{ neutrality }

 

Our initial instinct in the days following the 7th of october 2023 were to write and publish a statement (available here). Realizing the severity of Israel’s full scale military offensive on the civilians of Gaza supported by western leaders and media, we felt the urgent need to frame the recent events in the wider context of more than 75 years of colonial oppression and violence perpetrated by the Israeli settler-colonial project and to clearly state our solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine. On our request to share the statement, the school administration promptly answered that ”due to our status as a public authority”…“the institute itself cannot endorse such statements on our external channels”. This was our first encounter with the school’s idea of neutrality and the well known, controversial concept of Swedish neutrality. Though not unexpected, this was surprising given the great mobilization in the Royal Institute of Art following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. The school, at that time, issued a statement, posted the Ukrainian flag on their public channels, and even offered scholarships and resources to accommodate new students fleeing the war in Ukraine. As our meager request for the school to share our statement on their public channels was so decisively rejected we questioned, why?

 

– Ahmed Al-Nawas, Beatrice Lopez, Sveva Crisafulli, Sarah Herfurth, Andreea Midvighi, Martha Pagliuca Pelacani, Ravenna Westerhout, Nera Jelaska, Andy Allen-Olivar, Stefan Fuchs, Herman Hjorth Berge, Robin Dingemans