Cultural Loyalty Bill in Israel

Some 1,000 Israelis turned out for the Oct. 27 demonstration in Tel Aviv against proposed legislation known as the “Loyalty in Culture” law.
Minister of Culture and Sports Miri Regev plans a cultural loyalty bill that would allow to cut state funding to cultural institutions which violate the so-called Nakba Law. The Nakba Law authorises Israel’s finance minister to revoke funding from institutions that reject Israel’s character as a “Jewish state” or mark the country’s Independence Day as a day of mourning. In fact, every one of the 98 requests to enforce the Nakba Law submitted in the past year were rejected by the Finance Ministry’s legal adviser, including 17 requests that came from the Culture Ministry. The Cultural Loyalty Bill would transfer the authority to revoke government funding to cultural institutions tot the Ministry of Culture and Sports. Regev would have the power to cut a quarter, a third and even half the budget of every Israeli theater. In Israel, with its relatively small culture market, survival hinges on government funds.
Speaking at the protest, actress, dancer and choreographer Renana Raz said “The desire to tame the art in law is so foolish, but more than that is also evil and even more than that – it is doomed to failure. Because to want loyalty in culture is to change the DNA of art, of creativity, of life.”

Sources: Al Monitor: Israel’s ‘Loyalty in Culture’ law spreads to other ministries (November 8), Israeli artists campaign against ‘Loyalty in Culture’ law (October 30); Haarez: Regev’s Loyalty Law (November 12); Jerusalem Post: HUNDREDS PROTEST ‘CULTURAL LOYALTY BILL’ IN TEL AVIV (November 12)

European Balconies Project launched

“Because Europe means unifying people, not integrating states…The European Council is hereby decommissioned. The European Parliament now has the power to make law.
Long live the European Republic!” On 10 November at 4 pm from over 150 balconies at public places and theatres all over Europe the manifesto for the proclamation of the European Republic was declared.
ITI Germany was co-organizer of the event at art center Kunstquartier Bethanien in Berlin-Kreuzberg. See all initiatives and comments at the project’s website.

European Balcony Project

 

DECLARATION OF THE MANY

Solidarity over privilege. It’s about all of us. Freedom for the Arts!
DIE VIELEN e.V. / THE ASSOCIATION OF THE MANY.

A German wide campaign was launched with press conferences in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Dresden and Berlin on 9 November and focuses on the self-activation of networks in culture in order to become active against discrimination and for artistic freedom.

Joint actions, events and discussions are planned, such as the nationwide demonstration of art and culture in May 2019 together with other civil society groups.

The BERLIN DECLARATION OF THE MANY which ITI Germany has signed is part of the campaign . Individuals can support the declaration and express their attachment to the campaign via the website.

DIE VIELEN 

Free Osman Kavala!

Osman Kavala is in solitary confinement without charge in Istanbul for more than one year (see our post from November 21, 2017).

For over 30 years, he has been active in fostering culture and education in Turkey. As a member of numerous boards and president of the cultural institution »Anadolu Kültür«, which he founded 16 years ago, he’s constructed bridges in civil society from Turkey to Europe and neighbouring countries. The Turkish public prosecutor’s office has rejected four requests for his release. Like many other critical intellectuals in Turkey, he’s been subjected to untenable accusations: among other things, he’s been accused of participating in planning the attempted coup in July 2016. The European Court of Human Rights recently pre-accepted Osman Kavala’s application on the basis of Article 41 of its internal regulations.

Over 10,000 people have now signed a petition.

Sources:  Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin,  Solidarity platform for Osman Kavala

Actor sparks debate on access to affordable housing in Nigeria

Kelechi Udegbe, a budding Nigerian actor in the city of Lagos, features in the 6 part documentary drama series “Kelechi’s Quest” where he weighs his option of finding a suitable accommodation within his budget, thereby sparking a debate about new ways of accessing affordable accommodation and about the equitability of housing policies of Lagos State.

Source: Heinrich Böll Stiftung Nigeria

Wole Soyinka and Karima Bennoune public talk in New York

The Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights will be presenting her latest report to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday 23 October. On occasion of 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Special Rapporteur Karima Bennoune and Nobel Prize Winner Wole Soyinka will talk on October 23 on relationship between the universality of human rights, cultural diversity and cultural rights.

The event will be broadcasted live through Facebook on 23 October at 3 pm (Eastern time).