Sharjah Call for Action

International and local art community condemns unwarranted dismissal of Sharjah Art Foundation Director Jack Persekian and the censorship of artworks in the Sharjah Biennial. On April 6th, 2011, Jack Persekian, Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation since 2005, was dismissed without notice by the ruler of Sharjah, HH. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi. The sudden termination of Persekian’s post came after a public outcry over the perceived offensive content in an artwork exhibited in the 10th edition of the Sharjah Biennial by Algerian artist, journalist and activist Mustapha Benfodil. Sharjah Art Foundation builds on the pioneering role the Emirate of Sharjah has played in the artistic and cultural development of the Gulf region. Inspired by the cross-fertilisation and rich cultural diversity of the Emirates, the Foundation provides both national and international leadership in the production and presentation of contemporary visual arts. Recognising the central and distinctive contribution that art makes to society, the Sharjah Art Foundation cultivates a spirit of research, experimentation and excellence while acting as a catalyst for collaboration and exchange within the Middle East and beyond.