“The economic development of the city is increasing, but cultural organizations are about to survive”

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The People of Culture initiated a manifesto to reaffirm culture as a common good in Cluj-Napoca. They believe that despite the growth of the city’s economic development, cultural organizations are on the cusp of survival.


Brush Factory Closed / Photo: Facebook – Brush Factory

The “Manifesto of Culture as a Public Good in Cluj-Napoca” was signed by several cultural figures of the city and published on the website campaniamea.declic.ro in the form of a petition which collected 123 signatures separately.

The cultural people of Cluj want the local administration, together with the cultural entities of the city, to devise a real strategy and a series of measures to re-emphasize culture as a “common interest”:

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“We call on the local administration, cultural institutions, universities and the independent cultural sector to develop and implement a real and viable strategy and series of measures, in a collective effort, to reaffirm culture as our common good, for all.

We invite members of the Cluj community to support this approach, to develop together this awareness of our community: our culture and our culture. Only through our assumed position and through our collective efforts will we find ourselves in Cluj, among ourselves, in a global dialogue,” the statement explained.

Why is it important?

Although the city’s economic development appears to be growing, today, in Cluj-Napoca, the culture and implicitly “the artists, producers, and spaces that support it are in an increasingly precarious position”, say the signers.

They sound the alarm and say that cultural organizations are “on the cusp of survival” in the absence of strong local infrastructure and funding structures:

“Cluj is a cultural city with tradition and we are proud of it. We have dozens of cultural institutions and more than 1,000 organizations and companies that produce thousands of cultural events annually. In terms of cultural offering, our city is increasingly aligned with European cities.

However, in addition to the welcome expansion of the offer of cultural products – brought to Cluj by the key to entrepreneurship and market logic, we have, unfortunately, the opposite of the medal: the alarming decline in local cultural production. An alarming number of places of cultural production are now in a critical situation, many of which have closed in recent years, especially those that have highlighted the process as well as the cultural product – creating alternative models for social organization and year-round activity, and building lasting relationships with the public and the local community. This sector, which is often self-reflexive, actively contributes to the redefinition of our society, striving for a balanced and representative society for all social groups.

Although the city’s economic development appears to be growing, the culture, artists, producers and spaces that support it in Cluj-Napoca today are in an increasingly precarious position. The vast majority of current cultural organizations are on the verge of permanent survival in the absence of strong local infrastructure and funding structures, and the cultural sector suffers constant losses, some as recently as the closing of spaces such as the Brush Factory and ZUG. region.

We note with concern that the social dimension of local cultural production cannot be replaced by the economic dimension of culture.

We risk losing the local cultural production processes that give us the opportunity to redefine our belonging to our multiple communities and our belonging to the city. Or, by ignoring the production of its own cultural identities, Cluj ends up losing not only its cultural uniqueness arising from diversity, but also the cohesion of its communities.

Therefore, we call for the crystallization, hypothesis and implementation of a broad vision that truly assumes the primary role of culture in society: a place of convergence and knowledge/development of different societies,” the petition stated.

See here the people’s statement of the culture from Cluj.

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