A statement calling for government action to mitigate the loss of lives in the Middle East

Whitechapel Gallery is located in the East End of London – an area that has, over the centuries, offered refuge to many diverse and displaced communities, often fleeing conflict, persecution and violence.

As an arts organisation that unequivocally supports freedom of expression, diversity of beliefs and human rights, Whitechapel Gallery stands in full solidarity with all victims of violence, terror and oppression.  We believe that we have a responsibility, both as part of a community, and as a cultural institution, to speak up, as the events in Israel and Palestine have escalated over the past weeks to dangerous levels.

We reject violence against all civilians, regardless of their identity, religion, or ethnicity.  We believe that all people have a right to live safely and without fear.  We condemn any action that results in loss of life and infringement of basic rights and freedom.  Alongside many other artists, colleagues and arts organisations, we are urging governments and politicians to effect an immediate ceasefire, and to call for the opening of Gaza’s crossings to ensure safe passage of humanitarian aid to all those who so desperately need it.