They were dropped them reinvited to Ruhrtriennale Festival because of their BDS association.
Young Fathers have found themselves at the centre of a political storm after being dropped from the line-up of Germany's Ruhrtriennale Festival for their pro-Palestine affiliations, before then being reinvited to perform. It comes at a difficult time for Germany, as comparisons are drawn between the BDS and the Nazi era attitudes.
Young Fathers performing in Manchester
The Scottish trio have been vocal supporters of the pro-Palestinian movement 'Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions' (BDS) for some time, pulling out of Berlin's Pop-Kultur Festival last year over concerns that a donation had been made to the event by the Israeli embassy. But not everyone agrees with the political stance they have taken.
They were initially removed from the Ruhrtriennale line-up after they 'regrettably failed to distance itself from BDS', but it was a move that was described as 'censorship, `blacklisting' and repression', and artistic director Stefanie Carp later backtracked on this statement and asked to sign them up again.
'As a German, it is of course difficult for me to be linked to a movement that boycotts Israel', Carp explained in a statement. 'But I have invited the Young Fathers and not the BDS. In many interviews, the Young Fathers have made it credible that they reject anti-Semitism in any form.'
Several other artists had dropped out of the line-up to show support for Young Fathers, though many of them, including Lebanese guitarist Sharif Sehnaoui, have since returned to the schedule over the new circumstances. The festival will also include a discussion panel on the issues raised with this controversy.
Still, the Mercury Prize winners have declined the reinvite. Needless to say, for some the damage has already been done. German culture minister criticised the move to reinvite Young Fathers, claiming that it would 'give the BDS campaign a platform... at times of increasing antisemitic crimes'.
Ruhrtriennale Festival takes place from August 18th to September 30th 2018.