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On 6 April 2011, the official Emirati news agency WAM published a short note, that according to an official source at the Ruler's office, HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, has ordered the dismissal of the Artistic Director Sharjah International Art Biennial Jack Persekian from his post.
The sudden termination of Persekian’s post came after a public outcry over the perceived offensive content in an artwork exhibited in the 10th edition of the Sharjah Biennial by Algerian artist, journalist and activist Mustapha Benfodil.
(See the >> work of Mustapha Benfodil)
On 11 April an anonymous group of artists has launched an online petition for signatures to condemn Persekian’s dismissal and to protest against censorship.
For more information, please see:
Sharjah Call for Action
Not online anymore; had included:
- Call for signing the Petition
- Statement by Rasha Salti and Haig Aivazian, two of the three curators of the 10th Sharjah Biennial
- Mustapha Ben Fodil's statement about the context of his art work
Statements published by the Sharjah Art Foundation:
Statements from the Sharjah Art Foundation
13 April 2011
Response to petition calling for action against Sharjah Art Foundation
13 April 2011
Statement from Hoor Al-Qasimi, Founder and President of the Sharjah Art Foundation
14 April 2011
Curators' Final Statement
By Haig Aivazian & Rasha Salti, 17 April 2011