Worldwide

While in some parts of Europe the arts are trapped by market reality and squeezed by restless demands for economic surplus, in others, creative freedom is guzzled by political agendas and suffocated by the presence of the state in the arts.

Liberalism, freedom, public support, state interference; are these notions - being on our tongue every now and then - perceived in the same way in different historical, economic and social contexts?  This section gives us an insight into the various paradigms, challenges and aspirations prevailing in different parts of the globe.

punctum
Bi-partisan government funding policy for arts in Australia has been under sustained attack and excellence in arts has been ‘transformed from aspiration to commodity’. This article written by IETM member Jude Anderson (Punctum) looks at the past and current developments of public funding for the arts in Australia.
Miri Regev, Israel’s culture minister
Elena DI FEDERICO
A group of Israeli artists, museum directors and art educators quietly filed a lawsuit in July against the country’s ministry of culture, according to a petition seen by The Art Newspaper. Artists and cultural institutions are feeling increasingly intimidated under the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, especially since Miri Regev, an Israeli army brigadier-general, became the country’s minister of culture in 2015. Protests against threats to freedom of speech flared all summer. Threats to funding based on policies that limit freedom of expression could be a “death blow to culture institutions...
fbittencourt
Article 19 of the Declaration of Human Rights states that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Although a recognised freedom, it is viewed and experienced in different ways, depending on its discipline, the country in question and also historical precedents. Sometimes biased and violated, sometimes honoured and often misunderstood, freedom of expression is much more complicated to explain and defend in...
mona merhi
As Beirut gets ready to host IETM's first Satellite meeting on Freedom of Expression in the South-Mediterranean region, Lebanese writer and advocate Mona Merhi writes about the history of censorship in Lebanon and its current state of play, paving the way for a deeper reflection on artistic freedoms in the Arab region and beyond. This is the first post in the Campaign for Freedom of Expression series.—Geoliane Arab.
Roland de Graaf
"Een maand na de subsidiebeslissingen in Vlaanderen werd ook de vierjaarlijkse ronde in Nederland een slagveld voor de podiumkunsten. Vaste waarden als Dood Paard, het Theaterfestival, Orkater, Laura van Dolron, het Haagse danshuis Korzo, LeineRoebana, Popfestival Noorderslag: allemaal zien ze hun toekomstplannen verdampen. Het onderliggende probleem blijkt hetzelfde als in Vlaanderen. Er is veel te weinig budget voor de beschikbare kwaliteit, en dat blokkeert alle groeikansen."
fbittencourt
Millions of Syrians have fled their war-torn country. Those who stayed behind are confronted daily with the ongoing war. 26-year-old Ahmad Joudeh is one of them. He fights the war in his own way.
Elenq
The NEA has posted a very interesting interview between their Sunil Iyengar and the critic Leon Wieseltier. It raises interesting questions about the role of measurement in arts policy. So here is a question: what really is the demand for performance measures in public spending? After all, the biggest spending item in the US government (excluding transfer payments to individuals) is far and away the military. It is not my impression that defense spending is determined by the latest set of performance indicators. Farm subsidies? Transportation infrastructure? The tax expenditure involved in...
Elenq
"Canada is going all in on a model of cultural diversity — supported by arts that allow for a non-threatening celebration of identity and cultural difference — that other countries seem to think is outdated, unworkable and susceptible to exploitation by hostile forces. The arts, Joly says, are linked to all of Canada’s ambitions in the world today, and Canada sees itself as an international role model."
fbittencourt
Cape Town, aptly named ‘the colony’ by some of its residents, is a clear and horrifying example of the disparities in wealth distribution and the remnants of apartheid in post-colonial South Africa. While living conditions, education and job opportunities are limited for the person of colour – both due to the quality offered or affordability – many African creatives have found a way to tap into the monetising of their culture as seen through the European gaze.
Elena DI FEDERICO
NGO Siyah Bant's report explains how film festivals in Turkey resist to pressures to censor cinematic works and how they can increase the possibility of resistance to censorship. Cases of censorship at film festivals in Turkey have become increasingly common, more visible and have brought about devastating changes, creating a need for research focusing particularly on restrictions of freedom of expression at festivals. In this report, NGO Siyah Bant aims to lay out the strategies followed by film festivals in response to pressures to censor cinematic works and to develop the groundwork for...

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