The board for one of Australia’s biggest cultural festivals announced on Tuesday the immediate suspension of investments from foreign governments, a year after the event was rocked by controversy over funding from the Israeli embassy.
The Sydney Festival board announced the decision after “an independent review into the role of international government investment” commissioned by the festival board, according to its statement.
Statement from the board of Sydney Festival.
— Sydney Festival (@sydney_festival) September 27, 2022
“Sydney Festival has today announced a range of important measures to improve the decision-making process around partnerships and sponsorships ahead of the Sydney Festival 2023 Program Launch,” the statement read.
“This includes an immediate suspension of investment from international governments and their cultural agencies.”
The boycott of the 2022 edition of the Sydney Festival began last December and took place after it was revealed that the three-week event had received tens of thousands of dollars of funding from the Israeli embassy in Australia.
The funding was meant to help pay for a dance production choreographed by an Israeli.
Israel had been listed as a “star partner” on the festival’s website due to the sponsorship.
It's been almost 10 months since the historic and successful artist boycott of this year's Sydney Festival over their partnership with the apartheid Israeli state. Results of the review they held: They are no longer accepting foreign government funding. https://t.co/Z9YZzvT2rJ
— Jennine (@jennineak) September 27, 2022
Pro-Palestine activists slammed festival management for its decision to approve the funding and called for a boycott of the event.
More than 20 acts pulled out of the festival over the funding.
The 2023 edition of the festival is set to take place in January.
(The New Arab, PC, SOCIAL)