The conference was opened by representatives of the organiser, Miljenka Buljević and Emina Višnić, as well as the Croatian Minister of Culture Jasen Mesić. As he stressed, the Ministry is aware of weaknesses in functioning of public cultural institutions and will surely keep the eyes and ears open for new ideas.
The panel Culture Under Pressure started with lectures by Jim McGuigan and Vesna Čopič. McGuigan talked about neoliberal cultural and its alternative in the cultural public sphere. Neoliberal policies tend to reduce culture to economic reason: the function of culture is to produce an economic payoff. Paradoxically, this reductive approach to culture requires enormous amounts of public subsidies… Čopič gave her perspecive on modernisation of public sector in culture. As she stressed, in last 20 years nothing significant happened in transformation of cultural institutions – only a proliferation of regulation and strategic documents. That is why every serious cultural policy researcher today should use a crap filter… Čopič advocates for radical organisational restructuring of public cultural institutions in the directions of heterogenity of organisation, flexibilty of personell and financial autonomy…
As they both conclude, culture cannot be reduced to economic, social or any other reason.
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