With culture we stand - statement
Arts and culture are tools that have united society since time immemorial. They are part of life of all of us, regardless of age, social status, race, nationality, faith, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation. Arts and culture reflect our society. The message left behind us in the area of culture will be the basis for reflecting on what kind of times we live in today.
Arts, culture and knowledge form the character of society and provided they have conditions for development, they promote the principles of freedom and equality for all people. The actions of the Ministry of Culture over the past year aim at their curtailing and thus to lesser diversity of the Slovak society. They strengthen the interests of the majority over minorities and prefer just one form of culture at the expense of its diversity, which we consider a clear evidence that the Ministry is failing to pursue basic values.
We are all in need of a fully functional and competent Ministry of Culture that would actively care for its own core institutions. We are in need of a Ministry that would promote the development of institutions, independent organisations and individuals on a large scale, and initiate the emergence of new subsidiary organisations missing in the existing structure. We are in need of a Ministry that creates the legislative and administrative framework, reflects on the practices and progress of artistic activities and responds flexibly to their changes. We are in need of the Ministry that would, in liaison with the Ministry of Finance, secure suitable support as well as subsidies and that would fill the directorial posts based upon the expertly formed committees and clearly defined criteria.
A functional Ministry of Culture creates an independent and transparent environment in grants allocation guaranteed by expert committees. Relying on EU values and observing human rights, it welcomes and promotes the international and interdisciplinary development of Slovak culture. Based on the good practice of allocating financial resources through the Slovak Arts Council, such a Ministry applies it in further areas of its competence, including the area of culture of minorities and disadvantaged groups of people.
Art and culture as tools for a more sensitive perception and cultivation of values should be among the priorities of the state. Therefore, we request the person heading the Ministry of Culture will exercise their duties responsibly, will provide auspices for different cultural subjects and will not discriminatorily circumvent the recommendations of expert committees.
As a result of her actions, the current Minister of Culture Mrs. Laššáková has lost our trust. We stand with culture and call for an immediate change in the Ministry leadership.
We call for new leadership at the Ministry of Culture that will co-operate with advisory bodies and respect the voices of artistic institutions in a competent and sensitive manner, showing an interest to lead this department.