On the occasion of German government delegation with Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to Canada, and ahead of the announced ratification of the EU–Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) by the German parliament, German and Canadian civil society organisations have published a joint statement to stop the ratification of CETA.
“While most parts of CETA have been provisionally applied in Europe and Canada for nearly five years, the agreement’s controversial investment protection provisions have not. These provisions, including the planned Investment Court System (ICS), would grant foreign investors the privilege to sue states before a private arbitration tribunal instead of in national courts when public policies affect their ability to profit. This chapter would come into effect only after full ratification of CETA in all EU member states.”
The full ratification of CETA would massively expand investor privileges not only for Canadian and European companies but also, for example, for U.S. corporations with subsidiaries in Canada and in Europe. Any obligations for investors are not foreseen. Neither does the agreement enable the civil society organisations to bring a claim when a company violates environmental, labour, health, safety, or other rules.
The statement has been signed by a wide spectrum of environmental organizations, trade unions and cultural associations.
The independent Alfa Theatre in Tel Aviv/Israel is under pressure since many years (See ACAR post 2019). As a small fringe theatre with professional Jewish and Arab actors, working in both languages the Alfa has many times been threatened by governmental authorities as supporter of terrorists. The Ministry of Culture has now decided to stop any financial support. The theater has already filed a lawsuit against the ministry in 2019 and managed to get the cancellation of the annual subsidy reversed. Since then, Alfa continues to fight against closure and starts now another Court appeal. Avraham Oz, director of the theatre asks for donations for the Court appeals expenses.
Artists connecting in Transition (ACT) is a new international programme hosted by Culture in Transit (UK), Arthereistanbul (Turkey), MedeArts (Jordan) and the Fanak Fund. ACT is currently looking to select and host artists with lived experience of forced migration, exile or displacement to these countries, who are interested in applying for a residency. The three host organisations are looking to select and host two artists in each residence, open to artists in exile currently based in the partners’ respective countries: UK, Turkey and Jordan.
For eligibility and selection criteria, and to apply, please visit the relevant website of the partners: Culture in Transit, Artheristanbul, MedeArts,Fanak Fund Deadline: Friday 8 July 2022 Residency timeline: 5 September 2022 until 27 January 2023 (part-time) Digital launch of art works and local exhibition: February until March 2023 (dates tbc).
Alexandra (Shasha) Skochilenko, is a russian artist and musician. She replaced price tags at supermarkets in St Petersburg with news reports about bombings in the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. On April 11 she had been detained and accused of carrying out serious actions against public safety and spreading fake news about the Russian military. Her case had been reclassified from a criminal case to a more severe one of the same article, entailing from 5 to 10 years in prison. The investigation has extended Sasha’s pre-trial detention several times, now until July 1st.
The telegram group for support is: https://t.me/skochilenko_sud.
The platform, initiated and organised by the Kiev based dancer, choreographer and producer Victor Ruban, matches donations and requests for on site support for independent performing artists in Ukraine. Donations will provide emergency microgrants of 8000 UAH (aproximately 250€) to each Ukrainian artist (dance and theater) from independent scene staying in Ukraine. The site provides also useful links to other solidarity platforms inside and outside Ukraine. The initiative was presented by Victor Ruban at an ITI online meeting from ACAR and Theatre in Conflict Zones Network on June 11, 2022.
Together with Artists at Risk, the Goethe-Institut has set up a matching website for refugee artists from Ukraine with offers from cultural institutions and organisations in Germany. Artists looking for jobs, grants, and residencies in Germany can search and apply via the Artists at Risk page. The Goethe Institute supports the matching process with a team of specialists. From May 31 on, German hosting institutions can apply for funding for accommodation or production costs.