University of Manchester: #RescindYourPressure for Alistair Hudson's resignation

University of Manchester: #RescindYourPressure for Alistair Hudson's resignation

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Maria Ioming started this petition

Dear Nancy Rothwell, 
President and Vice Chancellor, University of Manchester, 

We are writing to you to urgently rescind the University of Manchester's pressure on Alistair Hudson for his resignation as Director of the Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery. 

Today 23 artists withdrew from participating in the British Art Show 9. Their withdrawal will mean that the city of Manchester will not experience their work as part of this touring exhibition.

It will mean that organisations and artists will continue to step away from presenting work at the Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery, which will directly impact the culture of the city of Manchester. 

The University of Manchester's actions will threaten the culture industry by pathing the way towards division and making it impossible for the us to have the capacity to hold complexity and differences of opinion.

Your pressure on a Director to resign; - who in a particularly turbulent time has continued to show criticality, community and integrity of vision are directly against your own research beacons. With a supportive figure as Director, Alistair Hudson, with the Whitworth staff and Manchester Art Gallery staff have championed 'pioneering discoveries, interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector partnerships that are tackling some of the biggest questions facing the planet'.

You are directly challenging the integrity of what it means to be a cultural worker and so we collectively urge you to rescind the University of Manchester's pressure on Alistair Hudson for his resignation and by doing so uphold academic freedom. 

We condemn the University’s capitulation to continued UKLFI pressure and demands, which sets a very dangerous precedent, particularly in the spaces we work: cultural institutions, galleries and higher education. We stand in full support and solidarity with the entire Whitworth staff, who have made the institution an exemplar of a civic public space and a useful museum. We believe there is neither space for such actions nor possible engagement with the University and its platforms, especially when public expression is limited, and evidence for human rights violations is obscured. Truth needs to be made public, and cultural spaces have to remain open for difficult discussions.

Operating a museum that is useful to a varied host of communities does not come without conflict or discomfort. However a museum has to learn and practise these conflicts besides our, at times, differing opinions. 
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In solidarity with the ongoing liberation struggle of Palestine and Palestinians living under the Israeli occupation; in support of political freedom, and artistic expression in cultural institutions and universities across the UK, we call to you, to witness this letter and rescind your pressure. 

We thank the artists that pathed the way towards articulation, grace and power-with, who's words formed the foundation for this request: Zach Blas, Kathrin Böhm, Maeve Brennan, James Bridle, Helen Cammock, Jamie Crewe, Mandy El-Sayegh, Mark Essen, Beatrice Gibson, Celia Hempton, Lawrence Lek, Ghislaine Leung, Paul Maheke, Oscar Murillo, Uriel Orlow, Florence Peake, Heather Phillipson, Joanna Piotrowska, Margaret Salmon, Hrair Sarkissian, Cooking Sections, Tai Shani and Rehana Zaman. 

#RESCINDYOURPRESSURE

#UPHOLDACADEMICFREEDOM

 

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