Shrinking scope for culture and social engagement in society
People demonstrate courage all over the world. Artists and cultural creatives are defending freedom of opinion and expression in the face of increasing pressure. They often feel compelled to go into exile for their views. Courageous alliances are fighting for a just society free of discrimination, for social acknowledgement and for inclusiveness, although they are under virulent attack from populist and nationalist movements. Day after day, social minorities, LGBTQI individuals, migrants and their supporters in Europe and further afield are advocating an open and just society free of discrimination, while a large number of opponents are demanding that these people should be excluded.
However, spaces and forums for this kind of courage are becoming increasingly restricted – even in what are ostensibly the open societies of Europe. Social commitment is being increasingly subjected to restrictive legal and political framework conditions. In many countries, the promotion of translocal artistic and cultural projects is being subjected to swingeing cuts and the objectives are increasingly being subsumed under national interests. The intellectual climate and the tone of public debates are characterised by defamation, rabble-rousing and lack of mutual understanding.