THIS IS NOT OVER
This is not over, it has only just begun.
At the Actúa Ayuda Alimenta Foundation we detect that the increasing opening of restrictions due to Covid-19 also entails a relaxation in the perception of the state of emergency that the cultural sector is experiencing. Although we understand that we must be able to enjoy this moment where we can see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, we are obliged to insist through this manifesto that the situation of Culture is far from normalising.
According to estimates from various studies, employment in the cultural sector has fallen by between 10% and 15%. If in 2019 we had a census of some 710,000 people working in the sector, in the fourth quarter of 2020 there were 650,000, and this year is not expected to improve. In these numbers we have to include the number of people who are not registered as cultural workers or who work without contracts.
Cultural companies lost on average 30% of their income in 2020, in some cases reaching 90% losses! In short, it is one of the most affected industries and, according to the European Gesac study, recovery may take more than a decade.
These figures give us an idea of the economic impact we are facing. Behind these figures there are people, workers in the sector, from technicians to artists, who have not been earning an income for a long time or who have taken up another profession.
In the case of artists, we face the loss of their future works, as many of them will no longer be produced, with the consequent damage to the country's artistic wealth.
For all these reasons, we believe it is important to set ourselves these objectives:
- To raise public awareness of the importance of culture in society.
- To continue to communicate the magnitude of the crisis facing the sector.
- To achieve a unity of all cultural sectors in the search for joint solutions.
- To insist to public bodies on the need for better aid to revive culture and to support the professionals who make it possible.
- Not to fall into triumphalist messages regarding the recovery, so as not to confuse the public (even more if possible) and so that these messages cannot be used by governments to declare the end of the crisis and, therefore, to forget the cultural sector once again.
- Support the establishment of an Artist's Statute so that workers in the sector can have job stability.
We cannot allow all the cultural fabric lost during the pandemic to be written off as lost. We must demand and demand the full recovery of the sector and only begin to understand the growth figures of the sector when they start from the numbers of the end of 2019, when we had managed, little by little, to recover from the previous crisis of 2008.
The little that we can take positively from this pandemic year is that it has managed to unite the cultural sector more than ever. That is why organisations, companies and workers in the cultural sector declare loud and clear that THIS IS NOT OVER.