Timisoara International Festival of Literature, denied funding by the mayor’s office, on the 11th edition

The most important literature festival in western Romania will not get money from the local budget. The Timișoara International Festival of Literature, which requested 67,500 lei, was excluded from distributing funding from the City Hall Enterprise Center. Two days ago announced the final results of the current culture call.

There are three million lei, a sum divided into 34 projects. Three of them were accepted after the appeal, but among them it was not that related to the International Literature Festival. The Ion Monoran Poetry Festival, the Baroque Festival, and its 10th edition, or Timorgelfest International Festival, with 21 copies to date, is refused funding through this call.

FILTM is in its eleventh edition, and apart from the first edition, it has received money from Town Hall every year. Writer Robert Serban, one of the initiators, says that in the first stage he thought the rejection of the project was a joke: “Unfortunately, this year has been a flaw, I don’t know what happened and why this happened. Nor should this festival, in my opinion, be a proven cultural asset to the city, And it should not be in competition with others. Especially in the context in which next year Timisoara will be the European Capital of Culture, in a context where there are quite a few cultural events that are already on the city map.”

“I asked for a little money”

Robert Urban is critical of funding regulation, but also the way priority projects have been identified. In addition, he claims, the reasons for registering the project are very weak.

“One was that we didn’t submit our resume, there are these things in writing. Or there was our resume for the organizers. The jury didn’t see them. Another was, for example, that I asked for a little money. Because the minimum amount for this project, on another call, was It would be 250 thousand lei Forgive me, literature festivals don’t cost much. (…) We appealed to blame them and did it on time. One of the subtle criticisms was that the festival is old and nothing new. Well, the festival is 10 years old, and usually, some are done Good things are in time, and you can’t do them overnight. I have no idea. I’m afraid it’s like putting a Formula 1 driver on a driver’s license. I’d almost bet a Formula 1 driver would fail driving school,” explains Zurban.

“Unfortunately, you did not reach all the points on the list”

On the other hand, representatives of the Enterprise Center said that the funding request submitted by the organizers of the literature festival did not meet all the criteria of the regulation. Andirka Jancia, Head of Communications at the centre, explains.

“Yes, it is an important event and is loved by the entire literary community, but unfortunately it has not reached all the points in the rules of this appeal. The assessment was conducted by six professionals, it is two committees, three in the preliminary assessment and three other members. It meets the requirements for the organization of This call for funding or partially fulfilled,” explains the Center’s Director of Communications, Anderka Iancea.

“What is the point of the struggle?”

In 2022, the FILTM theme is “Books and Maps. Literary Quarters”, the event scheduled for October 26-28. Its organizers will also apply for funding for the Timich County Council call for projects, which will be launched in the coming period. However, Robert Urban speaks of a paradox: “We are defending written culture, or we have presented the project here. That is the paradox. Or, if it is a festival of literature where the book is central, it is in some way the axis around which that festival operates, and it does not receive Funding, so what else do we finance? What is the point of fighting for something?”

The project center will open, in the coming period, other invitations for funding, for which FILTM will be invited to register. Over time, at FILTM, lovers of reading can listen or meet, in Timisoara, Slavenka Drakulic, Yuri Andruchovich, Viktor Erofeev, Ludmila Ultkaia, Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Adam Michnik, Pascal Bruckner and others.

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