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The banner of the apartheid activists in Zurich. Screenshot from YouTube

Zurich artist collective demands racial segregation

Last week, a self-proclaimed collective of black artists occupied the Gessnerallee theater in downtown Zurich. Their goal was to introduce apartheid and racial segregation: The African activists demanded a "non-white theater house".

Published: November 7, 2022, 6:53 am

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    The collective Experi-Theater, consists exclusively of black artists.

    The BLM movement and its efflorescence not only demand a cult-like fanaticism from whites, but have also turned institutionalized racial segregation into a fashionable pursuit for black people. Those insisting that “black lives matter” have evidently also embraced the notion that “only black lives matter”.

    Thus BLM has become a contradiction that is challenged least of all by its members. Apartheid has rarely been so succinctly and emphatically embraced as the Zurich “artist collective” managed to do with their occupation campaign.

    Humans apparently identify with the color of their skin

    In addition to the obligatory “Black Lives Matter”, a banner was hung out of the windows of the theater (suitably painted in the Ukrainian national colors of blue and yellow) which read: “Non-White Theaterhaus/House of Anti-Racism”.

    The background to the action is a “spatial conflict” that has arisen since a recent renovation. The collective had previously used the workshop and individual rooms of the theater on their own initiative, but because they were now supposed to clear them, they instead opted to man the barricades… of apartheid.

    The management of the Theater Gessnerallee have said they were committed to racial inclusion. The group of people of color from the art scene has nevertheless occupied part of the building for over a month and has denied entry to white people. Unsurprisingly, no one dares to take action –  the issue is far too sensitive.

    ‘White Brutality’

    The collective of “anti-white racists”, who, according to Weltwoche, received CHF 117 000 in state subsidies from the city of Zurich in 2022 alone, denounced “white brutality”. The Swiss taxpayer is therefore allowed to pay for the artist collective’s dream of racial segregation.

    On social media, the group attacked their sponsors: “We no longer tolerate the brutality of established white institutions like the Gessnerallee Theater.” The theater wanted to destroy “their space, their works, their voices and their existence,” they said.

    Theater director of Nigerian origin

    There is one particularly bizarre fact in this whole saga: The occupied theater itself is run by a mixed-race woman: Michelle Akanji, whose father is from Nigeria. Despite that, the collective addressed their demand for a “non-white theater” with the program to be “curated” in such a way that from now on it would be possible for “…non-BIPoC” to “unlearn white practices” in that only “Black, Indigenous and People of Color” are allowed to work in the “safer space”.

    Actually, the correct English is “safe space”, but taking over half-baked American slogans has not deterred the apartheid activists.

    Inclusion leads to strife

    Michelle Akanji, not ‘black’ enough for the apartheid activists. Screenshot from YouTube

    In 2020, three young women took over the management of the Theaterhaus Gessnerallee in the heart of Zurich, announcing a new era for the cultural venue and the clearing of the stage for “inclusion, equality, tolerance and diversity”.

    Akanji also happens to be the sister of national team player Manuel Akanji, and worked with the exclusively black group from the Experi Theater from the start. Its founder, director and director is Vijayashanthan Pakkiyanathan from Sri Lanka, who had come to Switzerland as an asylum seeker.

    The latter’s unwavering will and commitment paid off: As the Tagesanzeiger reported, the Experi Theater has so far received not only funding amounting to CHF 207 000 from the city of Zurich in the last two years alone. A year ago, the artist collective was also awarded a sponsorship prize from the Canton of Zurich, endowed with CHF 30 000.

    Meanwhile, the theater management, the artist collective and the city have been trying to find a solution through mediation. The NZZ reported that the first breakthrough has been achieved: The Experi Theater withdrew from the north wing last week. It is not clear how much money was involved to make the activists change their minds, but some sources speak of considerable amounts.

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