Workers, unions and groups that bring together the different expressions of art and culture demanded before the National Congress that the law be approved that would extend for 50 years the specific allocations destined to support cultural activities. They warned that, if the term of validity is not extended, the financing of the organisms dependent on the Ministry of Culture will be suspended at the end of the year, as established by Law 27,432, sanctioned during the government of Mauricio Macri. “It is the entire Argentine population that is at risk of losing accessibility to that culture”they pointed out.
The Multisectorial for Work, Fiction and the National Audiovisual Industrywhich brings together different groups of workers, together with the Coalition for a Communication Democratic and the front United for Culture, among other spaces, called a vigil that would last from Wednesday at 12 noon until the end of Thursday’s session in the Senate, to culminate with a great act of all organizations. However, after it became known that the project did not enter the agenda to be discussed in this Thursday’s session – in which the expansion of the Supreme Court will be discussed in particular – from the Multisector they suspended the planned activities. Space United for Cultureon the other hand, ratified their presence in front of Congress, since its members consider that they should “stay on the street”.
The film and television director, and general coordinator of the Multisectorial, William Tellosaid to Page 12 that “without that cultural diversity that Argentina has as a tradition, as a public policy, as a State policy, really it is very difficult for there to be a clear conscience of justice”. And for that reason he highlighted the need for the bill to be “taken with the same immediacy” as the expansion of the Court.
“We need to raise our voice so that senators understand the importance and the need for them to deal with specific assignments”told Tello. In addition, he stressed that “cultural diversity is a constitutional right, it belongs to the population, not only to those of us who do it.” “This sector defends not only jobs, but cultural identity: it is the entire Argentine population that is at risk of losing access to that culture,” he said.
The bill has half sanction, as of the approval of the Chamber of Deputies in June, in a vote where most of Together for Change abstained. From the organizations linked to the cultural sphere they warned that the situation could be similar in the Senate. They argued that, if the term of validity is not extended, the funds will remain under the orbit of the Executive Power, which would imply, at a minimum, a loss of autonomy for cultural entities.
The project was presented by the deputy of the Front of All Paul Carro, who was present during the act in front of Congress: “I would have liked to come to this place to tell you that tomorrow the bill was going to be approved. But know that our government has a firm commitment not to let our culture down,” he said. Carro was “convinced that we are going to approve our 50-year project. But if it does not come out, we are also guaranteed that the assignments will continue for at least five years”, since they would be linked to other projects to be dealt with, in which that extension is established for different taxes that expire at the end of this year. “You have my word and that of this government. This is something that we have discussed with the President and with our Vice President,” said the deputy. In addition, he asked not to “abandon the street”, since “if this project has a chance of being approved, it is because of all this great mobilization of all the sectors of our culture that have been fighting”.
The actress Alejandra Darin, president of the Argentine Association of Actors, told this newspaper that they seek to “make our population aware of the impact this has on their lives. Here we are not only fighting for those 700 thousand jobs, we are for the right that our compatriots have to receive national production that is outside the canons of the market”.
Darín highlighted the importance of culture during the first months of the pandemic. “If our movies, our platform-streamed plays, our music, reading a book hadn’t existed, surely that horrific time during quarantine would have been harder and with more serious psychological effects.” And he highlighted the work carried out by popular libraries, also beneficiaries of these assignments: “Those people who cannot buy a book, but can go to a library to pick one up and return it later, would not be able to access it without these specific assignments. It is up to all citizens of our country. It is not a joke”.
Report: Diego Castro Romero.