“The city’s economic development is growing, 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 are of the view that although the economic development of the city is increasing, cultural organizations are always on the brink of survival.


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The “Manifesto of Culture as a Public Good in Cluj-Napoca” was signed by many of the city’s intellectuals and published on campaniamea.declic.ro in the form of a petition that separately collected 123 signatures.

The cultural inhabitants of Cluj want the local administration, together with the cultural entities of the city, to develop a real strategy and a series of measures to reassert 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 workable strategy and series of measures in a collective effort to reassert culture as the common good of us, the whole.

We invite members of the Cluj community to support this effort, to develop this awareness together for our community: our culture and our cultures. Only by our presumed position and by our collective efforts will we find ourselves in Cluj, among ourselves, in a global dialogue,” the statement read.

Why is it important?

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

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

“Cluj is a cultural city with traditions 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 offer, our city is more and more in line 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 unfortunately also have the other side of the coin: 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 value the process on the cultural product – creating alternative models for social organization and year-round activity, building enduring relationships with the public and the local community . This sector, which is often self-reflexive, actively contributes to the redefinition of our society, with the aim of a balanced and representative society for all social groups.

Although the economic development of the city seems to be increasing, today, in Cluj-Napoca, the culture, artists, producers and spaces that support it implicitly are in an increasingly precarious position. The vast majority of the current cultural organizations are on the verge of permanent survival in the absence of strong infrastructure structures and local funding, and the cultural sector constantly suffers losses, some as recently as the closing of spaces such as Fabrica de Pensol 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. However, by neglecting 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.

We therefore call for the crystallization, assumption and implementation of a broad vision that truly assumes the fundamental role of culture in society: the meeting place and knowledge/development of different societies,” reads the petition.

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

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