Swedish musician Anna Von Hausswolff’s show at a Paris church has been cancelled due to security concerns over Catholic protests.
The cancellation comes after backlash to a previous show of Hausswolff’s in Nantes, per The Guardian. A group, who Nantes deputy mayor Bassem Asseh referred to as “intolerant radicals” on Twitter, had obstructed the entrance to Notre-Dame de Bon-Port ahead of her planned Tuesday performance.
The group said Hausswolff’s music, which primarily features the pipe organ, is “satanist” and were heard chanting “Saint Mary, mother of God, pray for us poor sinners.” However, her show was organised in partnership with the Nantes diocese.
The protests led the Nantes show to be cancelled, with Hausswolff saying on social media that “far-right Catholic integralism won over art”. Shortly after, Paris’ Saint-Eustache church made the decision to pull Hausswolff’s planned Paris concert. Yves Trocheris, curate of Saint-Eustache in Paris, told The Guardian that the cancellation was “to ensure that public order was maintained at the gates of the church”.
In the aforementioned Instagram post, Hausswolff shared an image of her sitting inside the empty Notre-Dame de Bon-Port church, writing “Here I am waiting inside the church while listening to about 50-100 integralists chanting and screaming outside the church’s doors, blocking the way for almost 400 people.”
“My thoughts go out to all of you amazing fans who stood peacefully and patiently in front of these guys,” she continued. “I loved that you remembered that these things will never be solved by violence. Me and the church are working together and not against each other.”
In a later Instagram story, Hausswolff said that her and her team are hoping to find a new venue for their Paris show soon, and that fans will be kept in the loop with any decisions made.
Various officials throughout the local government and cultural communities have condemned the protests, with Aymeric Sassau, deputy for culture to the mayor of Nantes saying that the protests reinforce “the idea that in the face of obscurantism, we need the light of the arts and culture more than ever.
“Nantes will remain a city open to all cultures and artistic styles.”
Eli Commins, director of le lieu unique (the cultural centre that promoted the Nantes show), called the protests and subsequent cancellation “an attack on the freedom of creativity and expression” and stressed that the decision was made “in order to protect the security of everyone present.”
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