The Dark Age Netherlands


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“This not only applies to all the production houses for theatres, half of the orchestras, the Muziekcentrum Nederland (formed in a recent merger), the Foundation Art and Public Domain (SKOR), renowned exhibition spaces and research facilities for visual art such as De Appel, but also to the entirely new media sector with its internationally acclaimed institutes such as V2_, the Netherlands Media Art Institute (NIMk), Mediamatic, WORM, the Waag Society and STEIM, as well as to the Rijksakademie, de Ateliers and the Jan van Eyck Academy. Support for critical-analytical journals such as Open and Metropolis M, and for the literary magazines, including De Gids, will be discontinued. Furthermore, the budget that will be allocated to project subsidies, i.e., for individual artists, one-off projects and festivals, will be more than halved. Only ‘international world-class talent’ and art that has already proven itself will remain.

“This is not merely the austerity plan that was anticipated from a centre-right minority cabinet that is at the beck and call of the populist PVV (Party for Freedom): it is a direct attack on art, an attack on anything that does not fit into a market economy, on anything that refuses to, or cannot be, adapted to a populist-tinted, neo-liberal mindset. It marks the end of a cultural sector that was birthed with a great deal of effort and difficulty. His letter does include a few obligatory sentences that could fool a hasty reader into thinking that there actually is a coherent vision behind this policy, but each substantive phrase is contradicted by the proposed regulations. The letter brims with resentment towards innovative and investigative art, towards groundbreaking art, art that cannot survive if it is only supported by the market.
The Dark Age Netherlands