The “Artist Statute” means that artists are workers with rights to social security, medical and maternal leave, pensions, and retirement… None of that exists in this country (Spain). That means that to be an artist in this country is a joke, not a job. For that reason, many people in this country don’t want to pay artists. There’s cultural and artistic precarity at brutal levels, meanwhile there’s a sort of cultural elite, which are the Institutions; and, at least in Barcelona, we’ve reached almost a totalitarian institutional control of culture and art. It’s the Institutions that control all of it. We’re against it, we’re one of the flags that fly against it. We think that we citizens are those who make culture, culture is for the working person, it’s the citizens who make cinema, movies, writing, songs, videos, shows. It’s we who pay taxes and who want the resources from our taxes to go straight to the street, straight to the citizens. That’s not what’s happening (…) Normally in a socialist, communist, or progressive society,- like Yugoslavia, where I lived until I was 18- culture and art are the pillars of social and cultural development at all levels. That means that art is part of a mandatory educational program. At age three, you would already be mandatorily practicing art. And here we are in a country where even today, in 2018, artistic practice doesn’t exist in public schools. In Spain, we live in a facist country. The same people who won in ‘39 are here today; there was a Democratic Transition, but when you look at the real holders of power- companies, banks, churches- they’re the same people or their descendants. Nothing has changed. I’ve been here for 30 years, and I fight for the “Artist Statute,” and I think that I’m going to die without seeing it happen because the control is brutal. People know that art and culture make a human being, that it’s about their dignity, their will and development, and that’s what art is for, it’s not a material thing, it’s not meant for material wealth. You go to see a show, an artistic work, and what happens? It makes you think critically. This is a facist country and it’s not interested in that. Culture is practiced by very few people; only 20% of all citizens in Spain practice culture, and the majority of it is bulls and folklore. Contemporary theatre, what we do- forget about it. That means that without culture you have an uncultured people because culture should be cultivated from a young age.
Additional Sources In 1985, an Artist Statute was passed in Spain, but in reality it didn’t take into account many of the needs of the sector from a labor perspective. In 2018, an Artist Statute was passed, not without controversy, as is indicated in this article by Eduardo Maura: Eduardo Maura, “Estatuto del artista. En qué punto estamos y qué perspectivas hay,” CTXT, 27 marzo, 2019. https://ctxt.es/es/20190327/Firmas/25239/Eduardo-Maura-estatuto-del-artista-agenda-precariedad-sontenibilidad-cultura.htm.