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The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna is deeply saddened by the immeasurable escalation of violence in the Middle East. We mourn for all the victims of Hamas' unjustifiable terrorist attack on the State of Israel and its people, as well as for all the victims on the side of the Palestinian civil population.

We demand the immediate release of all abductees who are still being held hostage in Gaza and as well the adherence of humanitarian international law by Israel. Just as the existence of the state of Israel is beyond doubt, so too is the right of the Palestinian population to a self-determined life free of fear.

As an educational institution, the Academy must be a space for dialog and debate (within the limits of the law). This also means that it must ensure that there is no room for anti-Semitism, anti-Islamic and anti-Palestinian racism. Our aim is to provide a safe space for staff and students of all backgrounds to engage in dialog, exchange, knowledge production and transfer, debate and dissent, research and artistic practice in a constructive and respectful way.

The spiral of violence must be broken. When terror and war merge and innocent people and children are killed, this expresses a fundamental failure of politics. On all sides, we want to support those forces that strive for understanding and raise their voices to end the violence.

Rectorate and Senate