This week, an initiative „Enough with the cuts!“ warned of systematic deterioration of working conditions and workers rights for artists and other culture workers. The initiative was formed following continuous cuts in budget for culture that went hand in hand with non-transparent allocation of founding. Culture workers like independent media workers have been continuously forced to take precarious work, surviving for project to project, often without social protection and with no retirement insurance, competing with their colleagues for small grants for research and production.
After the results of the last Ministry’s funding call came out - revealing additional cuts - culture workers decided to take the streets. These were their demands:
-“We demand from those in power that they halt the process of erosion of the public financing of culture. Enough with the free-market logic and the competition among artists and workers in culture, institutions and organizations.”
-“We demand an increase in the budget for culture to 3%. We demand that the work of Culture Councils be made public, based on clear criteria and justified decisions. Enough with non-democratic decision-making procedures on distribution and allocation of public funding.”
- “We demand conditions in which artists can live off their work. We demand labor and social protection. Enough with the disgraceful working conditions and precarious labor conditions caused by short-term and unstable project-based financing.”
- “We demand the construction of new – and the overhaul of existing – infrastructure from the Ministry of Culture: from neighborhood and local spaces for culture to the major representative institutions. Enough with the destruction of the public cultural infrastructure on all levels. Enough with the perception of culture as something to be enjoyed by elite and academic circles or to be handed out as humanitarian work to communities.”
- "We demand public financing of non-profit media as a space of research and critical journalism that works for the public interest. Enough with the suffocation, cuts, and contraction of space for informing, educating and criticising.”
Few hundreds culture and media workers and other activists gathered in front of the Ministry of Culture under the slogan „Enough with the Cuts“. Massages „Will I have to write a project application to get a pension?“, „No heating – no art“. Most of the messages emphasized material conditions and constant precarization of work. At the end of last year, a research paper was released that showed women artists were paid 25% less than their male colleagues. It showed they cannot plan a family life, nor expect to have an office. Only a third of female workers in culture said they get paid for all of their work.