Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Northern Mali group Tinariwen and the Boycott of Israel

Northern Mali group Tinariwen, announced yesterday on facebook that numerous scheduled artists that were booked for Plugfest Israel cancelled, stating:

Rumours and polemics started to flourish on the internet and social networks, artists were pressured to boycott the festival for political reasons. Movements grew and numerous scheduled artists took off the air by themselves, Tinariwen did not. 

The list of artists that had booked for Plugfest Apartheid Israel included Azealia Banks, !!! Chk, Chk, Chk, 2ManyDJs, CSS, Tiger Love, Water Knot, Jessie Ware and Lee Scratch Perry.  On 2 May !!! Chk, Chk, Chk tweeted cheerfully that "Plug has been pulled on Plugfest Israel.  Xtra night in London, @Jessie_Ware, let's jam.

Tinariwen goes on in their facebook statement to assert their concerns about Plugfest Israel promoters unwillingness to compensate them for the expenses they incurred since they were not one of the artists who cancelled out of the gig:

Tinariwen have engaged costs to perform for this event and did not cancel their coming like other artists. On the official facebook page of Plugfest posts can be read from people having bought tickets which have not been refunded yet.
There is not much to add except that we firmly denounce the behaviour of Plug Productions representatives, based on opacity of informations and bad faith.

Tinariwen also seems oblivious to the fact that most of the Negev desert has already been ethnic cleansed from the Bedouin. One of the villages, Al Araqeeb has been destroyed by the Israeli authorities more than 40 times in the last 3 years, since 27 July 2010. 

Several facebook members informed the musicians about  the nomads in the Negev/Naqab desert.  

One facebook member states:  

Tinariwen, show you really care for the Bedouins. Visit them and hear from them how their water containers are stolen by Israeli forces leaving them without a drop of water. 
How in spite of Israel denying them any infrastructure the Bedouins made the desert bloom, but Israel destroyed and uprooted all they built and nurtured: 
"Hundreds of Israeli police officers and soldiers first demolished dozens of homes and animal pens and uprooted thousands of olive trees in Al-Araqib in July 2010. The Israeli authorities have regularly returned to demolish tents and basic structures that residents have erected there ever since."

See their facebook for the entire stream.