Why Barbara Hammer Won't Be Going to Jerusalem

Photo: Courtesy of Barbara Hammer

On June 14, I reported that experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer had declined a fellowship at the American Academy in Jerusalem for “personal reasons” — the explanation given by the Foundation for Jewish Culture, which supports the AAJ. At the time, I reached out to Hammer to explain her decision. Hammer, who was then in China, promised to issue a more complete explanation upon her return.

Now, in a comment on the post, Hammer writes that she was misrepresented at the June 14 AAJ press conference, and that her decision is political, not personal. In a letter dated July 5, Hammer elaborated:

Hammer further states that she sent the letter to officials at the FJC, expecting it to be read at the press conference. Since it wasn’t, Hammer has released the letter herself, making her reasons for declining the fellowship clear.

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