Malian artist barred from UK

Visiting Artists’ Campaign, latest news…

An audience member at an artist’s talk that took place on Tuesday 6 December, expressed her huge disappointment about the absence of Malian artist Abdoulaye Konate. The artist was invited to give a talk about his new commission for Rivington Place, but faced visa problems.

Lara Pawson contacted the Manifesto Club hotline with the following statement: “Huge disappointment last night when long-awaited Q&A with superb Malian artist, Abdoulaye Konate, could not take place due to his immigration problems in Paris. Shame and irritation are what I feel. Theresa May is a fool. We can only benefit from the presence of people like AK coming to London to talk to us about their work. Why should he experience any problems at all? Such huge disrespect to a great man.”

Manick Govinda, Artists Producer at Artsadmin who is spearheading the campaign with the Manifesto Club is furious: “The restrictions on invited short visits by artists from African and Asian countries are particularly severe. I’m not one to bandy the word racism about, but I am very concerned that we may soon see a cultural apartheid in the UK of one rule that favours Europeans and rich English speaking nations, and another rule which bars artists from poor developing countries taking part in artistic projects and talks in the UK.”