While a hundred artists, managers and community producers arrived at the march called by the Network of Scenic Spaces (RED), the Núcleo de Pichincha, directed by Luis García, called an assembly at the same time. Artists from at least 15 self-organized associations to demonstrate against the implementation of public policies in the sector and deliver a petition to state authorities, took the Nucleus in a representative manner and delivered their manifesto to García.
It seemed unethical to the Network that the Nucleus should convene an Assembly at the same time and day as the march. However, according to García, they hope to meet with the representatives of the RED and the rest of the associations on July 3, as it says it coincides on several points with the manifesto.
“What the comrades say is something that we have said since the nucleus was born, two years ago, the Organic Law of Culture (LOC) and the regulations are not being well applied. We have always said that and the three assemblies we have had is to ask the competent authorities, the governing body and the Ministry of Finance, to comply.
At that point we agree,” said the president of the nucleus. However, García does not agree with the artists’ request to establish “profiles” of the designated authorities in the sector, since in the case of the Minister of Culture, this must be elected by the President of the Republic; and in the case of the presidents of the nuclei of the House, these are chosen by elections.
“We cannot cut off the right to be elected to anyone,” García said (at the end of 2018, the budget proforma of the Nucleus, which was based on the law, was $3’106,000; they were approved $640,873). In this sense, Javier Cevallos Perugachi, spokesman for the RED, said that “it is necessary to rethink the idea of culture, there are people who are not steeped in institutions and who decide the great national policies.
He does not have a position on the possibility that singer-songwriter Juan Fernando Velasco will be the next minister. “Obviously in the case of him we can not have a position because we do not know what he will propose, or his vision. But we don’t want to continue thinking that an artist, including us, just because he is an artist, is qualified to be a minister.
The people who accede to these positions do not realize what they are encompassing and that is overflowing,” Cevallos said. For its part, the RED has convened working groups for this and the following week in order to have a map before the meetings requested of the state authorities, which would be after July 1.
Ronald Verdesoto, director of the Institute for the Promotion of Arts, Innovation and Creativity (IFAIC), and one of those summoned to meet with the RED, told this newspaper that he would have asked to schedule a meeting with the artists. “I believe that these are legitimate requests from the sector that should be dealt with according to their needs, without forgetting the normative issue that is the one that in public administration provides us how to work,” said Verdesoto.
The petition calls for very specific aspects, among which “to promote the hiring of collaborative, self-organized producers and to put a ceiling of 10% to the producers of large state cultural events. Hours after the march began, the fan page of the National Book and Reading Plan José de la Cuadra announced “that it is about to upload to the public procurement portal the process for the printing of 21 titles that will be distributed in the libraries of the Ministry of Education of Ecuador, book fairs and reading drums,” in addition to “hiring a producer that will take charge of 4 book fairs: Manta, Cuenca, and the binational fair Ecuador – Colombia.
For Cevallos, “the problem goes beyond that, we have to think about what is the vision of the fairs, if they are commercial events or are processes that cross the aesthetics, the artistic and the cultural of the country”. Cultural economist Gabriela Montalvo agrees with this criterion, since book fairs are not encouraging the publishing sector. In the case of the Loja Festival of Living Arts, the RED asks that a self-sustainability technical document be presented “because it cannot be that a single event has such a high budget and indefinitely. (I)