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Hamburg senator takes a critical view of guest professorships by Ruangrupa members

Hamburg's Senator for Science has criticized the guest professorship of two members of the Indonesian Documenta curator collective, which is controversial because of anti-Semitism allegations, at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts (HFBK).

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Hamburg senator takes a critical view of guest professorships by Ruangrupa members

Hamburg's Senator for Science has criticized the guest professorship of two members of the Indonesian Documenta curator collective, which is controversial because of anti-Semitism allegations, at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts (HFBK). "The allegations of anti-Semitism at Documenta fifteen weigh heavily," said Katharina Fegebank (Greens) on Monday. They also concern the Ruangrupa collective, to which Reza Afisina and Iswanto Hartono belonged, "and they have a responsibility to clarify these allegations". There shouldn't be any unanswered questions if members of the collective are to teach in Hamburg.

The science authority is already holding talks with the HFBK. "It is not only necessary to deal with the open questions within an artistic university and within the framework of academic and artistic freedom, but also with the public," said Fegebank. One is in exchange with the HFBK to offer a format for this. “It must be absolutely clear that anti-Semitism is not a negotiation issue. There are no compromises when it comes to anti-Semitic ideas," she said.

Reza Afisina and Iswanto Hartono are to be presented as guest professors of the German Academic Exchange Service at the semester opening of the University of Fine Arts on Wednesday. According to a university spokeswoman, it is a guest professorship funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

"Hamburg's universities are autonomous in appointing their guest professorships, this is covered by academic freedom," said Fegebank. Universities should be places of critical discussion. "But academic freedom can and must never be a license for anti-Semitic ideas."

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