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Statement Against Violence and Intimidation

By Dominic Asmall Willsdon

As IDA prepares to convene hundreds of documentarians and storytellers from around the world at Getting Real ’24, we must acknowledge the ongoing violence and intimidation aimed at journalists, documentarians, and media workers across numerous world crises.

On December 12, 2023, at the IDA Documentary Awards Ceremony, we commemorated 52 journalists who were killed while reporting from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. As of April 9, 2024, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported at least 95 journalists and media workers were among the more than 34,000 killed since the current violence began on October 7—with more than 33,000 Palestinian deaths in Gaza and the West Bank and 1,200 deaths in Israel. This has been the deadliest period for journalists worldwide since CPJ began gathering data in 1992.

For the sake of journalists, media workers, and all inhabitants of Gaza and the region, we join the call for a ceasefire, the release of all hostages, and adequate provision of humanitarian aid to alleviate the ongoing suffering.

IDA is dedicated to defending the rights and freedoms of documentary artists, activists, and journalists worldwide. At a time when many seek to silence, marginalize, or deplatform their opponents, we denounce the intimidation faced by those in our field who express political positions. Documentary filmmaking, like other forms of cultural practice, is often necessarily entwined with politics. The right to unfettered criticism of governments, administrations, and institutions must be upheld. Voices from many perspectives must be heard. Preserving journalistic freedoms and supporting truth-seeking artistic expression is indispensable in the pursuit of equitable societies and lasting peace for all.

Dominic Asmall Willsdon
Executive Director, IDA