On Tuesday evening, the cultural center Oyoun on Lucy-Lameck-Straße in Neukölln announced that its funding will be canceled and the facility will close next month. This news has shocked many, particularly given the recent criticism of Oyoun’s work following the Hamas attack on Israel in October.
Since 2020, Oyoun has been sponsored by an organization with a mission to implement “artistic-cultural projects through decolonial, queer*feminist and migrant perspectives” and to create “space for critical debate, reflected experimentation and radical solidarity.” However, in recent weeks, there has been criticism of Oyoun’s work, particularly because it made its space available to groups like the “Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East,” which is associated with BDS. The Berlin Cultural Senate also urged the cancellation of a planned “mourning and hope celebration” for the 20th anniversary of this group, which Oyoun viewed as an infringement on freedom of art and expression.
While an Instagram statement from Oyoun indicated that this funding was canceled by the Senate on Monday, it appears that this may not be entirely accurate. The Senate is currently discussing “a new profile” for Oyoun’s property on Lucy-Lameck-Straße. Funding for Oyoun, which provided around one million euros this year, will expire normally at the end of the year. However, it seems unlikely that Oyoun will receive new funding given these circumstances.