This article was originally published by IETM – INTERNATIONAL NETWORK FOR CONTEMPORARY PERFORMING ARTS
Things started going really bad in Spain between 2008 and 2011, with the beginning of cuts dictated by the European Commission, the Central European Bank and the International Monetary Fund – the dreaded Troika. Before that, the cultural sector and the performing arts had gone through almost 30 years of cultural policy developments aiming to create structures and to support creation and production of artistic works. With varying success, such policies organised and strengthened an unprecedented artistic fabric. Austerity policies provoked a setback that will take several years to be overcome, if at all.
I wouldn’t say that the performing arts sector in Spain was strong and highly creative, but in 30 years it developed substantially. Regular framework funds for artists and companies were implemented and new venues and creation centres were opened. All of this at a local, regional and national level. A broad array of public institutions covered different aspects of the development of the performing arts. However, the modernization process was not finished yet, there were still reforms to do: the high political dependence, lack of democracy in cultural institutions and some new expensive buildings without artistic projects, only built to feed the real state bubble and increase the public debt. Besides, the presence and support to contemporary innovative performing arts was not guaranteed in local public venues, in fact the vast majority of the performing spaces. Seguir leyendo THE SITUATION OF THE PERFORMING ARTS SECTOR IN SPAIN AFTER THE CRISIS→
The days 11 and 12 of November 2014 I was invited to the forum «International Mobility of Young Artists». It took place in Milan (Italy) in la Fabrica de Vapore. Its objective was to reflect on the current meaning of artistic mobility and on its future in Italy and in the international arena. The debate analyzed the definition of mobility, its history and how it is performed and supported in Italy and abroad.
I was asked to present the different frameworks of the public support to artistic mobility in Spain and its current situation. I used the following slide presentation and I post it in the blog for whoever interested:
I copy in my blog this text initially published in IETM website
Spanish government budget cuts began in 2009, but the most important arts cuts have been in Autonomous Communities (regions)’s budgets, as they have the most responsibility and funding for culture. Autonomous communities share this with local governments, now mostly bankrupt or with huge debts. The total reductions for the arts are thus more than 25% in global figures, comprising regions and local authorities.
The reaction of artists and arts organisations is muted – everyone is in a state of shock (reinforced by governments and media). There is a universal reaction against cuts in public services, including education and health as well as culture, but culture is the last in the line. Other issues in the protests are corruption, lack of transparency …… There is widespread criticism of the European Council’s policy to control public debt by “austerity” budgets, when everybody in Spain knows that the problem is private, not public, debt : the banks. Seguir leyendo News from de Spanish Cultural Sector: Budget Cuts and Protests→
I was asked to write this article for “IETM Engage!”, newsletter of International European Theatre Meeting. The newsletter main goal is to highlight activist operations and present initiatives outside the network to reduce the impact of public cultural budgets cuttings in Europe and other restrictive laws for the cultural and artistic development.
What was a major change in Catalonian cultural policy when the first executive Arts Council in Southern Europe was born in 2008, has lost its executive responsibilities. On December 21, 2011 the Catalan Parliament approved a new law that drives cultural policies back to the periods of greater political interference. Seguir leyendo The Catalan Arts Council Reduced to an “Advisory Agency”→
In my third year of collaboration with the Feria de Huesca (Hueca international showcase for performing arts) I can’t but express satisfaction with the results obtained. The difficulty of pulling ahead in Spain a performing arts project which encourage innovation and contemporanity above populism, tradition and simple entertainment (I feel a deep sorrow for the case of Gijon’ La Laboral) can be optimistic about the strength of the Feria de Huesca and its position in the future.
The strong commitment of the patrons for the contemporary performing arts and the debate in the context of professional meeting point has given the expected results and I am convinced this year will be definitively consolidated. Anyway, we must be careful since no one escapes the strong dependence of the culture sector on politics in Spain and the approaching election times, and therefore possible changes in the political ecosystem.
I encourage you to continue the link of the Fair to look at the Artistic Programme and the Professional Conference. Concerning artistic programme I put some significant videos, although there is much more. The Conference is titled «Time for Revolution» (look at the introductory text) and no doubt will be a good place to reflect what changes are needed in the cultural sector to advance much further, with or without crisis.
Presentation of «mov-s/madrid 2010 to be held at the «Centro de Arte Reina Sofia» in Madrid and performing arts venues of the city from 10 to 13 June. Information www.move-s.org
Under the generic title of “The Active Spectator”, the third edition of mov-s aims to delve into the reality of today’s audience. The relationship between performer and spectator can be enriched through the transformation from a passive spectator to an active spectator, who is the protagonist in their relationship with the artist. Considering the spectator as being intimately involved with the artist’s work is a path relatively little explored by the arts, in particular the dance and movement arts, and is a way for a large number of people to be involved in artistic creation. Seguir leyendo «mov-s/madrid 2010» – The Active Spectator→