Liberties in Lockdown – Lights, Camera, Lockdown: COVID-19 and the Arts

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The cultural and creative sectors have been some of the hardest hit by the restrictive measures of the pandemic. The reason is simple: performances need an audience, and an audience means a gathering of people.

As guaranteed by article 27 from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, people have a right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community and enjoy the arts. But how can we enjoy an orchestral performance of Ode to Joy, when the flute, the clarinet, and the trombone must all wear masks? Similarly, museums, cinemas, the opera and theatre are all currently out of bounds. A purely pragmatic calculation would see culture and art very low on the list of priorities, especially in a crisis that mainly touches on health and economic issues.

While certain cultural institutions have been able to avail of the internet to continue their work, this is only a temporary measure. Digital tools may have helped people cope better with the lockdown, but the unfortunate reality is that they often do not bring enough revenue to their creators or producers. How can culture thrive in a world still under siege by a virus? Can safety at events and exhibitions really be guaranteed? In such unique circumstances, are there alternative ways for people to access culture and the arts?

These questions, and many more, will be tackled by our distinguished speakers during the tenth online event of ELF’s new series – Liberties in Lockdown.

Time: 09:30 – 10:30 (CEST)

Speakers include: 

Irena Joveva, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe Group

Ása Richardsdóttir, Secretary General, International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (IETM)

Polett Kasza, Professional dance artist (Berlin)

Moderator:

Airis Meier, Member of the Board of Directors, European Liberal Forum & Policy Advisor for Education and Culture, Renew Europe Group

Opening remarks by:

Daniel Kaddik, Executive Director, European Liberal Forum

This event will be live-streamed on the European Liberal Forum Facebook page.

Organised by the European Liberal Forum.

It’s clear that COVID-19 will reshape our societies, and indeed our lives, in many ways. What will our world look like once the lockdowns have ended and the travel restrictions are lifted? Will we recognise our countries and cities; our neighbourhoods and friends? Will we recognise ourselves? For the next few weeks, each installment of the Liberties in Lockdown series will have a particular focus, looking at, among other things, the economy, digital privacy and healthcare. We hope you can join us for these important discussions.

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