French-speaking cultural circles cry out for help

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Placed under the slogan “No culture, no future”, the action took place simultaneously in ten towns in French-speaking Switzerland. So many rallies to demand that “culture remains present and alive” despite the crisis, declared instead of Molard Olivia Csiky Trnka, on behalf of TIGRE, the Faitière of independent theater producer.rice.xs and professional.

And the actress, playwright and director reminds us that culture is an economic sector. It represents nearly 300,000 jobs and more than 3% of the GDP. “It contributes to individual and collective development, it helps to think about societies and possible futures”, she continued, before asking that it be recognized as an “essential activity by public authorities”.

Read also: Cultural circles are mobilizing to warn about the degradation of their ecosystem

Wide support

Cultural actors have been experiencing difficulties since the start of the health crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of performance halls. In an open letter to the authorities and public opinion, 31 umbrella organizations and professional organizations in Romandie demand the gradual reopening of cultural places, which have been closed for nearly four months.

Other urgent demands include recognition of the specific status of cultural workers at the federal level, the development of financial support for artistic research and training, as well as the simplification of the administrative procedures for obtaining compensation.

According to a survey published on Wednesday by the Romande Culture Task Force, 43% of Romandie cultural actors fear having to change profession because of their financial difficulties due to the Covid-19 crisis, technical staff (58%) feeling more threatened than artists (41%). And nearly one in two cultural businesses (46%) consider their situation from serious to catastrophic.

Minutes of silence

The open letter is supported by more than 120 theaters, museums, cinemas, festivals and libraries. It will be distributed until February 25, the anniversary date of the first case of Covid-19 detected in Switzerland.

In Geneva, its reading by the actress Céline Bolomey was followed by long applause then several minutes of postures in silence, on the proposal of the dancer Foofwa d’Imobility. In Lausanne, where the action also lasted a quarter of an hour, the 250 or so people gathered at Place de l’Europe remained silent for eleven minutes.