Monday, February 6, 2017

Wesleyan Concert Cancelled In Protest of Trump Travel Ban

Citing her opposition to the “Muslim ban” imposed by President Trump, a British violinist has refused to perform in the United States, cancelling her upcoming tour as a member of the performance duo “TWO.”
Concerts were to take place at Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT), Roulette (Brooklyn, NY), Constellation (Chicago), and the University of Illinois.
The violinist Aicha Orazbayeva, a UK citizen and native of Kazakhstan, was reared in a Muslim family.  She writes:
"I cannot travel to the U.S. at present because of the Muslim ban imposed by President Trump. Why are Syrian refugees and people born in Iran, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and Libya are not allowed into the U.S.? Because of their faith and country of origin. This is religious discrimination and assault on humanity. In solidarity with all the Muslims affected by the ban—detained in airports, taken off the planes, refused entries, separated from families and facing deportations—I'm cancelling my concerts in the U.S and will not be performing there until the ban is lifted."
TWO is a violin-piano duo in London specializing in the performance of new and recent music.  The group was scheduled to perform at Wesleyan University on February 14th.  Musicians have historically played a crucial role across the world as cultural ambassadors, helping to build international understanding through the arts.  Yet as this situation demonstrates, their "soft diplomacy" depends on governments maintaining open borders. Ms. Orazbayeva wishes for as many people as possible to know why TWO will not be performing.

Information about TWO is attached. For further information, or to speak directly with the organizer of this tour, William Brooks, contact:

Neely Bruce
John Spencer Camp Professor of Music
Wesleyan University

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