środa, 18 stycznia 2017

Solidarity with American art workers

The Civic Forum for Contemporary Art (Obywatelskie Forum Sztuki Współczesnej), based in Poland, expresses our solidarity with American art workers, who will rise up on the 20th of January in protest against Donald Trump’s presidency. In our part of Europe, we are witnessing a comparable crisis of democracy that prompts similar anxieties, as reactionary demagogues feed on resentment and stir up hatred.

We believe that the defense of democracy must begin at the site where it is most jeopardized: in the place of work. The struggle for social security, fair wages, and respectful labor relations connects directly with the struggle for freedom of speech, free education, women’s and minority rights, and a society free from racism and religious fundamentalism. All these rights are currently at risk. Only a wide antifascist front, which connects the struggle for equality with the struggle for democracy and freedom, will be able to fend off the coming wave of racism and fascism.

As a coalition of art workers, we do not comply with our artistic or intellectual works being used to beautify or obfuscate abuses committed by financial or political oligarchies (even the Trumps collect art). For us, art should support the struggles for an equal, democratic, and diverse society in the pursuit of a better, dignified, and conscious life.
The members of the Civic Forum for Contemporary Art (Obywatelskie Forum Sztuki Współczesnej)
The Civic Forum of Contemporary Art (Obywatelskie Forum Sztuki Współczesnej) was initiated in November 2009 by a group of Polish artists, curators and art critics, active in the field of contemporary art.  It was established in order to support the development of this sector by influencing cultural policies and legal frameworks. From 2011 onwards the Forum has focused mainly on the rights of artists and other art workers.  In May 2012 it organized the Art Strike, which raised social awareness about the poverty and disfranchisement of artists, who far too often are reduced to the role of unpaid suppliers of artistic institutions. The Forum struggles for better working conditions in the sector, focusing on such issues as wages for art work, social insurance for art professionals, access to studios, fair and transparent contracts, etc.

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