UNESCO | 6th Conference of Parties to the 2005 Convention

Unesco CoP 6

States which were Party to the 2005 Convention on Cultural Diversity adopt operational guidelines in the digital environment

From 12 to 15 June 2017, UNESCO hosted the 6th Conference of Parties to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in Paris. When assessing the conference, there are both positive and negative points.

Among the positive aspects, we can note the importance given to civil society organisations (NGOs) which organised their own forum on 12 June and are now recognized by the Secretariat and Member States as essential partners for implementing the Convention.
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ALERT! Help saving the orchestra of the Flemish Opera!

Flemish Opera Orchestra

The highly esteemed and much appreciated Opera and Ballet Orchestra in Flanders is being threatened to shutdown soon. Such closure would result in a major part of Flemish culture being seriously eroded if not completely eradicated.

How is this possible? It is a direct consequence of political machinations. An external report was ordered by the Flemish Minister of Culture, Sven Gatz. The report was eventually compiled by one, Koen Vandyck.

This damaging report seems to imply the absorption of the Flemish Opera Orchestra into the Philharmonic Orchestra in Antwerp.
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France | The profession of performer undermined by the government

Assemblée Nationale

Indignation among professional performing artists after the adoption at second reading of the “Creation” bill presented by the French government which makes provision for all companies in the entertainment business, whether subsidised or not, to be able to resort to using unpaid artists.

Under the guise of fostering amateur practices, the French government is organising the legalisation of negating the trade of performer, by suggesting that the work of a musician or actor does not need to be remunerated.

This is a historic regression, in a country which has the reputation for treating its artists worthily.
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Financial crisis at the Rishon LeZion Symphony Orchestra

Rishon LeZion Symphony Orchestra

The IMU (Israeli Musicians’ Union) is deeply involved in the ongoing negotiations between the Rishon LeZion Symphony Orchestra’s management and the 80 musicians who are employed under a collective agreement and represented by the Union. The orchestra carries a heavy deficit and as government and city support, though not curtailed, are not going to grow, the management has put on the table a drastic cut in the planned 2016 budget.

The musicians are asked to agree to a 10% cut in their salaries. Next two weeks will be crucial and it is hoped that a workable solution will be reached.
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EU Commission’s digital strategy overlooks performers’ need for a fair remuneration

EU Commission

On May 6th, The European Commission unveiled its Digital Single Market Strategy. According to the Commission, this strategy includes a set of targeted actions built on three pillars:
1. Enabling a better access to digital goods and services for consumers and businesses across Europe;
2. Creating the right conditions and a level playing field for digital networks and innovative services to flourish;
3. Maximising the growth potential of the digital economy.

FIM welcomes the Commission’s intent to put copyright at the heart of its digital strategy.
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EU | Report published on the culture and creative sectors in the crisis

A new report, commissioned by the European Commission, looks at the resilience of employment in the culture and creative sectors during the crisis.

The short analytical report on “The resilience of employment in the Culture and Creative Sectors (CCSs) during the crisis” was prepared by the European Expert Network on Culture (EENC).

The report collects and analyses publicly available data on culture, creativity and new technologies from the 28 EU member states.

Using the best available statistical evidence from across European local labor markets, the report finds that employment in the culture and creative sectors demonstrated a certain degree of resilience over the course of the economic crisis.
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End of the Rome Opera House conflict

On the 25 November 2014, during a full session, Rome Opera House staff approved by 97% the agreement signed two days earlier between theatre management and unions which cancels the decision at the beginning of October to dismiss the institution’s 182 musicians and choir members.

This agreement is first of all the result of the work and commitment of Italian unions and musicians which must be applauded here. It also owes a lot to intense international mobilisation which took the opera house administration and the political decision-​makers concerned by surprise, in the face of the unanimous disapproval of the music world.
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More about the Rome Opera crisis

Ignazio Marino - Photo Niccolò Caranti

Following a two and a half hour long meeting, the Board of Directors of the Rome Opera House, chaired by the City Mayor [see photo], decided on 2 October 2014 to dismiss the institution’s 182 orchestra musicians and choir members, at the same time laying the blame on union representatives, guilty in their eyes of not having subscribed to the management’s and city’s cost-​cutting plan.

Although the plan had actually been accepted by the majority of staff, management justifies its decision by the fact that a certain number of musicians opposed it, insinuating in addition –without the slightest proof– that the hasty departure of conductor Ricardo Muti was apparently attributable to the musicians who had dared come out on strike to denounce the deterioration in their working conditions.
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