White Paper : Artists Under Boycott

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Carré Noir (1923 – 1930), Kazimir Malevich. Wikimedia Commons.

Launch of White Paper on the Sanctions against Russian artists and their work with a focus on their impact on their artistic freedom and other fundamental rights.

In a “White Paper” launched on 21 December 2022, AGL called upon cultural institutions and cultural event organisers to respect the rights of Russian artists and to show leadership in defending the universal right to freedom of artistic expression without discrimination.

The intensity of suffering and devastation inflicted in the Russia-Ukraine war has brought together communities across the globe in an effort to publicly condemn the use of violence by Russia. In this context, in the field of arts and culture, a pattern has emerged in which national institutions, international festivals, exhibitions, competitions and orchestras have presented Russian artists with peremptory termination statements informing them of the unilateral revocation of their engagements on account of their nationality. While many stated that their intention was not to penalise individual artists, this is precisely what the exclusions have factually achieved. 

The White Paper provides cultural institutions with information and analysis on the matter, highlighting concerns relating to the legality of these actions through the lens of fundamental rights as guaranteed under international law. It also provides recommendations on how they can avoid recourse to such damaging measures in the future. 

To read the White Paper, visit here

At Avant-Garde Lawyers, we always seek to advance debates surrounding the right to freedom of artistic expression and do not shy away from initiating difficult conversations. A young team of passionate and driven law experts who love art, we are motivated to continue building our approach towards artistic freedom. If you find value in the work that we do, please consider supporting us in our mission.