Culture Action Europe has words to say on Covid-19
Covid-19 has hit the arts and culture sector severely. Cultural operators make enormous efforts to maintain activities to ease people’s feeling of isolation. But with cultural venues closed, performances, festivals cancelled, the sector is already impacted by the immediate economic, social, cultural and human consequences. Workers in the sector, who are often in an already precarious situation (self-employed, freelancers) are left for months without any income. In order to sustain European cultural life,
national governments and EU institutions must adopt emergency measures that specifically and adequately support the sustainability of the cultural ecosystems. Hence, we urge the European Commission to make the 25 billion emergency package to Europe’s economy also available to the arts and culture sector. In confinement, instead of social distancing we should practice physical distancing and social solidarity. As we go through these arduous times, let us take the moment to stop and reflect. Which Europe do we want to live in after the crisis is over? Are we ready to rethink our collective and individual aspirations regarding our communities and our common goods? Are we ready to take actions to tackle climate change together and to recognise culture’s role in fair development? Will we be ready to address social inequalities and put solidarity above the immediate economic gains? Instead of going back to business as usua l, will the governments pluck up the courage to implement drastic systemic changes? If we manage to do it, we will come out of this crisis more united, stronger human beings sharing a sustainable European project. Russia: Pussy Riot members arrested because of an LGBTI video
Nadya Tolokonnikova / Nadya Tolokonnikova nadyariot on Instagram
11 February 2020: Nadya Tolokonnikova and 12 other members of the Pussy Riot were released from detention after being arrested during the photoshoot of a new video about LGBTI issues, reported
The Moscow Times.
Pussy Riot announced in a Twitter post that the arrested members were accused of “gay propaganda” and “extremism.”
T oday, 9th of February 2020, St Petersburg, the Russian police broke into the location where Pussy Riot were filming a video for our next single “БЕСИТ / RAGE”. We were accused of “GAY PROPAGANDA” & “EXTREMISM”. 150 activists, mostly female & queer, took part in the shoot pic.twitter.com/KI7OvnGwPI — (@pussyrrriot) February 10, 2020
, the police were allegedly responding to a call about a gas leak in a place where the photoshoot was happening. They further requested to shut down the power and prohibit Pussy Riot from using a power generator. The arrested members were released the next day which they announced on Twitter. New Europe
The photoshoot of a Pussy Riot’s
new song called “БЕСИТ / RAGE,” features “150 activists, mostly female or queer.” Tolokonnikova reported on Instagram that the disruption of the shoot cost Pussy Riot $15,000 (13,90 euros) and asked her followers for help in crowdfunding the amount.
In 2013, Russian law was signed prohibiting propaganda for “non-traditional sexual relations”. Freemuse reflects more on artists being targeted through this law in the latest report on the state of artistic freedom in Europe titled
Security, Creativity, Tolerance and their Co-existence: The New European Agenda on Freedom of Artistic Expression . Singapore gives special funding
In Singapore, the Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth has announced that the government will allocate S$1.6 million for the arts and culture sector to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. The National Arts Council of Singapore has also announced two initiatives to support the arts community during COVID-19, including one-off funding for a Capability Development Scheme for the Arts (CDSA) to encourage upskilling and grow organisational capabilities; as well as a subsidy for venue hire at national cultural institutions for arts and culture activities.
Hong Kong: arts community self-help
Hong Kong’s beleaguered art community is pulling together to show the world that it remains a creative hot spot despite the coronavirus emergency.
A man wearing face mask as protective measure walks in front of a coronavirus street art poster in a pedestrian tunnel on March 3, 2020 in Hong Kong, China. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)
As efforts to contain the virus have put a damper on public gatherings including art exhibitions, auctions, and fairs, cultural institutions in the city have joined forces to launch an online platform to show the resilience of its art scene. The public health emergency comes on top of months of pro-democracy protests and clashes with the police.
There are details here From New Zealand’s national funding body
Creative New Zealand has shared with the sector how the institution is approaching the situation; outlined responses for possible scenarios that may affect the sector and grant recipients; conveyed its intention to better understand the consequences of COVID-19 on arts practitioners, arts organisations and individuals; and encouraged sector leaders to consider their responses too. You can find direct links to their
. websites here Information here Arts Council publishes Disability Action Plan and Equality Action Plan 2019-24
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has affirmed its commitment to ensuring fair access to the arts for all with the publication of two new documents – the Disability Action Plan and the Equality Action Plan.
Actions include the continuation of the Arts and OIder People’s Programme, to address issues of isolation and loneliness amongst people over the age of 55, and the Articulate Programme, which supports artists to work with young people to improve emotional, physical and social wellbeing. The papers also outline a range of new measures including: a new lending programme to place artworks in schools; a Premium Payments Programme, to help arts organisations remove barriers to engagement by disabled people; and a commitment to enable greater participation by disabled people in policy-making groups, to better reflect the needs of underrepresented audiences and participants.
Read some details here An Accelerator Under-Used?
With only ten years left to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals – and clear evidence that we are not on track – there is a pressing need to mobilise all resources, seize every opportunity, and identify every accelerator that can help us get there. One such potential accelerator is culture.
IISD No audiences, but concerts streamed to the world. This is a moment in classical music history
Bach Collegium Japan
At a time of profound upheaval, music is being made not for an audience, but for the world. Last night, Bach Collegium Japan performed
St. John Passion at the Cologne Philharmonic. The performance was full of passion and the highest artistry. At the end of the final chorale, orchestra, choir, soloists and conductor turned and bowed, but very poignantly, there was no sound or ovation to be heard. Bach’s
That’s because in the Spring of 2020, the world’s musicians are not playing to audiences, they are not showcasing their craft for the applause, or even rapt silence. They are simply playing to share music with a world that needs to hear it.