We, the undersigned under this text, express explicit disagreement with the content and decision-making way of the Decision, which was, at the proposal of the Secretary for Culture Vladan Vukosavljević, adopted at the session of the Assembly of the City of Belgrade on Friday, October 24th, according to which: ”October Salon will, henceforth, be held biannually, meaning every second year, by virtue of which certain savings will be achieved and the overall quality of this cultural manifestation significantly improved”. (www.beograd.rs/cms/view.php?id=1631977).
We firmly believe that by adopting such Decision, with utter disregard to professional public, which is to say by employing such non-democratic procedure, a fundamental principle in operation of governmental organ has been violated, the principle of transparency in making decisions related to cultural politics and significant manifestations for the City of Belgrade.
In an enduring hardship tangling our country, and by extend our culture, when the majority of citizens, but also key institutions in Serbia face existential problems, we regard the Decision to hold October Salon biannually as an autocratic termination of breathing space for contemporary visual art and critical opinion.
Aiming to improve the quality of this cultural manifestation, we believe it was necessary to consult the wider professional public, prior to adopting the Decision, as well as organising a public debate, where different opinions and arguments would be brought forward and subjected to scrutiny, followed by deciding on further development strategy of October Salon. Adoption of such a faithful Decision, which considers the entire community, must not have been left solely to counsellors and committee members of the Assembly of the City of Belgrade. We stress that, at the initiative of Cultural Centre of Belgrade and one part of professional public, open, critically intoned debates have been taking place for several years now, in scope of side programmes of October Salon.
We regard that all culture workers, but decision makers first and foremost, should intercede in favour of increase of the space and means for cultural activities, and not for abolition of programmes justified by savings, which we assert would have a short term effect and a long term loss.
Therefore, we demand the annulment of the Decision on changing the status of October Salon. We also ask that the Secretariat of Culture of the City of Belgrade, headed by Vladan Vukosavljević, send a public call for dialogue on cultural strategy of the City of Belgrade, which would provide transparent and reliable framework for redefinition and more functional way of doing business in the area of culture in Belgrade.
Belgrade, October 29th 2014
Sign the petition HERE.