Friday, August 25, 2017

Portugal: Over 40 photographers launch Israel boycott pledge

While Portugal, one of the poorest countries in W. Europe, is literally burning - since January, 11,537 fire incidents have been recorded, causing the destruction of 166 thousand hectares of forest, 48 thousand more hectares burned than in the same period of last year, much poverty and loss of life), some Portuguese are busy boycotting  and defaming Israel. Huge forest fires in Portugal kill at least 60 and Portugal Forest Fires Worsen, Fed by Poor Choices and Inaction.

On World Photography Day, over 40 Portuguese photographers, teachers of photography and photography students have launched a pledge not to accept professional invitations or financing from the State of Israel and to refuse to collaborate with Israeli cultural institutions complicit in Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid. 
The pledge is the first of its kind (...) The photographers pledge to boycott Israel until it“complies with international law and respects the human rights of Palestinians.”
Among the pledge supporters are João Pina, winner of the 2017 Prémio Estação Imagem Viana do Castelo, Portugal’s only photojournalism award and Nuno Lobito, TV personality and one of the most travelled Portuguese of all times (204 countries, 193 recognised). (...) 
Miguel Carriço, winner of the 2012 Concelho da Bienal de Vila Franca de Xira award, urged fellow photographers to join the call : 
“Having witnessed first-hand the crimes Israel is committing daily against Palestinians, signing up to this initiative has become a natural step. It is fundamental to promote this effort through all means possible.”
(...) Traveller-photographer Nuno Lobito said : 
“It is time for Israel’s brand of apartheid to enjoy the same treatment as South African apartheid and be target of a comprehensive internacional boycott until it respects human rights. Photographers can no longer be silent about the treatment of their Palestinian colleagues living under an indefensible occupation that has lasted for over half a century. Palestinians have called for solidarity through boycotts and this pledge is our practical contribution to their struggle.” 
Signatory José Soudo, a veteran Photography teacher and Historian, commented : 
“The history of photography is full of examples, from the 19th century to today, of photographers who gave their sight to the service of the oppressed and destitute.”
For João Henriques, winner of the 2015 Fnac New Talents Award, “to participate in this solidarity initiative for Palestine is to believe in the power of photography to provide testimony, to create conscience and to have empathy for the Other.”
The full list of signatories has not been published.

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