An Open Letter to the Ministry of Culture
5 thousand euros! No thanks, we may return it, and do so with resentment!
A few days ago, the Ministry of Culture published the preliminary list of cultural projects they have supported for 2021. They had decided to finance Qendra Multimedia with 5,000 euros, for the 11th edition of polip – International Literature Festival that takes place in Prishtina, whereas our important international theatre project ‘Balkan Bordello’, was not part of the list. We must note: Balkan Bordello is the only international theatre coproduction for 2021 in Kosovo. Once again, the only international theatre coproduction. It is a coproduction between Qendra Multimedia from Prishtina and La MaMa from New York, which is one of the most renowned theatres in the world.
We followed the legal path and filed a complaint in the address of the ministry, hoping they would correct their mistake. Being precautious about the fact that they could try to find excuses in ‘legal and administrative criteria’, in our complaint we gave them examples of how they hadn’t respected this ‘legal and administrative criteria’ very strictly in the preliminary list published earlier.
Anyway, we just realized that the final list has been published yesterday. ‘Balkan Bordello’ is still not part of it. This makes us angry and disgusted. But at the same time, it helps us realize that no change has taken place in the Ministry of Culture in Kosovo. This Ministry continues producing localist and provincial cultural policies, it feeds on the ‘policies of nepotism’ (that sometimes can weigh up to 15,000 euros) and that the criteria that was in place until yesterday – the one where close political affiliation were a precondition for access to public funding - continue being the criteria to this day as well.
Therefore, Qendra Multimedia refuses to become part of a compromised process of public funds distribution. And it refuses to play the dance with a ministry like this one, that in such an arrogant way, undermines its almost 20 years credibility and activity in the field of theatre and literature.
So, we are returning the 5,000 euros to the Ministry. They can give it to Manifesta Biennale, to whom earlier this year they have allocated a fund of not more and not less than 700,000 euros, and all that in the account of the local independent cultural scene. May this ‘donation’ of ours increase Manifesta’s budget to 705,000 euros!