Palestinian activists slam Nick Cave’s show in ‘land of injustice’

Nick Cave
Updated 20 November 2017
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Palestinian activists slam Nick Cave’s show in ‘land of injustice’

JERUSALEM: Supporters of an international boycott movement against Israel have lashed out at rock star Nick Cave after he played in the Jewish state on Sunday.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel called Cave’s shows a “propaganda gift” that helps “art-wash” Israeli policies against Palestinians.
“Nick Cave’s performances in Tel Aviv and recent statement are a propaganda gift to Israeli apartheid,” the group said in a statement. “We thank Nick Cave for making one thing abundantly clear— playing Tel Aviv is never simply about music. It is a political and moral decision to stand with the oppressor against the oppressed.”
The independent initiative Artists for Palestine UK also issued a statement: “Artists for Palestine UK believe it is Palestinians who know the meaning of daily humiliation and silencing. We regret that in a land of injustice Nick Cave is giving comfort to the unjust.”
“Nick Cave pretends that Artists for Palestine UK’s insistence on the restoration of Palestinian rights somehow infringes the rights of others. But what are we to make of a privileged artist who somehow contrives to turn the notion of a collective protest against the destruction of an entire people into a complaint that it is he that is being silenced? What are we to make of the fact that Cave makes such a statement, but does not care to mention the word ‘Palestinian’?” the group asked.
The BDS movement, which calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel, has enlisted the support of Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters and has persuaded some performers like Elvis Costello and Lauren Hill against playing.
Back in February, when Cave & the Bad Seeds announced plans to perform in Tel Aviv, several artists and film makers — including Waters, Mike Leigh and Ken Loach had signed Artists for Palestine’s open letter urging Cave to cancel the dates.


With Saudi roots and an Indian heart, Al-Kazi is an act the stage will never forget

Updated 21 February 2019
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With Saudi roots and an Indian heart, Al-Kazi is an act the stage will never forget

  • Though an icon in India, few people know about Al-Kazi’s Saudi roots

JEDDAH: India has always been a hub of art and culture. Over the last century, movies emerged as the most expressive cultural medium, and the Indian film industry — commonly known as Bollywood — has since become a powerhouse of world cinema.

One can never do its history justice without mentioning Ebrahim Al-Kazi.

A renowned director and drama teacher, he worked as the director of the prestigious New Delhi-based National School of Drama (NSD) from 1962 to 1977, teaching many well-known future actors and fellow directors, including Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah and Rohini Hattangadi. He also founded the Art Heritage Gallery in New Delhi.

Though an Indian icon, however, few people know about Al-Kazi’s Saudi roots. His father, Hamad bin Ali Al-Kazi, was a trader from Unaiza in the Kingdom’s Qassim region, who subsequently settled in Pune, India, where Ebrahim was born in 1925. 

Early on in his career, Al-Kazi worked with the Bombay Progressive Artists Group, which included M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza, Akbar Padamsee and Tyeb Mehta, who would all later contribute to the design of his sets.

He worked in India, the US and Europe before becoming the director of the NSD, and later of the Asian Theater Institute, and is credited with staging more than 50 plays in his lifetime. He also contributes to the preservation of Indian cultural history through his Al-Kazi Foundation for the Arts.

In February 2015, Al-Kazi was honored at the second Saudi Film Festival in Dammam. He was later quoted in Arab media sources on his Saudi upbringing: “Our father was a firm believer in our cultural roots that went back to Saudi Arabia, and we spoke only Arabic at home. We had a teacher of Arabic and Islamic studies who came from Saudi Arabia, and lived as part of our family.

“Arab families (in India) did not mix very much with others, but my father had close ties with people other than Arabs,” he added.

Al-Kazi has also won many prestigious Indian awards. He was the first recipient of Roopwedh Pratishthan’s Tanvir Award in 2004 for his contribution to Indian theater, and in 1966 received the Padma Shri award. He won the Padma Bhushan award in 1991, and was given India’s second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, in 2010.