Suspension of exchange partnership

15 May 2024

Dear KABK community members, dear students, teachers and staff,

After careful consideration and in line with our shared values, we, the Academy Interim Directorate (AID) of the KABK, have decided to suspend our exchange partnership with Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. Read here our letter to the Student Union. The Student Union's Instastories about this letter got quickly picked up by the major Dutch newspapers over the weekend.

This decision is the result of multiple discussions, leading towards the General Assembly on 25 April. We made this decision because we learned that Bezalel engaged in sewing and repairing military uniforms without addressing potential human rights violations. By remaining silent on these matters, they inadvertently lend support to those that disregard fundamental rights.

Continue the dialogue

This conversation is far from over. We are committed to ongoing dialogue within our art community. Following the General Assembly, Studium Generale has organised a program on May 22, titled ‘Academy as a Site of Struggle’. This program will feature guest speakers from diverse backgrounds and breakout sessions designed to facilitate in-depth discussions. Our dialogue extends beyond expressing concerns about the conflict in Gaza, it also underscores the importance of sustained communication in our increasingly polarised world. It marks the beginning of discussions on an ethical framework to guide our position as an art academy on human rights violations.

Respect. Dialogue. Care.

As we are a part of the transformation in our society, we have the responsibility of progressing with a commitment to inclusivity, embracing diverse voices and recognising nuance. We strongly oppose all forms of discrimination including antisemitism, islamophobia and xenophobia. We urge every member of our community to persist in seeking ways for open dialogue guided by empathy and compassion.

    Let us continue the dialogue peacefully and with respect.

    Warm regards,

    Academy Interim Directorate:
    Maaike Roozenburg, Lizzy Kok, Lotte Sprengers