Why boycott culture? A debate, Sunday 10th July, London

Why boycott culture?

Ian McEwan’s acceptance of the Jerusalem Prize raised a storm of protest. We debate the motion ‘Cultural boycott can be an effective, indeed morally imperative, political strategy’.

Sunday 10th July, 7pm
Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London
Book tickets (£10 plus £1.75 booking fee for non-members; concessions half price)

Speaking for the motion:

  • Omar Barghouti, human rights activist and author of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions – The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights
  • Seni Seneviratne, poet, author of Wild Cinammon and Winter Skin

Speaking against the motion:

  • Carol Gould, broadcaster and author of Don’t Tread on Me – Anti-Americanism Abroad
  • Jonathan Freedland, a columnist for the Guardian, and author of six books including Jacob’s Gift.

4 Responses to “Why boycott culture? A debate, Sunday 10th July, London”

  1. Benjamin Says:

    Omar Barghouti is the one who goes to an Israeli university, right? I hope someone calls him out on that, and ask if they should boycott him and his work.

  2. Absolute Observer Says:


    One word equals a million token gestures. But, I guess it is easier to sit in London and stop others saying them.

  3. Absolute Observer Says:


    “When I attended a meeting of the Palestine Twinning Campaign at Goldsmiths I felt like it was 1939 all over again. I was expecting a real dialogue but instead they were calling for academic boycotts of Israel, they were rallying young students who were desperate to be passionate about something to silence people like me; to silence artists and intellectuals who believe in human beings and mutual tolerance, who are the real hope for peace and for a bright future. I was horrified. What next? Would they start burning Israeli books? I promptly made the work “Save the Date” where I dressed up as a giant boycotted Israeli date and pleaded with my fellow artists to eat me. I performed it twice at Goldsmiths but the second performance was boycotted by the students. What utter absurdity, I thought: to boycott a performance about boycotting!”

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