Grassroots Campaign Shuts Down Far-Right East London Gallery
In recent months, LD50 Gallery held an alt-right symposium and a show displaying racist symbols.
LD50 Gallery, an East London space accused of supporting fascism and far-right agendas, has closed its doors after a heated campaign claims to have succeeded in shutting it down.
The announcement came yesterday, March 14, via the opposition’s website:
“The Shut Down LD50 campaign can happily disclose that the landlord of the LD50 Gallery has asked the tenants, Lucia Diego and Alexander Moss, to vacate the premises. The gallery sign has been taken down from the building at 2–4 Tottenham Road, Dalston, London, and there is no indication that any future events will be taking place in the space.”
Rising tensions came to a head in late January, as the gallery faced growing hostility from residents of the surrounding Dalston area as well as journalists, cultural workers, and political and community groups, including Artists for Palestine UK, Goldsmiths UCU (University and College Union), London Anti-Fascists, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, and Movement for Justice, among others.
The campaign has also received support from Mayor of Hackney Phillip Glanville and Hackney Stand Up to Racism and Fascism.
The conflict began last summer, when the gallery held a series of talks about the alt-right’s principles and intentions, under the description of a “neoreaction conference.”
Featured speakers included Peter Brimelow, Brett Stevens, and Iben Thranholm—known supporters of white nationalist foundations and avid opponents of immigration-friendly policies (the gallery’s website has removed all traces of its program since the campaign began.)
Alongside this program, the gallery staged an exhibition titled “Amerika,” displaying racist symbols associated with the Ku Klux Klan and Adolf Hilter, as well as a cardboard cut-out of Donald Trump.
LD50 owner Lucia Diego has repeatedly denied accusations, writing on the gallery’s website that the conference was intended to foster “a dialogue between two different and contrasting ideologies” and that the audience for the conference was “very liberal” (a statement now deleted as well.)
However, according to the Guardian, a recording of the talks shows that audience members were overwhelmingly in agreement with Brimelow’s views; one even went so far as to voice support for David Duke, the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and Holocaust denier.
In response to this, the grassroots movement accused LD50 of “using the cover of the contemporary art scene and academia to legitimize the spread of materials [that have drawn on fascist traditions] and the establishment of a culture of hatred,” adding that the gallery “has been responsible for one of the most extensive neo-Nazi cultural programs to appear in London in the last decade.”
When asked for comment and verification that the gallery had been shut down, LD50 Gallery told artnet News via email:
“[We] will not be responding to fake tumblers with fake news. The real news so far are: the gallery has been attacked on a regular basis since the protest by the ‘tolerant left.’ We have filed over 4 police reports up to this date. Thanks.”
On a subsequent telephone call to artnet News, Diego claimed that the gallery is closed due to security concerns, but that they have not been evicted as the opponent’s statement alleges.
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