11. 17. 2023

Move Your People:
A Call to Canadian Arts Institutions to Demand a Ceasefire in Gaza & Speak Out for Palestinian Liberation

If you’re an artist of any kind in so-called Canada and you’d like to add your name to this statement, you can do so here. This page will be updated intermittently with new signatories over the next few weeks.

We are alarmed by Canadian art institutions’ silence on the ongoing massacre in Gaza. With the full force of its USD $24 billion military apparatus – including weapons manufactured in Canada – the Israeli state is committing war crimes against the Palestinian population it effectively holds captive. Its own officials have described their intentions in terms that clearly meet the definition of genocide. These travesties deserve a response from all organizations that profess to stand for justice.

Some art leaders’ refusal to champion Palestinian liberation in this moment may be rooted in a desire to be fair to “both sides”: to honour both the 1200 Israelis whom Gazan militants killed on October 7 and the more than 11,000 Palestinians, including more than 4500 children, whom Israel has massacred in Gaza to date. But as that description suggests, this is not a conflict between two equivalent parties, nor a war between two sovereign states. And equivocation, as ever, has the practical effect of supporting the oppressor: the Israeli state that’s inflicting genocidal collective punishment on a domestic population of 2.2 million people, around half of whom are children, in addition to licensing a deadly intensification of state and para-state violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.

We understand all too well that taking a stand against Israeli state violence may threaten arts organizations’ bottom lines, given those institutions’ economic dependence on the Canadian state and the donor class, both of which are aligned with the interests of capital and empire. We would suggest, however, that cultural institutions located on territory acquired through the dispossession of Indigenous nations across Turtle Island – institutions funded by the settler state that administered and administers that colonial extraction – have a responsibility to speak up as Israel unleashes its own latest round of displacement and dispossession through staggering violence, this second Nakba wreaked upon a people described by the Israeli defence minister as “human animals.”

During the Black Lives Matter uprisings of summer 2020, many Canadian arts organizations did speak up and take action, risking donors by affirming that Black people are human beings and anti-Black state violence is intolerable. Yet, from Nelson Mandela to Desmond Tutu and Malcolm X, Black leaders have affirmed that Black liberation is intimately linked to the liberation of the Palestinian people. If you’ve declared support for Black freedom, we urge you to reflect on why you hesitate to raise your voice for Palestinian lives today.

Businesses’ and non-profits’ statements of solidarity with social movements are too often little more than exercises in branding; they are no substitute for the inspiring mass mobilizations in defence of Palestine that are erupting across the world today. Yet in the face of the ongoing atrocities Israel is committing in Gaza and the West Bank, we feel it’s crucial that all civil society organizations mobilize their social bases to call for a ceasefire as an urgent first priority – and for an end to the siege on Gaza, freedom for all Palestinian prisoners and Israeli hostages (“everyone for everyone”), and the abolition of Israel’s military occupation, which of course long predates the events of this fall.

The unwillingness of state leaders across the Global North to demand a ceasefire is enabling Israel’s campaign of terror in Gaza today. While we hold no illusions that art institutions might have a direct impact on those state leaders, let alone on Israel itself, we urge arts leaders to do what you do best: stir an audience. Move your people. Dramatize the stakes, summon hopes, spark action. Speak out against – and refuse to participate in – the widespread censorship and repression of Palestinian and pro-Palestinian voices. Connect with your patrons, your subscribers, your social media followers, your network of artists, and:

Art is always institutionalized in a way that supports a particular politics – in the Canadian state, typically that’s white liberalism. We are asking you to name the political commitments your organization espouses, rather than disavow or disguise them. And if those commitments are, like our federal governing party, in the business of enabling genocide, we’re asking you to reflect deeply and transform them.

CEASEFIRE NOW is the minimum demand. Please dedicate your institution’s resources to lifting it up immediately. 


