Thursday, 22 December 2011

servicing or organising artists' union?

Kunstitöötajad, ühinege! / Art Workers, Unite!
A seminar on the working conditions, social guarantees and organizing models of art workers.
MÄRZ, Tallinn, Estonia - 19-20th of November 2011

[Which included:]

Vladan Jeremic: During the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia structure of artists union was very developed and defined by the system of self-management and state bureaucracy. Each artists could have a status of co-called “independent free artists” with the possibility to get health care, studios, flats, insurance and pension, all given by the state. During the process of disintegration of Yugoslavia, the neoliberal reforms and the hard economical transition have transformed completely almost all official institutions into agencies or capitalist companies. Amazingly some of the artist unions have survived until today. Such an example is the huge Association of Visual Artists of Serbia (http://www.ulus-art.org/) with more than 2000 members that still kept almost all benefits from the former socialist system. One completely different example is a recently established platform of Belgrade independent cultural scene called The Other Scene (http://www.drugascena.org/node/2). The Other Scene gathers organizations, groups, and individuals involved in the improvement of legal and infrastructural status of the independent scene; redistribution of public spaces; increasing transparency of operational mechanisms and protocols of responsible institutions in arts and culture; as well as presence of the independent scene in media and public space. Strategies of the Other Scene in the field of cultural policies are: integration of the independent scene “bottom-up” (self-organization of actors), increasing of its visibility, dialogue/pressure on the responsible institutions and internal coordination of activities. In the presentation those two different models of organizations (ULUS and The Other Scene), will be critically presented and both models discussed with all their advantages and disadvantages and functions in local and in European context.



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