Friday, October 29, 2010

Literary Propapuffballs

Loking into the agenda for Europe over the next couple of weeks what do we see, well lots of stuff really, but one thing did catch my eye as it is anotther of those things that governments just shouldn't be doing. Like Film prizes, and journalism prizes and so forth.

Though prizes for endeavour are good things in themselves it is just innapropriate for them to be handed out by Govrernments. In free societies it should be private organisations that do that sort ofthing, like the Baftas, or the Oscars, or the Momas, or the Turner Prize, or the Man Booker or ... well you get my drift. Basically Government's should not be inthe business of running competitions ofthis sort. They should provide the legislative and civic space in which good films, well written books, fine free jhournalism should flourish. To do that the best way is to butt out of artists and strivers way and let them get on with it.

But this is where the EU differs you see,
The Culture Programme is supporting prizes

The Culture Programme supports the awarding of prizes in cultural heritage, architecture, literature and music.

The objective of these EU prizes is to highlight the excellent quality and success of European activities in these sectors.

The prizes put the spotlight on artists, music groups, architects, authors and those working in the field of cultural heritage and on their work.
In doing so they showcase Europe's rich cultural diversity and the importance of intercultural dialogue and cross border cultural activities in Europe and beyond.

It is as if artistic, architechtural, lierary, musical and so foth movements never happened in the past. It is as if the the renaissence didn't spread from Italy, as if modernism and brutalism didn't escape from France and Mittle Europa. As if nobody in Britain heard the young Mozart as he toured London, or Van Dyck never came here. They think that they invented art and culture, or if that is a little harsh that without the EU then culture would stay ridgedly behind national borders never travering the Tiber, never leaping the Danube, never swimming the Seine. What ineffable rubbish.

So I come to the latest of these quasi-propagandist prizes, this time for literature. Or more precisily,
The European Union Prize for Literature
Funded by the European Commission DG for Education and Culture it will be handing out a gonmg to some author or another.

Look I have nothing against the authors, good luck to them all, but it is just plain wrong that the EU should be attempting to define what culture is or isn't or what good writing is or isn't. But spending 400 million Euros onthis sort of thing, remember that is 400 million of our money, deciding waht is good art is arrogant and wrong.

Lets have a look at some of the other projects,

Here is 2.213.754,00 € for Arts and Climate Change
An organisation which tells us portentiously,
Climate Change is one the biggest challenges for today’s society. For the eleven arts organisations making up the IMAGINE 2020 – Arts and Climate Change network, 2020 is a realistic date to work towards for making changes necessary to stabilise the climate and secure a sustainable future.
Or maybe you prefer this, 187.359,80 Euro on,
Migration, Intercultural Dialogue and Integration in Europe, Demonstrated in the play "The Tempest" by William Shakespeare, embedded in activities of theatrical pedagogics.
That's it. Of course old Bill was bang on message. Henry the Vth was an abberation. What he was really about was "Integration in Europe"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good old Henry. Didn't he have a bit of a spat with the Kermits?