Lately, and especially since the coalition led by Janez Janša took power, we have been listening to how culture suffers. How culturists can no longer survive, how programmes are cancelled and how culture is thrown on the street. With this crowd of sobs in the desert, there is somehow no one who would ever earn anything in the market. They are all sucked in one way or another to our money that they think belongs to them because they consider themselves cultists.
But the notion of culture is fortunately somewhat older than today’s avant-garde, which believes that installations are culture. The word culture comes from the Latin word cultura, which means upbringing, education, worship, and possibly respect. The original meaning, however, can be traced even to cultivation and arable farming, since the word cultura is derived from the word colere, i.e. to cultivate. Culture is therefore a set of our habits, our knowledge, our ethos, our faith, our hard work with our hands. Culture is certainly not a group of Ljubljana residents who think they are the harbingers and bearers of culture and therefore have the right to live at the expense of others.
However, there is nothing cultural in what most “disadvantaged” cultural figures do. Nothing cultured. Nothing that would lift people out of this world. Nor is it an art that would be an end in itself, but is strictly political. Strictly politically left. Strictly in the service of their own interests and the interests of those who have uncritically financed this kind of ‘culture’ in recent years. So what kind of art is that?
An art that pays very well those who are on the right side – politically of course. Some “culturists” have paid all their contributions because they are supposed to be an indispensable part of Slovenian society. Are they really? Any sole proprietor who earns a few thousand a month (let’s say he has one or two employees) would give everything in the world for only the state to pay his contributions. And he doesn’t have them, despite the fact that he contributes much more to the budget than that indispensable “culturist” whose contributions are paid for by other people’s blisters.
It should be noted that all ‘culturists’ received paid contributions and even basic income during the corona crisis. Some have been receiving money for more than 6 months and have paid contributions. And do you know who claims that this government is going to destroy culture? Yes, you figured it out, these same cultists. Millions of our money are poured into cultural projects that 99% of taxpayers have never heard of. Millions of our money are pouring into cultural institutions where people are fabulously paid to protest when they are not in power. Millions of our money are pouring into a culture whose sole purpose is to slander the Slovenian right. Millions of our money are poured into a “culture” whose purpose is to smuggle illegal migrants into Slovenia. And we pay for it? Because this is supposed to be a culture without which this nation cannot survive?
I am not an art connoisseur, nor do I have an education in this field. Therefore, I do not want to judge the artistic value of an art or artistic direction. I know, however, that the state is not obliged to finance that culture which has nothing to do with the state. Why would the state of Slovenia finance a culture that makes fun of Slovenes? Why would the state of Slovenia finance the “culture” that educates illegal migrants in Bosnia, how to get asylum in Slovenia? Why would the state of Slovenia finance a “culture” whose purpose is the Balkanisation of our language, our environment, our history? The state should financially support institutions and artists that are of key cultural importance to the state. Instead of millions of euros being received by “cultural figures” who changed their name to Janez Janša, the Ljubljana Drama should receive this money. In this way, the real artists, actors will be at least decently paid, and they won’t have to appear in yogurt commercials. Let’s give this money to Slovenian choirs so that they can travel more, sing more, have more concerts. Let’s give the money that the Peace Institute receives, to the Opera and ballet, so that ballet dancers will have decent wages and decent working conditions.
Finally, the biggest disaster of this government. It will evict the cultists from Metelkova. What kind of cultists, please! What kind of artists will the state push to the streets? This is how they wrote about themselves. There are non-governmental organisations engaged in independent cultural, research and advocacy of minority and marginalised groups. Read again. With an independent culture. Then why are they receiving millions of state money and being in this house for free?
This can tell you that this kind of ideological culture is even more dependent. It depends on the power it holds and it is the enemy of any power it does not. The culture that gathers there has nothing to do with our culture and should be funded by those who want such cultures. Those who carried out the last installation in front of the Ministry of Culture, where blood was poured on the tables with the marks of employees at the Ministry, should be held accountable for the crime of threat. It is this culture – peaceful, empathetic and humane – as long as you give it the money of others. And when you no longer want to support everything that is declared culture, it shows its true colours. It becomes totalitarian, political, murderous and monstrous. Thank you so much for such a culture!