"The pandemic became an excellent opportunity to increase repression"

13 September 2021


"The pandemic became an excellent opportunity to increase repression, which was soon followed by protests. Thus, we had the bicycle protests for more than a year and a half, which became a symbol of resistance in Slovenia. The main protagonists are artists and cultural workers who are involved in different performances and graffiti. Especially important was the graffiti with only one word 'shame', written on the pavements in front of all institutions where the directors were changed for political reasons."

"The current authoritarian government in Slovenia manifests its power in the cultural scene through a politically motivated selection of the directors of the leading cultural institutions, a total control, and privatization of the media, and an instrumentalization and manipulation of history, whereby the institutions are becoming a tool to manage and stimulate the culture war."

Zdenka Badovinac, curator and writer, former director Moderna galerija, Ljubljana.

Museums in Eastern Europe Under Pressure?

The workshop took place on Thursday 2 September 2021.

  • Zdenka Badovinac, curator and writer, former director Moderna galerija, Ljubljana.
  • Barnabás Bencsik, former director of Ludwig Museum, Budapest. Currently Glassyard Gallery, Budapest.
  • Mikołaj Iwański, vice Rector of the Academy of Art in Szczecin, Szczecin.
  • Jaroslaw Suchan, director, Muzeum Sztuki in Lódz, Lódz

Moderated by Malgorzata Ludwisiak, Ph.D Independent Art Critic and Curator, Warsaw and member of the CIMAM Board 2020–22.

Are modern and contemporary art subject to xenophobia by populist politicians? The webinar will focus on the recent developments in the cultural landscape in Eastern Europe with a special focus on Poland – the host of the upcoming CIMAM 2021 Annual Conference. It will serve as an introduction to the local context and some of the key issues that will be further elaborated upon in November 2021. The Webinar will include current and former directors of museums who will show the changing types of political and economic pressures imposed on the institutions in the region. The landscape will be completed by Mikołaj Iwański, a scholar and social activist engaged in the struggle for the wellbeing of the artists in Poland.

Watch the workshop recording at CIMAM's only member section.

About CIMAM’s Rapid Response Webinars

Started in 2020, CIMAM has taken the new virtual scenario as an opportunity to launch a series of online activities exclusively for our community to, now more than ever, reinforce the sense of connectivity through online meetings in a peer to peer environment to share, learn, and be inspired by the experiences of other CIMAM professionals.