Darko Lukić is a theatre scholar, playwright and novelist. He hold the keynote on recent cases in Eastern Europe at the public symposium “The Challenges of Artistic Freedom” at the Maribor Festival, on October 23, 2018, organised by ACAR with the ITI centres of Slovenia and Germany.
You may read “Degenerate Art” 81 Years after Munich – Eastern European contemporary exampleshere.
The Sudanese government acknowledged the death of 19 people during the nationwide peaceful protests s while Amnesty International reported that 37 people were killed since the 19 December. Also, hundreds were injured while dozens of opposition leaders are under arrest. The opposition alliance Sudan Call, has urged the international community to stand in solidarity with the Sudanese people in their pursuit for democracy and condemn the violent repression of peaceful protests.
On behalf of civil society organisations Freemuse Executive Director Srirak Plipat spoke to the 12th Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) of the 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions at UNESCO headquarters in Paris on 11 December 2018. See above also the film that UNESCO published, based on interviews made in Norway, Senegal and Indonesia, which was presented during a public debate on artistic freedom during the IGC meeting.
Srirat called on the IGC to:
Prioritise the safety of artists and audiences, as attacks on artists and artistic freedom continue to rise.
Urge state parties to use legal and policy measures to protect women, LGBTI and minority artists from attacks and violations of artistic freedom.
Publicly recognise artists as human rights defenders and coordinate protection with existing international protection mechanisms.
The Cuban government has decided to stop the full implementation of Decree 349. The measure constitute a return to the times of greater centralism. It establishes that artists must be linked to cultural entities under government control and, only then, they can obtain the necessary permits to present their work in spaces open to the public. Responding to the flood of criticism that Decree 349 has provoked, (#NoAlDecreto349) the Minister of Culture Alpidio Alonso, announced that Decree 349 will only be applied in a “consensus” and “gradual” manner. Nevertheless, Decree 349 went officially into effect on December 7.
An official seven page letter from mid September, sent by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office to Chancellor Angelika Merkel, was published on December 6. The letter demanded Germany to cut its funding of the Jewish Museum in Berlin over the exhibition, Welcome to Jerusalem, since it “presents a Muslim-Palestinian perspective of the city”. The museum’s main exhibition is running since December 2017. The Jewish Museum said in a statement that “We believe open dialogue on controversial issues is crucial to allow (the museum’s) visitors to form their own position on the matter and judge it for themselves.”
Also listed are 12 NGOs and culture organizations, initiatives and institutions that Israel demands Germany fiscally divest from, including the Berlin International Film Festival (the Berlinale), exchange and funding programmes from the German Foreign Ministry, Women Wage Peace, Action Medeor, the Catholic Relief Services, and the Israeli opinion and news website +972 Magazine, which receives funding from the Heinrich Böll Foundation (politically associated with the German Green Party). The letter urges Germany to “review its funding guidelines” for organizations that are involved in “anti-Israeli propaganda” or endorse the anti-Israeli BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions).
For a campaign of arts organisations and human rights charities to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, artist Ai Weiwei has created a flag to celebrate universal human rights in UK. On 24 — 30 June 2019 schools and organisations are called “to celebrate that human rights are for everyone, every day.”
The website offers tutorials and information material for schools.