Travelling Sources Cancelled
A statement by its curators
Dear audience, volunteer and friend of Travelling Sources,
It is with profound sadness that the curators, Hari Prasad Sacré, Hoda Siahtiri and Arshia Ali Azmat, and the central guest of the program Ariella Aïsha Azoulay have jointly decided to cancel this year's edition of the art & reflection festival Travelling Sources. Following the preparatory work for almost two years, this has not been a decision we’ve taken lightly.
We live in times where the differences between people are exploited as elements for a rhetoric of hate. Azoulay’s work reminds us that such rhetoric works as a weapon against solidarity. That is why we’ve invited Azoulay, to unpack this rhetoric and lay an important ground for building community and solidarity. In the current political climate, when global solidarity is at stake, our festival was expected to respond to radical desires for justice and imminent threats —a weight the festival could no longer carry.
When Azoulay and the audience risk becoming a target of hate speech for taking a nuanced position and for thinking about solidarity with people reduced to enemies, we have to accept that the current times call for a different kind of togetherness.
More than 700 tickets were sold, which left us with a number of ethical questions.
Are we able to provide the safety of a large group of people in the current times? How ethical is it to bring over a guest speaker who has been receiving death threats? How ethical is it to reflect on solidarity when people are currently mourning their loved ones?
We couldn’t answer these questions with enough certainty to proceed with the festival. Therefore we’ve decided to painfully let go of the current edition of Travelling Sources.
We want to thank the audience, professors and students for their enthusiasm. We thank the main partners Kaaitheater & VUB for their unconditional support in building such an urgent and topical program. We’re confident that this collaboration has created a strong interpersonal and institutional togetherness that will outlast this edition, and will enable new future events.
We’re in dialogue with Azoulay to see if some of the elements of the festival can be retaken in the near or far future. We’ll keep you updated on this.
For now stay together,
Hari, Hoda & Arshia