MY FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE WILL TAKE PLACE TODAY, ON 16 OCTOBER, AT 3 P.M. AT THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART IN FRONT OF THE TRIESTE CONSTRUCTIVIST CABINET
I hereby announce that I am ending my hunger strike today, on 16 October.
Today, following several important resolutions that emerged over the past few days, I received the opinion of the Public Accounting Directorate, which states that the expenses that the Municipality of Vitanje submitted as part of the documentation regarding the execution of the contract with the Ministry, are justified. It also states that KSEVT’s management of public resources was justified and transparent. This is enough for me to stop putting my health in danger and concentrate my efforts on collaboration with the government’s team in order to ensure a constructive transition of KSEVT into a functional institution.
I therefore expect the Ministry of Culture to renounce its request for KSEVT to return the funds it had been granted, so that we close last year’s balance and start focusing on finding a solution for this year’s situation.
The Ministry now has an opportunity to act upon the realization that the criminalization of KSEVT’s management in 2014 resulted from the Director-General of the Creativity Directorate’s lack of will for seeking constructive solutions: it is now evident that the employee purposefully caused major material and moral damage to me, KSEVT, and to the Ministry of Culture. I hope that the Minister and the employees alike take our case as a warning that Ministry officials should not act as mere guardians of accountancy rules, but as, first and foremost, as those who should actively follow the development of artistic practices and strive for creating the best possible conditions for art and culture.
Regarding my second claim, the Prime Minister, who shook hands with me at the Museum of Modern Art on 13 October, gave me his word that all the necessary measures will be taken to establish solid productional foundations for KSEVT. Such activities are due to begin next week.
My third claim was widely discussed and there was public recognition of the need for a raise in the share of budget allocations to culture to 2% of the annual government budget. The resolution of the National Council, which was passed on to the National Assembly, calls for an increase in funding as soon as possible. The government should take the massive reaction of concerned international partners of the Slovenian artistic scene as a warning that our projects in international consortia should not be toyed around with. This international support is what we should build on in order to to put pressure on politics, which should take the most responsible approach possible to creating conditions that would allow us to measure up to the commitment that our European partners expect from us!
Let the case of KSEVT be taken as a warning by political decision-makers: it demonstrates that art and culture are fragile qualities of humanity. There is always too little humanity, so we shall always demand more.
I thank everyone who recognized the reasons behind my claims as our common issues and responded to the strike with their own insights and activities.