Greens concerned over allegations State Library is cancelling artists' contracts amid Gaza crisis


The Victorian Greens have expressed concern over allegations the State Library of Victoria has terminated a number of artist contracts in recent weeks amid the ongoing crisis in Palestine.

Artists have alleged they were told their contracts would be postponed so the Library could review its “child and cultural safety processes” during a time of “heightened sensitivities”.

Victorian Greens arts spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri, said in the past five months the Israeli military has killed or injured more than 100,000 Palestinians, and that during times of great injustice the work of artists was more important than ever.

She added that it would be incredibly concerning if a public institution like the State Library was caving to pressure and putting artists out of work. 

Ms de Vietri has written to the Library asking for an explanation for the cancellations, or alternatively, for the artists’ contracts to be reinstated.

Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens arts spokesperson, Gabrielle de Vietri MP:

“It would be indefensible for public institutions to silence artists for speaking out against genocide. I do hope that’s not what’s happened here and that the State Library can offer an appropriate explanation for cancelling these workshops.

“The arts play a crucial role in social change. They help us process injustice and create a better world.

“At a time when Israel is committing unthinkable acts against Palestinians, we should be encouraging people to speak out for humanity, not silencing them.”