The European Theatre Convention (ETC) stresses, that “the theatre ‘production jam’ effect— caused by postponing or cancelling an entire season of performances—will all but eradicate the time and space for young artists to perform, direct, and develop on Europe’s stages for the next 3-5 years.” The time and space for work that is still in development will be drastically squeezed. “This means that there will be less access for young creatives to stage new work, or to step up from their studies into creation…. We risk creating a ‘lost generation’ of young artists, who are unable to develop and grow as normal.” says the statement on behalf of 44 publicly funded theatres around Europe.
The Moscow city department of culture will not renew Kirill Serebrennikov’s contract as the director of the Gogol Center. The contract ends on February 28. Serebrennikov was appointed as director of the Gogol Theater in 2012 and reopened the venue 2014 as the Gogol Center. The Serebrennikov case started in May 2017, when the Center was raided by the Russian Investigative Committee, followed by a “theatre trial” over 3 years (see also our several posts).
Representatives of major cultural and research institutions in Germany, among them ITI Germany, the Goethe Institute, and the House of World Cultures, published a jouint statement related to the German constitution, article 5.3 – where freedom of art and science is granted. The group criticises culture boycott demands like those coming from the BDS movement against Israel as well as the anti BDS resolution of the German parliament to exclude critical voices from the public discourse. The group states: “We share a mandate from the state to promote arts and culture, historical research and democratic education and to make these accessible to the general public. Toward this end, we rely on a public sphere that welcomes controversial debates in accordance with the norms of the German constitution. At the center of our initiative lies a common struggle against antisemitism, racism, right-wing extremism and any form of violent religious fundamentalism.”
More than 1.400 artists, academics and cultural workers from Germany, or working with German partners in arts and science, have signed an open letter to support the initiative.
The European Commission’s Expert Network on Cultural and Audiovisual (EENCA) has published a new study on the on the status and working conditions of artists, cultural and creative professionals in the EU member states. The study includes the examination of career paths, nature of income, also under the condition of the COVID 19 pandemic, influence of the market, access to finance, social security and cross-border mobility, including artistic freedom/restrictions to creation, and the aspect of working conditions of disadvantaged groups.
Andrei Kureichik, the well-known Belarusian playwright, tells the story of the first month of the Belarusian revolution and seeks to understand how the Belarusian revolution differs from Prague in 1968, Russia in 1991 and Ukraine in 2014. International theaters, groups, schools, and individuals came together in September and October to present readings, videos, films, and discussions of Kureichik’s play.
The Forum Collective, an initiative to produce and present multidisciplinary political art works and journalism, has a recording of a live streamed performance, directed by Kieran Beccia and translated by John Freedman: Insulted. Belarus(sia)
Non-governmental organizations in Slovenia are increasingly targeted by the radical right Slovenian Democratic Party government’s restrictive measures. 18 NGOs (among them associations for film, literature, dance, fine art, the MASKA Institute and the Legal Informaton Centre for NGos) were requested by the Ministry of Culture to vacate their premises in the building at No. 6 Metelkova Street in Ljubljana, a place with a hertitage of civil society movements. In 1993 cultural workers, artists and activists occupied the former command headquarters of the Yugoslav National Army barracks in Slovenia and made it a home to non-governmental organizations, collectives and individuals engaged in independent cultural and artistic production and research.
On October 20 the NGOs stated: “The reason given is that the Ministry supposedly needs the premises for its own use and intends to renovate them, although the budget is not slated to provide funds for such renovation until 2023, and the Ministry has not offered tenants replacement premises, nor has it entered into any sort of dialogue with us. The termination of the leases came to our addresses unannounced and on the very day when the SARS-CoV-2 virus epidemic and curfew were declared.”
“We hereby inform the Ministry of Culture and the government of the Republic of Slovenia that we have no intention of leaving No. 6 Metelkova and that we will resist with all possible means these attacks on civil society, independent culture, and democracy.”