by Mara Noto & Giuseppe Menditto
It’s been a year now. A difficult year that has brought about losses, restrictions, an overall dominant feeling of helplessness, mixed with an inability to react. Cultural spaces in Italy, as well as in Belgium the Netherlands and in many other corners of the planet have been forced to reinvent themselves. The most vulnerable museums, galleries, cinemas, and independent concert halls especially had and still have very few options available, at least among those we heard from. Shutting down was the only solution for many.
It has been a year that has also shed light on all the contradictions inherent to the world of creative production: such as what it means to make art today, how to finance it, how to protect those who work there, how to distribute it, and at what price. Pre-existing issues that have been unmasked only by the Covid crisis.
Culture, music and art cannot merely be evaluated in monetary terms, instead their value must be recognized from another point of view. An assessment which is not immediately quantifiable. The huge sacrifices, bearing social costs as well as tremendous cultural and economic damages, have yet to be established.
The closure of all cultural spaces in the Netherlands goes on. For a few months now, we of the 31mag editorial team took our bikes and our smartphones, and went around the cities we live in, photographing the closed doors of those spaces. Places that we miss enormously. Where we could not go, we asked for the help and support of those who live and work near those spaces. The response was immense, and many people enthusiastically participated.
The responses poured in from all over, starting with those who work in the art world for a living, for passion, and from others like us who can’t wait to be able to go to an exhibition, listen to a live concert or finally see a film on a real screen.
Our goal? To show solidarity with those cultural spaces, but also to not forget that they exist. We would like, therefore, to expand our invitation to all those who follow us, to do the same. Follow us on Instagram, send us photos, and tell us about the museums and cinemas you can’t wait to go to, when the time finally comes.
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