Sadie Berlin, artist
Dasha Plett, We Quit Theatre/IATSE LOCAL659
Kevin Aichele
Coman Poon
Jody Chan
Ali Berkok, musician and composer
Daniel Sarah Karasik
lo bil / artist
Simla Civelek/artist
Ximena Huizi
Holly Timpener
Bahar Orang
Sanna Wani
Iván Darío
Thomas McKechnie, playwright
Emily Jung, artsworker & artist
Ceilidh Wood, arts administrator
Alireza Gorgani, freelance artist
Maria Alejandra Nunez Oyaneder
Erin Humphry
Stephanie Taylor
Joanna Garfinkel, dramaturg
Heidi Taylor, theatre artist
Mirka Loiselle, art educator
Sphynx Church
Mariló Núñez, playwright & director
Denise Rogers Valenzuela
Suvendrini Lena
Soufïa Bensaïd
Nathaniel Hanula-James
Rebecca Casalino, artist
Natalie Tin Yin Gan, Hong Kong Exile Arts Association
Posy Legge
Phoenix Hourie
Jillian Groening
Alyssa Bornn, artist
Gislina Patterson
Blythe Haynes, actor/theatre maker
Celia Green
Marilyn Adlington
Madeline Rae, writer
Ali Robson
Nix Calma, visual artist
Shanae Sodhi, theatre artist
Shannon Pitre, theatre maker
Brigitte Plouffe
Misha Stone
Damien Nelson, press agent
Frankie Bayley, artist
Dylan Tate-Howarth, stage manager & poet
Reva Lokhande
Jo Burdon, artist
Victoria Wang
Hazel Kang
Brandon Crone, safeword
Charlie Petch, multidiscipline artist
Living Hyphen
Justine Abigail Yu, writer and founder of Living Hyphen
Melody McKiver, musician & professor
Hannah Zalaa-Uul, writer
Mariel Belanger, Syilx Performance artist
Mason Windels
Justin Santiago, actor
Nicole Partyka
Josh Marchesini, arts administrator
Emma Westray
Elizabeth Staples
Smokii Sumac, Ktunaxa poet
Irene Bindi
Angela Schleihauf
Sev Taylor, writer & student
Claud Spadafora
Joy Webster, filmmaker
River Oliveira, Jewish musician & sound designer, Local ADC659 member
Holly Ruth Stratton
Nicole Eun-Ju Bell, artist and artsworker
Nora Vision
Lili Robinson, theatre artist
Sarah Flynn
Natasha Greenblatt
Molly Aylwin
Marie Sotto
Durae McFarlane
Shanice Bowrin, actor and writer
ciaran brenneman
Ginny Chen
Maureen Da Silva
Maria Piñeros
Fatima Lopez
Dylan Carr
Max Snidal, tattoo artist
Chelsey Grewar
Sheilana Dela Cruz
Hajer Dawood
Pip Bradford
Hanna Reimer, visual artist
Megan Moore
Jasmine Case, actor
m. patchwork monoceros
Rebeca Araniva, standup comic
Sarah Yuen, theatre designer
Kieya Amirazodi
Samantha Vu
Laurel Fife
Kenzie Tsang
Jesús Maza Piñero
Jack Gross
Rosalind Goodwin
Eroca Nicols
Mahaila Smith
Joël Brodovsky-Adams
Debbie Patterson, theatre maker
D Badua, artist
Daina Leitold
danjelani ellis
Kim Paolo Laberinto
Shania R
Trinity Lloyd
Elio Zarrillo, theatre artist
Alex Cameron, Cloud
Becky Ablack
Taija Shonée Chung, theatre artist
Alexa shipanoff, artist
Makram Ayache
A. Morris
Jesiebelle Salcedo
Laurence Butet-Roch, photographer and art writer
Elizabeth Rodenburg
E. Sweeney
Black Triangle Arts Collective
Tidal River Artist Retreat
Omar Al-Samadi, Photographer
Mary-Dora Bloch-Hansen, BFA, MSW, dance artist
Probably Theatre Collective
Jade Janzen
Charles Hartnell
Caitlin McKenzie
Karley Jagusic
Emma Hennig
Jessica Westhead
Sereana Malani
Hannah Foulger
Emily Lizotte
Carrianne Leung
Thea Lim
Alanna Schwartz, Writer
Jonnie Lombard, performer
Everette Fournier, visual artist
Chimwemwe Undi
Stephan Rychlo
Kurt Brown
Kristian Jordan, actor
Megan Ronald
Keegan Steele, artist
Meganelizabeth Diamond
Rachel Penny, producer
Chloe Chafe and Andrew Eastman, Synonym Art Consultation
Daniel Péloquin-Hopfner, musician
Emily Christie
Jake Runeckles
Deanna Choi
Shayna Virginillo
Anna Morreale
Sarah Wong
Tuck Ellis
Madi May, playwright
Antoine Nicolas
Jessica Bowmer
Gabe Maharjan
steph cyr, dance artist
Priscila Gonzalez, theatre artist
Espoir Segbeaya, Actor
Hajera Khaja
AO Roberts
Lindsey Childs, editor
Darren Creech, queer pianist & performer
Lindsey Angell
Nasim Asgari
Valeria Venturo Esaine
Chadia Kikondjo, Artist
Amanda Leduc
Subhanya Sivajothy
Mel Thompson
Joelle Kidd, writer
Merlin Simard
Jessie Lutness
brawk hessel
Francisco Gonzalez Rosas
Ainsley Johnston
Liz Bragale
Emily Anglin
Tyson Fraleigh
Mary-Francis Kobelt
Dhanish Kumar Chinniah
James Cao, artist
Calder White
gracen m, artist
Bronwyn Schuster, visual artist
