Artists at Risk Connection and Cubalex have announced a white paper on the rise of repression against in Cuba in 2018. Art Under Pressure: Decree 349 Restricts Creative Freedom in Cuba (31 pages, available in English and Spanish) examines the government’s efforts to institutionalize and expand limits on creative expression. Decree 349 was announced in July 10, 2018, and went into effect on December 7 of the same year despite the many concerns expressed by artists and activists in Cuba and abroad. The paper gives examples and experiences with the Decree from independent artists, analyzes aspects and terminology, and takes a look to the history of censorship in Cuba including legal conflicts conflict with the country’s international treaty commitments and obligations.
The EU will simplify procedures for requesting and issuing short-stay visas and will use the visa policy to encourage non-EU countries to cooperate on migration. On January 29th Parliament and Council negotiators informally agreed on a new EU Visa Code, establishing the procedures and conditions for issuing visas for short periods (up to 90 days in any 180-day period). The visa fee will rise from 60 to 80€, with some exceptions and reductions (children, students). Applications could be submitted earlier than now – between six months and 15 days ahead of the trip. Additional facilities are planned for well-known artists and high performance athletes touring in the EU, as well as multiple entry visas for frequent travelers.
The informal deal will now be put to vote in the Civil Liberties Committee. It will also need to be confirmed by the plenary before formal adoption by the Council of Ministers. The changes will be applicable six months after the text is published in the Official Journal of the EU.
Because of the “anti-Iranian politics of Poland” the management of the Dramatic Arts Center canceled the two invited Polish performances “Silence” and “Bad City” for this year’s 37th Fajir Festival (February 11-23).
Source: Iran Theatre
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 examples here.
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.