Former AR Resident – Benjamin Abras

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AR Resolution Council Decision concerning Benjamin Abras and his repeated breaches of ethical standards.

Artists at Risk (AR) supported, funded and hosted Benjamin Abras from August 2019 in Morocco, in Tunisia for more than a year, and through April 2021 in Finland. This made a total of 1 year and 9 months of dedicated support by the AR-Network.

The onset of unethical behaviour of Benjamin Abras in early 2021 resulted in the calling of an AR Resolution Council. This Council was constituted by 7 members from 6 different organizations, and consisted of diverse ethnicities and gender identities, including several people of colour (POC) and migrant/refugee backgrounds.

The Council determined that Benjamin Abras made false and self-contradictory claims, expressed in defamatory language, violating the ethical standards of Artists at Risk (AR) and its member organisations.

Abras was given several opportunities to explain and revise his approach. As a token of trust, the Council proposed a new contract at AR, under the condition that he would respect the ethical standards shared by the AR-Network. Abras was also given extended time to complete an art-production with the 5000 Euro production grant which formed a part of his outgoing AR-Residency, a special sub-programme which offers three months at 3000 Euros a month plus free accommodation. Abras, nevertheless, chose not to respect basic ethical standards.

As a result, the Resolution Council determined that there was no basis for a new contract or relationship with AR.