In Leaked Audio, Queens Museum Director Declines to Issue Statement on Gaza

In Leaked Audio, Queens Museum Director Declines to Issue Statement on Gaza

On November 12, demonstrators created an altar in entrance of the Queens Museum in honor of the Palestinians within the Gaza Strip who’ve been killed by Israeli forces since October 7. (all photographs used with permission)

An audio recording of a gathering between Queens Museum workers and management leaked to Hyperallergic reveals opposing views of the museum’s duty to handle Israel’s ongoing assaults on Gaza. In her dialog with 5 employees who requested the establishment to launch a press release about Gaza, Director Sally Tallant explains that the museum can’t achieve this as a result of it “just isn’t in a position to make political statements.”   

The assembly yesterday, November 16, adopted a collective letter signed by 17 Queens Museum staff final month calling on museum management to reckon with its constructing’s historical past because the website of the United Nations 1947 vote to undertake Resolution 181 (II), in accordance with inner emails verified by Hyperallergic. Otherwise often known as the UN Partition Plan for Palestine, this decision divided Palestine into two Jewish and Arab states when Great Britain’s Palestinian mandate expired. Among many Israelis, this vote continues to be celebrated as the primary legitimization of Israel on the world stage. But for Palestinians, the partition is remembered because the catalyst for the 1948 Nakba (which means “disaster” in Arabic) that expelled 700,000 Palestinians from their homeland. 

The museum’s plaque acknowledges the constructing’s historical past as the previous headquarters for the United Nations.

While the Queens Museum has a plaque commemorating that the UN General Assembly met in what was then often known as the New York City Building, and makes basic point out of this on its web site, the establishment doesn’t check with the vote’s impression on Palestinians.

The current leaked audio reveals that the cultural establishment continues to refuse to acknowledge how the vote’s legacy nonetheless actively harms Palestinians right this moment. In her response to the employees, who’ve requested to stay nameless, Tallant invokes the establishment’s nonprofit standing in addition to the museum’s bylaws and the American Alliance of Museums’ Code of Ethics.

When staff requested why these bylaws and ethics codes didn’t lengthen to the museum’s 2020 public assertion through the Black Lives Matter protests, Tallant responded by saying that this announcement was “written as a dedication.”

“We felt that truly as a museum we might do one thing … very deliberately, which was that we are able to have an effect on change in our working situations, our workers, the make-up of our board,” Tallant mentioned. 

The employees additionally identified the Queens Museum hosts a meals pantry and has an Indigenous Practice Studio program, examples of a give attention to social justice and supporting traditionally marginalized individuals, and argued that the museum has the chance to make tangible motion by contextualizing its plaque commemorating the 1947 vote with extra info. They additionally famous that the establishment has a dwelling land acknowledgment in its constructing and on its web site.

However, Tallant reiterated that the Queens Museum “can’t make a press release due to our standing as a nonprofit establishment, as a result of we’re a museum and it’s not our job.”

“Where is our assertion on Ukraine? Where is our assertion on Congo?” Tallant continues, including that though the museum can’t problem a press release expressing solidarity with Palestine, it could actually proceed to interact with this problem and different so-called political issues by means of its programming.

The Queens Museum has not but responded to Hyperallergic’s request for remark.

Demonstrators held up an indication on November 12 calling out the Queens Museum constructing’s historical past as the location the place the UN Partition Plan for Palestine was adopted.

Founded in 1972, the Queens Museum is situated in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in one of the crucial ethnically numerous neighborhoods on the planet, and its mission assertion says that the museum strives to be “open, responsive, inclusive, and empathetic.” Tallant, who was beforehand creative director of the Liverpool Biennial within the United Kingdom and head of applications at London’s Serpentine Galleries, was appointed president and govt director of the Queens Museum in 2019.

In late 2017, the museum hosted a controversial reenactment of the UN Partition vote after succumbing to stress from Israeli and New York politicians who accused the museum of antisemitism for initially canceling the occasion. A commemoration of Israel’s seventieth anniversary, the occasion adopted former Governor Cuomo’s still-in impact govt order requiring state businesses to divest all public funds from establishments and corporations in assist of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) motion. Former Queens Museum Director Laura Raicovich stepped down from her position within the wake of the controversy, prompting curators, artists, and lecturers to signal an open letter in assist of the culturally and politically engaged programming below her management.

HI-FI News

through Hyperallergic https://ift.tt/BQOlhuR

November 18, 2023 at 01:52AM

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