Pip Skid
Alexa Mardon
Zoe Kreye
Lisa Mariko Gelley, Artistic Co-Director of Company 605
Roewan Crowe
Shaunt Raffi
Julia Simone
Rita Leone, author
Elena Belyea and Tori Morrison, Tiny Bear Jaws
Olivia Paolino
Wei Qing Tan
Shyanne Duquette
isi bhakhomen, theatre practitioner
Doug zaklan
Sora Gibbons
Ann Douglas
Kelsey Myler
Kate Ziegler
Tarah Ahmad
Katherine Walker-Jones, musician and theatre artist
Eish Van Wieren
Jade R.
Jack Meldrum
Rianne Svelnis
Daniel Jordan, musician
Max Malfara
R H, artist
danielle wensley, multidisciplinary artist
Juliette Diodati
Stefan Wolf
leigh lugosi
Elizabeth G.
Muhan Zhang
Romi Kim, interdisciplinary artist
Artemis Wilkins
Kelly Bruton
jaye simpson, Oji-Cree multimedia artist
Mahlet Cuff, arts cultural worker
Aidan Pau
Lavender Flame
Simon Brown, poète et traducteur
Q Lawrence, interdisciplinary artist
Connor Yuzwenko-Martin, Deaf creative
The Invisible Practice, Deaf arts collective
Van Dang, multidisciplinary artist
Sheri Osden Nault
Carolina Bergonzoni
Jei So 서재형
Elysse Cheadle
Tanya Boteju
Kitt Peacock
Courtney Faulkner
Alex Gray
Sarah McInnis, Death Doula
Chariz Faulmino, artist
Eusebio López-Aguilar
Mattisen Meyer, visual artist
Heather Rumancik
Maureen St.Clair, conflict facilitator/trainer
Elizabeth MacLeod, illustrator
Jade Wallace
Belinda Corpuz, multidisciplinary artist
Carly Chamberlain
L. Lum, theatre artist
Sydney Letkeman
Rob Gardiner
Nick Campney-Durrant, tattoo artist and designer
Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster
Jivesh Parasram
Nabil Traboulsi
Margaret Rose
Makambe K. Simamba
Sam Schmidt, multidisciplinary artist
Lily Gao
Sheila I Isaro
Simon Dufresne
Rayannah Kroeker, artist and producer
Trevor Williams, Poet
Onestii Thornton
Caitlin G., writer
Al Schoenberg, artist
Brigita Gedgaudas
Hannah Marie, professional photographer
Alyssa Billingsley
Naomi McCarroll-Butler, musician
Lauren Allen
Atif Zaman
Megan Hutchings, textile artist
Danika Lorèn
Graham Nicholas
Shannon Linton
Whitney O’Hearn
Katherine Snell
Clay Sismondo, tattoo artist
Glenn Nuotio
Megan Miceli
Lovissa Wiens
Ziad Ek
Milena Krondl
Anne White, independent artist
Cyrus Lane, actor
Cat McCluskey, multidisciplinary artist
Kass Prus
Farzana Doctor, author
Midori Marsh
Holly Pickering, musician (sodium light)
La-Nai Gabriel, Composer and Producer
Sydney Taylor
Aoife McKechnie
Yolanda Bonnell, sovereign storyteller
Torien Cafferata, MFA student and Artistic Director
Nes Penney, visual artist
Sam Jeffery
Scott Button
April White
Emma Wishart
Carla Conradie
SB, curator/producer
Sonya Reynolds
Calgary Without Patriarchy: artists’ collective
Mic Jones
Jade Zhang
Emmalena Fredriksson
Jess Peng, cartoonist
Monique Mojica
Fateema Al-Hamaydeh Miller
Madeline Vandersluys, musician
Ashley Bate, arts administrator
sue goldstein, visual artist & writer
Leonarda Carranza, author
Mahak Jain, author
Deborah Barndt
B’atz’ Recinos
Gus Grass, poet and performer
Danielle Smith
Jessica Esmeralda Zepeda
Lido Pimienta
Catherine Hernandez, playwright
Samay Arcentales Cajas
Nazbah Tom, Writer and Somatic Practitioner
Rachel Ricketts, author & artivist
Garret Keown
Vanessa Anderson, Musician
Nishina Loft
Evangeline Y Brooks
Erin McDonald, writer
Shelby Tay
Jamaias DaCosta
Natalie King
Sadie Epstein-Fine
Shanna Wickens
Kayleigh Valentine, Visual Artist
Scaredy Cat Theatre Company
Tijana Spasic, Arts4all
Tyler J Sloane
usman khan
Collette Radau
Maddie Bautista
Ammarah Syed
Richard Fung
Rahaf Fasheh
Elizabeth Staples
Belinda Kwan, cultural worker
Zaynab Ghais-Mortada, visual artist and researcher
Carla Melo
Sarah Martin
Jacob Scheier
Aislinn Rose
Patricia Azevedo, artist
Heather Debling, writer
Charlene Moore, Human, Cree, York Factory First Nation
Charlene Van Buekenhout
Amanda Samuelson
erψn temp3st
Jess De Vitt
mike filippov
Daniela Navia, researcher
Michael Martini
Luke Francis Beirne, author
Estelle Ormond-King

If you’re an artist of any kind in so-called Canada and you’d like to add your name to this statement, you can do so here. This page will be updated intermittently with new signatories over the next few weeks.