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.
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).
Sources: Die Tageszeitung (TAZ) December 6, 2018; Hyperallergic.com; Haaretz.com; ynetnews.com ; Sueddeutsche Zeitung, December 19, 2018
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.
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)
UPDATE: Scheduled for final vote on Monday November 26, the bill has been removed for an indefinite time from the Knesset agenda. (Sources: Deutsche Welle, Jerusalem Post)
“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
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.