• Thu. Dec 7th, 2023

Senate Lets Expiration of Controversial Oyoun Cultural Center Funding to Signal its Demise


Nov 22, 2023

The cultural center Oyoun on Lucy-Lameck-Straße in Neukölln announced on Tuesday evening via Instagram that its funding will be canceled and the facility will close next month. This news has left many in shock, particularly given the much public criticism of Oyoun’s work since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.

Since 2020, the former Workshop of Cultures has been sponsored by an organization with a mission to implement “artistic-cultural projects through decolonial, queer*feminist and migrant perspectives” and to create “space for critical debate, reflected experimentation and radical solidarity.” However, in recent weeks there has been criticism of Oyoun’s work, particularly because the space was made available to groups like the “Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East,” which is associated with BDS, after the Hamas attack.

The Berlin Cultural Senate urged the cancellation of the planned “mourning and hope celebration” for the 20th anniversary of the Jewish Voice, which Oyoun viewed as an infringement on freedom of art and expression. Although an Instagram statement indicated that the Senate announced a “cancellation” of funds on Monday, it is unclear what this means exactly. The funding provided around one million euros to Oyoun this year will expire normally at the end of the year, but it seems unlikely that Oyoun will receive new funding given these circumstances.

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