Arts, Culture And Resistance In Greece

Progressive and avant-garde Greek artists, collectives and cultural and creative artistic bodies, from different backgrounds and disciplines react, contradict and agree not to surrender to austerity, but to defy and disobey the systemic oppression, to react by increasing the cultural productivity and protest against the EU measures, which are shaking the foundations of the turbulent Greek society, having a negative impact to the cultural and creative sectors of the country.

 

In Greece, the governmental and market financial or in-kind support (if any) to the arts and culture sectors is limited to none (with exceptions). The Ministry of Finance budget designated for culture is distributed mainly to the Ministry of Culture taking into consideration its budgetary needs.

 

According to “Efsyn.gr” –newsblog- and “Kathimerini” –newspaper- (21 and 25.11.2015), the budget for Culture in 2016 was only 333 million Euros. In detail, the recorded expenditure, which was included in the annual regular budget for the Ministry of Culture, was 281m Euros, minus 50m Euros which was allocated to the General Secretariat of Sports. The remaining funds for Culture were in the region of only 231m.

 

Through the public investment program a 102m was additionally added. From the total 333m, the 147m was attributed to the payroll. Leaving an small sum to cover the remaining needs of the Ministry of Culture and indeed cover the basic requirements of the non-public sector cultural actors and organisations.

 

In 2015, the total budget designated to cover the financial neediness of the cultural and creative sectors, the Greek artists and the public sectors’ bodies was in the region of 0.3% of the Gross Domestic Product GDP. If not stable, for the past two years, the situation has gone from bad to worse. Artists and cultural bodies, today demand the attention and the care of the government, in order to face the ever increasing needs of their productivities.

 

In general, the remaining funds are distributed by the Ministry of Culture to organisations linked to the Ministry, to private foundations and to selected cultural and creative industries bodies and initiatives. A non-estimated huge sum from the budget is allocated to the Archaeological Sites, Museums and excavations, as well as to Cultural Heritage Initiatives.

 

The budget appears to be less than 1% of the contribution of the arts to the GDP (one of the lowest in Europe), leaving the artists and the cultural organisations dry from funding and support. The problem increases dramatically with the unprecedented Banking System Capital Controls status. This is due to strict agreements forced to Greece by the EU, the European Central Bank ECB and the International Monetary Fund IMF.

 

Despite the efforts of the Minister of Culture Mrs L. Koniordou, it appears that the funding for the years 2017-2018 is expected not go near the 1% of the GDP, taking into consideration the recent programme and funding announcements by the Minister of Culture.

 

Many attended the conference-protest. Panayiotis Neufelt the Founder and Leader of the Cultural Left also participated. The Cultural Left representative, during his speech, presented crucial aspects of cultural and creative economy in relation to cultural policy and social balance.

 

Zoe Konstantopoulou Leader of the Course to Freedom party, took the floor and strongly stressed out her concerns regarding the current cultural policies implemented in Greece, and expressed her continuous support to the Hellenic and the visiting or immigrating cultural and creative actors.

 

Second Gathering

Venue: Vafion Theatre “Lakis Karalis”

Date: Thursday, 6th of April 2017, at 12:00 noon!

Address: Ag. Orous 16 & Konstantinoupoleos 115, Votanikos, Athens, near the Keramikos Metro Station,

T: 00302103425637

 

 

For further information please read the article from the source only in to Greek Language, here.