how to hold land up to questions of commoning and collective ownership - a future of land beyond the military and the police. When we talk about decolonization, we do not mean it as a metaphor. We believe in decolonization as land back, to its return and commoning led by its indigenous communities. The project is predominantly set in Denmark, and we support the decolonization of Kalaallit Nunaat, Denmark’s continued settler colonial project. And it is to this, in building solidarities across borders, and resistance against Empires, that we also believe in the decolonization of Palestine - the return of land to its indigenous communities, who have tended to it, between its olive gardens, rivers and the sea.

In Hosting Lands, we are also committed to supporting Palestinian artists, artists and curators from the Arab World and its diaspora. We reiterate this as we hear attacks against Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims more broadly, reaching a shrill pitch worldwide. This reminds us of similar racist and Islamophobic arrests and attacks during America’s invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan two decades ago, amongst other iterations in history.

In these dark times, we are again reminded that the so-called freedom of speech only applies to the consensus of the ones in parliament. Today, the State Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, has asked the minister of justice to investigate if pro Gaza protestors can be punished for inciting terror actions. We find cultural workers increasingly under attack for speaking on Palestine. Recently, Artforum’s Editor in Chief, David Velasco, was fired for publishing an online support letter for Gaza, or the cancellation of Adinia Shibli’s award ceremony at the Frankfurt book fair. In Germany, conversations of Palestine look increasingly myopic. As the Berlin Cultural Workers for Palestine write, “Every day brings a new case: banning of kuffiyeh and the Palestinian flag in protests and schools, pre-emptive policing in Arab neighborhoods, stop-and-search of Arab youths, and the doxxing by media outlets of people who dare to voice their solidarity. In the works is a citizenship reform law that allows the German state to deny visas and citizenship, and revoke residency permits, based on charges of anti-Semitism following the IHRA criteria, which deems any criticism of the Israeli state an act of anti-Semitism.” More and more artists, scholars and academics, in Germany, the rest of Europe, South Asia, are being doxxed, harassed and bullied, both online and offline, for their support and activism of the Palestinian cause. They are being systematically labeled as being anti-Semitic for their critique of the state of Israel. The US Senate passed a resolution condemning Pro-Palestinian support, as a support for Hamas, a terrorist organization, and hence anti-semitic. We are enraged and worried at how Zionists have come to define the terms of Anti-Semitism, and how grief and mourning of the Holocaust is being weaponized against the Palestinians and now service to justify another genocide. As the Jewish Voice for Peace activists articulate so clearly: Never Again and especially Never Again for Anyone.

We admire the Palestinians' fight, the manner in which the people rescue and sustain each other through this immense crisis. We despair, but at other times know there is no time for that. We also want to express our deepest aversion with and concern about the actions and rhetoric of the Danish Government, their indifference, and the threat against the right to mourn and protest that is unfolding right now in Denmark. The struggle for freedom continues, and we continue our support of this fight. Here are some of the links and resources if you are interested in learning more on the history of Palestine and he Israeli occupation (Mosaic Room, Verso, Funambulist, Institute for Palestine Studies), follow Palestinian social media voices (Al Jazeera, Eye on Palestine, Let’s Talk Palestine, Mohammed El-Kurd Quds News Network, Hind Khoudary) places to offer aid (PRCS, Doctors without Borders, PCRF, MAP, Front Line Defenders), or even which companies to boycott in their support for Israeli occupation (Stop US Funding to Israel, PACBI). Here is BDS’ list of meaningful support and action for the Palestinian cause.

However, these are just a few of the many ways you can engage in your support. Calling up your representatives, joining protests, reading, writing, organizing, dialoguing with friends and family, participating in direct action and even bearing witness matters today.

From Kalaallit Nunaat to Palestine,
Occupation is a crime.

From the River to the sea,
Palestine will be free.

With rage, grief, love and solidarity,

Curatorial and design team of Hosting Lands
Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology

Andrea Fjordside Pontoppidan, Ida Bencke, Dea Antonsen, Laura Gerdes-Miranda, Aziza Harmel, Pujita Guha & Michal Jurgielewicz

November 3rd & 9th, 2023, originally sent to subscribers on Hosting Lands letters. 🖤❤️🤍💚