Letter regarding the cancellation of a talk by Dr Walaa Alqaisiya

On 27 May, the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom wrote to the General Director of the Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation and to the Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna to express our serious and urgent concern regarding the cancellation of a talk by Dr Walaa Alqaisiya scheduled for May 30 at the Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies as part of its Spring Curatorial Program 2022, Art Geographies, organized by Verein K, by the Academy of Fine Arts, and by Mumok (Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation).

We call upon the organisers to inform Dr Alqaisiya in writing of the exact accusations levelled against her, including the specific grounds upon which those accusations have been made, and precisely which body or bodies took the decision to cancel her lecture. Dr Alqaisiya should also be informed of both the regulations and processes governing the decision taken by organisers, and the grounds for appeal and redress available to her.

We also call upon the organisers to rescind this decision and issue a full apology to Dr Alqaisiya in view of the grave and unsubstantiated nature of the accusations against her and in view of the damage to her personal and professional reputation.