On Tuesday evening, the cultural center Oyoun on Lucy-Lameck-Straße in Neukölln announced that its funding will be canceled and the facility will close next month. The responsible parties expressed their shock at this news, following much public criticism of Oyoun’s work since the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.
Since 2020, the former Workshop of Cultures has been sponsored by an organization with the mission to implement “artistic-cultural projects through decolonial, queer*feminist and migrant perspectives” and to create “space for critical debate, reflected experimentation and radical solidarity.” However, there has been criticism of Oyoun’s work in recent weeks, particularly because the space was made available to groups like the “Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East,” which is associated with BDS, after the Hamas attack. The Berlin Cultural Senate urged the cancellation of the planned “mourning and hope celebration” for the 20th anniversary of the Jewish Voice, which Oyoun viewed as an infringement on freedom of art and expression.
Although the Instagram statement indicated that the Senate announced a “cancellation” of funds on Monday, it seems unlikely that Oyoun will receive new funding given these circumstances.