Due to his divisive opinions on the crisis in Ukraine, the Polish city of Kraków deemed the co-founder of Pink Floyd “persona non grata,” canceling his scheduled concerts there earlier this week.
On 28 September, the city council adopted a resolution “on recognising people supporting the Kremlin regime as persona non grata in Kraków,” reports the Polish Press Agency (PAP).
“Bearing in mind the criminal attack by Russia on Ukraine, as well as the coming to light of war crimes committed by Russian soldiers, the councillors express indignation at the theses and statements made by Mr Roger Waters related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” reads the resolution.
It also notes that, as a partner city of Lviv and Kyiv in Ukraine, Kraków “has a special duty to take a stance against the promotion of disinformation defaming the Ukrainian nation.”
“We don’t want people in Kraków who take a stand for Russia in war information and support or repeat Putin’s propaganda,” said Kraków city councillor Michal Drewnicki.
He said that although not legally enforceable, the council’s decision to proclaim Waters persona non grata was unanimous.
After penned an open letter earlier this month urging Zelenskyy to end the “deadly war” and the West to stop arming Ukraine, the English artist found himself in hot water.
Additionally, he accused the president of Ukraine of condoning “extreme nationalism,” echoing the Russian claim that an invasion was necessary to quell the threat presented by an extremist regime in Kyiv.
Two of Waters’ scheduled 2023 performances in Kraków were canceled last Saturday when city councilor Lukasz Wantuch reportedly said, “Let him sing in Moscow.”
You are no longer welcome
Waters is the latest in a long line of musicians who have faced travel restrictions. Each current instance is unique because doors are shut for a variety of diverse causes.
Do you remember Akon? The Senegalese-American R&B singer was expelled from Sri Lanka in 2010 because of his “Sexy Chick/Bitch” music video, which depicted a risqué pool party with plenty of scantily clad ladies beneath a Buddha statue.
Akon issued an apology after the video prompted violent protests by Buddhists in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka.
“[I] am a spiritual man, so I can understand why they are offended,” he said. “But violence is never the answer and I am disheartened to hear about what happened in Sri Lanka.”
Taiwan is a contentious topic. Taiwan perceives itself as an independent nation, but China sees the island as a part of its territory.
The Chinese government has also taken action against musicians like Maroon 5, Selena Gomez, and Björk for interacting with or supporting the Dalai Lama, the leading spiritual figure of the Tibetan people.
The R&B artist Chris Brown and other celebrities have been barred due to illegal activity.
Due to his felony conviction for attacking pop star Rihanna in 2015, Brown was prohibited from touring Australia.
Michaelia Cash, the minister for women, later said that she had suggested Brown’s visa be denied due to his moral character.
“People need to understand if you are going to commit domestic violence and then you want to travel around the world, there are going to be countries that say to you: ‘You cannot come in because you are not of the character we expect in Australia,'” she told reporters at the time.