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Cultural sector to protest on 1 year anniversary of closure

Credit: Belga

The cultural sector will hold events and demonstrations at various locations across Belgium on Saturday, the “Still Standing for Culture” collective announced in a statement on Wednesday.

13 March marks the one-year anniversary of the first closure of cultural venues, cafés and restaurants as part of the effort to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“One year later, the same pattern is still at work: some sectors are shut down to allow others, deemed ‘essential’, to continue to operate at full capacity,” the collective said.

“This ‘Belgian model’, which combines work, school, shops and curfew, has prevented the government from refinancing hospitals, preferring to put fundamental rights on hold, to set sectors against each other, and to close the floodgates on many activities that provide a social link, with the effects that we know about on our mental health,” they continued.

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With that in mind, the cultural sector wants to “reaffirm that the ‘model’ of society that has been at work for a year is neither a rational evidence nor a health fatality.”

“One year is a long time for an ’emergency’ management that turns entire sectors into fuses without giving them any prospects or granting them compensation for the damage suffered,” they said.

Planned events include a tour of Brussels’ cinema Nova, a show at the Rue du Marché aux Herbes and a so-called funeral march for the forgotten sectors, along with various other actions in the capital and across the country. All events can be found here.

The collective also protested on 20 February, with nearly 300 events around Belgium.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

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