Russian Artists, Arts Groups No Longer Welcome at Many Venues

The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces has ignited responses from arts and cultural institutions around the world, which are canceling performances by Russian artists, many of whom are supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

The Cannes Film Festival, an invitation-only event that previews top-quality films from more than 80 countries, announced that no Russian delegations will be welcome this year, following the continued conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The festival is set to begin in May. 

“Unless the war of assault ends in conditions that will satisfy the Ukrainian people, it has been decided that we will not welcome official Russian delegations nor accept the presence of anyone linked to the Russian government,” festival organizers said in a statement released Tuesday. 

The festival may allow individual Russian filmmakers but has not stated whether their films will be permitted to compete. 

The European Broadcasting Union, producers of Eurovision, declared that Russia will no longer be allowed to enter acts for the popular Eurovision Song Contest. The decision came after recent recommendations by the contest’s governing body, the Reference Group, which underscored the values of the broadcasting union.   

Broadcasters from Iceland, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands had requested that Russia be barred from the contest.  

Valery Gergiev, chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and a Putin ally, was dismissed after refusing to condemn the Russian president’s actions in Ukraine.  

The internationally renowned conductor has had many of his concerts canceled and has been dropped by his management company. 

The Edinburgh International Festival, where Gergiev served as an honorary president, requested his resignation, saying, “Edinburgh is twinned with the city of Kyiv, and this action is being taken in sympathy with, and support of, its citizens.”  

Some artists oppose the global trend of cultural sanctions against Russia. 

French artist Ségolène Haehnsen Kan maintains a solo exhibition of her paintings in Moscow at the Surface Lab Art Gallery.  

“Art shouldn’t be prevented by war,” she told Artnet News. “It’s important for Ukrainian artists to know that artists in Russia support them.” 


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