Åsa Norman

CULT POLI, Reims, 2013.

We, Art lovers and Artists from all over the world,

We gathered at the Comédie de Reims, France, on the 13th December 2013, as members of the Young Performing Art Lovers to share our common passion and commitment for art. We were asked to participate in a Young European Parliament experiment and we chose to work on the relationships between Arts and Politics because we believe that Art is political. We were also asked to pass through standard working procedures in order to take part in a Parliament session’s simulation. But we have another approach and we would like to express our ideas in our own way. The serious consequence of this will to make our voice heard in its difference, is that in the name of the EU concept of true democracy, we have been deprived from our essential rights to participate in this Parliament simulated debate and vote. But after very harsh debates, we were allowed to read this manifesto, deeply grateful!

We were asked a question: “How could the EU link Art and European citizenship issues in order to contain the rise of increasingly present phenomena of inward- looking attitudes in Europe?”. But this way of formulating the question is already symptomatic of the ideology we refuse.

In the new EU Culture funding programmes, the word “art” has been replaced by the word “creative industries”, implying that art is only considered for its economic and social outcome instead of its artistic value. This implies a radical change in the way we consider Art and we refuse this.

We believe that Art should not be an instrument of the main dominant politics, but a means to criticize it, open the minds, raise the consciousness of people and create dialogue. This is why the EU programmes should open themselves to a greater diversity of projects, in terms of forms, topics and artistic languages. Application process should be simplified in order to be accessible. All minorities and oppressed groups should be able to apply and be treated equally. Artists of different gender, transgender, sexualities, ethnicities, races, classes, backgrounds, different needs, citizenships should be represented. And we demand the same diversity within committies where decisions regarding funding for art are made.

In the same order of idea, the EU should provide the possibility for everyone to access culture, arts and education as a fundemental human rights. Art is an elementary need and right. And this is the basics on which every EU program should be designed.

We are not desperately asking for funding and artists should not be put in this situation. But we are asking for a radical change in the way, not only the EU, but also artists, consider the arts. The purpose of arts in society should be redefined and artists should be fully conscious of the responsibility they have. Our resolution is a revolution.

Lucie Beraha
Sulok Swablamban
Elen Riot
Chloé Ferro
Evelina Hedin
Åsa Norman
Rony Efrat
Svitlana Shymko
Alexandra Jorg
Barbara Coutant
Nermin Hamzagic
Ivan Skoko
Floriane Dumoulin
Bozidarka-Matija Cerina
Pierre Bedouet