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A statement from the Barbican

At the Barbican we always strive to use our platform and programme to represent the widest possible range of world views, human experiences, artistic expressions, and enable free exchange of ideas and debate. 

As part of RESOLVE Collective: them’s the breaks series of Barbican-programmed events in the Curve Gallery, the co-founder of the Palestine-based Radio Alhara was invited to deliver a streamed talk remotely on the radical possibilities of radio, in a session on Thursday evening 15 June, exploring how broadcasting can be used as a tool of subversion.

In haste, shortly before the event was due to begin, the Barbican shared an editorial note with the speaker asking him to avoid spending too much time discussing free Palestine. The situation was compounded by a technical failure with the live broadcast, which unfortunately brought the event to an abrupt close. 

This intervention by the Barbican relating to the content of the talk was unacceptable and a serious error of judgement, for which we are deeply sorry. As an organisation we believe in the importance of free speech, dialogue and debate - giving a platform to the experiences and views of individuals and groups involved in free Palestine is part of this commitment. 

It is important to all of us that this event takes place as planned. We have since spoken and apologised to those involved, and agreed for the talk to be rescheduled in the near future.