Alternative for Germany, known as AfD, has intensified its political activities against public cultural institutions, mainly the city theatres. In many city parliaments the AFD has used the instrument of Parliamentary Inquiries, to question the work of the theatres and the public funding . AFD fuels also prejudices and moods against migrants. The New York Times (July 19th) has a report.
Albanian authorities decided to demolish the National Theatre, one of the most prominent cultural centres in Tirana and an important social and public space in the city. Artists and citizens from the Alliance for the National Theatre have been protesting against its demolition for over a year and have created a human barricade in and around the building. As part of a police raid today, for the first time ,violence against the protesters was used. Read and share their manifesto and sign the petition at change.org.
Already in June 2018, the cultural heritage network Europa Nostra expressed its sincere concerns regarding the decision to demolish with the National Theatre a heritage site of great cultural and architectural importance in Europe.
See also the report from December 2018 about the the Alliance for the National Theatre in Tirana at nachtkritik (German)
Freemuse has just published the eport “Privatising Censorship, Digitising Violence: Shrinking Space of Women’s Rights to Create in the Digital Age” wich outlines how women artists interact with the online space and draws attention to the worrying nature and frequency of threats they are directed.
The report can be downloaded here
In the study “Temporary Shelter and Relocation Initiatives: Perspectives of Managers and Participants” commissioned by the Martin Roth Initiative (Germany), international shelter programmes are analysed from different perspectives, various models for relocation are presented, impacts and challenges are examined. The research is based on qualitative interviews and focuses on security, health, visa procurement, return opportunities, networks and financing.
The full study as well as an executive summary can be downloaded at the MRI website.
On 19 May 2019, artists*, members of the cultural landscape and cultural institutions called for the demo “UNITE & SHINE” in Berlin and several other cities in Germany. More than 5.000 people marched for artistic freedom, an open and democratic society, solidarity, diversity and tolerance. The artists demo, organized by the network DIE VIELEN (The Many) joined with the European wide march ONE EUROPE FOR ALL.
“Nous ne sommes pas doupes!” – in France, 1.400 artists and creative workers signed a solidarity address to the Yellow Vests movement: “What they ask for, they ask for it for all. Yellow vests are us.”
By invitation of the Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts, ACAR organised together with ITI Sweden the seminar “Silencing the others – Censorship and self-censorship in the Performing Arts in Europe” . Moderated by Ann Marin Engel (ACAR, ITI Sweden), Sirak Plipat (Freemuse), Tamás Jászay (critic, editor, professor, Hungary) and Thomas Engel (ACAR, ITI Germany) introduced and discussed on May 15th with Swedish Theatre makers the increasing censorship and self-censorship in Europe in the performing arts. The rise of right wing parties and populism, pressure via social media, economic censorship and religious campaigns have brought Europe in an equal relation to the rest or the world in terms of reported attacks against freedom of expression. New alliances between artists and the civil society are needed. Gad Kaynar, the president of the Israeli Center described via voice message the resistance of the theatre sector in Israel against a radical nationalistic and conservative cultural policy in his country.