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Sunday, September 11 • 3:15pm - 4:15pm
Bridging divides: a response to the Sydney Festival Boycott

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The boycott of this year’s Sydney Festival by the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement shocked and saddened many of us. Local violinist Ben and festival organiser Nawfel, who fled Iraq as a refugee in 2005, were particularly aggrieved by the activists’ claims that the Sydney Festival had been rendered “culturally unsafe” on account of the Israeli Embassy agreeing to fund one show. Ben and Nawfel published an op-ed in The Sydney Morning Herald opposing the boycott and the politicisation of art, and have since been engaged in building cultural bridges between their communities. This is their story.

avatar for Ben Adler

Ben Adler

Ben is a Sydney-based Jewish Australian violinist and the son of an Egyptian refugee. He has lectured in music at UNSW, and has performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Ben currently leads klezmer fusion band CHUTNEY and the Nomad String Quartet. He also plays regularly at... Read More →
avatar for Nawfel Alfaris

Nawfel Alfaris

Nawfel is an Iraqi-born Australian Mandeaen who arrived here as a refugee in 2005. He works in the pharmaceutical industry. Nawfel is passionate about organising cultural events that introduce ethnic diversity to mainstream Australian society.

Sunday September 11, 2022 3:15pm - 4:15pm AEST
Room 7/8