Major artworld figures sign Gulf Labor protest letter

Anne Pasternak, Anselm Franke, Charles Esche, Claire Hsu, Koyo Kouoh, Mami Kataoka, Nicholas Serota and Vasıf Kortun among the 60 plus names

Saadiyat Island. Photo and Courtesy: Gregory Sholette

More than 60 international artworld curators, critics and institutional directors have added their voices to a recent letter from artists opposing the barring of Gulf Labor Coalition supporters artists Ashok Sukumaran and Walid Raad and NYU professor Andrew Ross from entering the UAE, by signing their own protest letter.

The new letter, addressed to UAE art institutions, and their affiliates, including Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York, Sharjah Art Foundation and Art Dubai states that 'denying artists visas, stopping and deporting them after years of their work in the region, creates a chilling precedent and makes it difficult for arts and academic institutions in the UAE, and those working with the UAE to claim regional dialogue and artistic freedom'. 

Gulf Labor is an artist-initiated group that has been active since 2010, asking museums and institutions being built on Saadiyat Island to create better conditions for their workers.

The Gulf Labor petition can be signed here

2 June 2015