BIJ1 wants to fight for a thriving art, culture and media sector that reflects Dutch society and is accessible to everyone. A sector that keeps us on our toes, entertains and educates us, and takes responsibility for its part in, among other things, colonial history and the past of slavery. BIJ1 wants creators to be able to make again, and writers to be able to write again.
ROOM FOR INNOVATION AND ACCESSIBILITY
Art, culture and the creative sector must be able to work at a high level, develop new ideas, inspire and provoke, and thus have meaning for society as a whole. Artists and creatives must be able to make a living from their work. Independent and diverse media are indispensable for a free and democratic society. Unfortunately, the space for critical and creative thinkers, writers and creators is becoming ever smaller. Subsidies are becoming smaller and scarcer, while the obligations of creators towards those who provide subsidies are growing. Small institutions are being wiped out in this way.
Publishers, for example, are increasingly reluctant to publish books that have little chance of becoming bestsellers because they do not bring in enough money. In the Netherlands, only about a hundred writers can make a living from writing. Newspapers and broadcasters are increasingly judged by the number of subscribers and viewing figures. This means fewer opportunities for controversial and innovative creations that do not directly attract the general public. Cultural sanctuaries are under pressure and creators are forced to become commercial. Entrance fees for performances and exhibitions are also only increasing: this means that art and culture will only be for the elite.
SUPPORT THE CREATORS
Meanwhile, the (hidden) poverty among creators is only getting worse. Although the Fair Practice Code (which focuses on improving makers’ incomes) is a good instrument to counteract this, compliance is not monitored and institutions do not have the resources to do so. In this way, the system of poverty, rules and restrictions is self-sustaining and the arts and culture sector is being further eroded.
REPRESENTATION OF SOCIETY
Cultural institutions and broadcasters still do not reflect society. White people, in particular, decide what will hang in museums or which organisations will receive subsidies. The talking heads on television and radio are still too often white men. Editors do not represent the various perspectives within our society. In addition, it is often more difficult for creators of colour to gain access to funds and cultural institutions. As a result, government-subsidised art and culture only appeal to a limited part of Dutch society. The Diversity and Inclusion Code was drawn up to put an end to this, but its implementation lags behind.
RECOGNIZE THE CREATORS, RECOGNIZE HISTORY
Many of our museum collections are built on Dutch colonial history and the Dutch history of slavery. In Dutch museums you can still see art that has been stolen from other countries or that has been purchased with money earned through slavery and exploitation. This must come to an end. Our approach for a representative and healthy art, culture and media sector is as follows.
FOR THE CREATORS
- We will make more funds available in the field of art, culture and media, and a greater diversity of institutions can also claim these funds. The cutbacks at Rutte-I will be reversed and more structural investments will be made in art, culture and media.
- More investment will be made in makers at the NPO. These investments will be linked to mandatory compliance with the Fair Practice Code and the Cultural Diversity Code. In addition, the skewed financial constructions with which production companies make large profits will be made undone.
- The Wet Werk & Inkomen Kunstenaars (Work & Income Artists Act) will be re-established and structural efforts will be made to achieve the elimination of poverty in the arts, culture and media sector.
- There will be strict monitoring of compliance with the Fair Practice Code so that manufacturers can provide for their maintenance. There will be sufficient additional resources for institutions to implement this code and make it binding, so that there will be consequences for non-compliance with the Fair Practice Code.
- There will be fewer obligations to generate their own income, so that creators can concentrate on their work and access prices can be lowered.
- We will ensure that all predatory art is returned by Dutch cultural institutions and help make it possible to conserve and exhibit the art there.
- (Cultural) sanctuaries are unique places in our society with great social and cultural value. Existing sanctuaries will be recognized and preserved. New sanctuaries will be supported practically and legally.
DIVERSITY AND REPRESENTATION
- There will be strict monitoring of compliance with the Diversity and Inclusion Code in order to strengthen the representation of different groups in society within the culture sector. We will do this with sufficient additional resources for institutions to implement this Code and make it binding, with consequences for non-compliance.
- There will be a representative and inclusive recruitment policy for decision-making positions within media and culture funds, so that decision-makers within these funds better reflect society.
- Attention from cultural and media institutions for Dutch colonial history and slavery history, but from the perspective of the former colonies, will be mandatory.
- We want a public broadcaster that remains independent and is not influenced by the government or by commerce.
- We will ensure proper monitoring of media representativeness, protecting regional media, local media and target group media.
- There will be a supervisor on diversity within the broadcasters, who will look at representation within the organisations as well as diversity and inclusion in media expressions.
- Admission to museums and cultural institutions will be free, so that everyone can enjoy art and culture, regardless of their income.
- There will be a cultural budget for every child in the Netherlands.
- We will be directing public service broadcasters to online programmes that are accessible free of charge.
- Arts and culture education will become a compulsory part of both primary and secondary education and secondary vocational education (MBO). Cooperation will be sought between education, the cultural environment of the school and the arts and culture sector. Participation in leisure time must also be made more accessible to every child.