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Egyptian Musicians Boycott CTM Festival in Solidarity With Palestine

Yas meen Selectress, Jana and El Kontessa joined the global boycott of German state-funded cultural institutions.

Farah Desouky

Egyptian Musicians Boycott CTM Festival in Solidarity With Palestine

Egyptian DJ and producer Jana as well as musician El Kontessa and Yas Meen Selectress have released statements announcing their withdrawal from CTM Festival, citing the new International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) guidelines - a ‘working definition of antisemitism.

The IHRA guidelines have been criticized in their ambiguous and misleading equation between anti-zionism and antisemitism, a clause which has been used to silence criticism solidarity with the Palestinian cause especially following October 7th and the escalating genocide in Gaza.

The artists’ decision comes amid Strike Germany’s global call to boycott German state-funded cultural institutions in solidarity with Palestine. The performances would have served as El Kontessa’s Berlin-debut and Jana’s European debut.

“The German government’s support of the massacre and apartheid of the Palestinian people stands to be the main reason why the international community of artists around the globe needs to boycott Germany, Berlin to be specific,” Jana said in a statement, “I will be withdrawing from CTM Festival this year as part of the ongoing strike against IHRA regulations which further suppress artists from the global south amidst the genocide in Gaza,” stated El Kontessa.

“In light of the German government's unwavering support for the genocide of the Palestinian people at the hands of Israel, and the disturbing trend of suppressing pro-Palestinian voices within German cultural institutions, including clubs and venues, I decided to withdraw my participation from the state-funded CM festival this year,” said Yas Meen Selectress in a statement.

CTM Festival is slated for January 26th to February 4th at Berlin's Berghain, a club that has reportedly cancelled pro Palestine artists’ performances recently. On January 12th Lebanese-French artist Arabian Panther announced that his performance at the club was cancelled due to his ‘pro Palestine stance’ he stated on Instagram.