Artist Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Jr pulls out of Goethe Institut film festival in support of Palestinian activist Mohammed El Kurd – Art & Culture

Following in the footsteps of writer Mohammad Hanif who withdrew from a Goethe Institut conference, artist Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Jr has lent support to Palestinian activist Mohammed El Kurd by pulling his film Heaven 58 from a film festival hosted by the cultural institute of Germany.

Taking the announcement to Instagram on Tuesday, he wrote, “In solidarity with Mohammed El Kurd and the Palestinian people I have withdrawn my film Heaven 58 from a film festival hosted by the Goethe Institut.” He did not mention the festival name.

He said his decision was based on the institute’s recent move to disinvite Kurd from a summit. Bhutto said that the institute’s decision to remove the Palestinian activist shows their “anti-Palestinian and clearly pro-Zionist” stance.

His post received comments from journalist Maria Memon, writer Usman Khilji, his sister and author Fatima Bhutto, host Anoushey Ashraf, Indian celebrity stylist Akshay Tyagi and Korean-American writer Alexander Chee.

Previously Red Birds author Hanif had taken to Twitter and wrote that Kurd was invited and then disinvited from the “Beyond the Lone Offender – Dynamics of the Global Right” summit, scheduled to be held from June 23 to 26 in Hamburg, because he was not “respectful enough towards Israel.”

He shared Kurd’s story by supporting the activist for his stance on a “ruthless apartheid regime”.

Hanif was supposed to speak about the dynamics of right wing structures and reasoned that the conversation could not be had after silencing a key witness like Kurd.

Kurd has been raising his voice against the apartheid for years. Last year, his story about Sheikh Jarrar, his hometown, went viral online when protesters staged a demonstration against the planned expulsion of Palestinians.

The 24-year-old has about 746,000 followers on Instagram and almost 249,000 on Twitter.

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