Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Gabriel Bystrom: What lingers – Göteborgs-Posten

There are a few things that will linger from the year that is about to expire. Events, changes that are meaningful and will play the role too long after other memories of 2014 has begun to fade.

We will not be able to ignore the nationalist wave that is sweeping across Europe and whose consequences we can not yet foresee. There was a wave that grew louder and more distinct in years, not least here at home with the Sweden Democrats who got an unexpectedly strong voter support and used his influence to trap a government. We saw a number of commentators and politicians who gradually began to normalization of a party with roots in Nazism, a party whose leading representatives openly argued for ethnic profiling and questioned freedom of the press. Instead of discussing it, we got a strange debate about labeling. The problem is that politics is there viewable, the past can not be ignored. The responsibility of those who, by laxity or ignorance, relativize a party that wants to start recording original nationality because “culture and values ​​does not disappear just because someone acquired citizenship” is great.

In Europe, the nationalist wave extensive challenges. The Hungarian example frightening. Still, the EU is almost paralyzed before the transformation of Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orbán hold on to stage without much protest. The unwillingness and inability of the conservative and Christian Democratic party group in the EU – the EPP – to put pressure on the ruling Fidesz is a disgrace. Here is a great deal for moderate and Christian Democrat MPs to answer. In Russia, Vladimir Putin, his transformation of the country. The former KGB agent is celebrated openly of several nationalist groups on the extreme right wing. With the annexation of the Crimea, Putin has shown that Europe’s borders are not static.

In the cultural field has some strange suggestions halted at the last moment. First it was the Mediterranean Institutions like the S-led government cut at an ALL-NIGHT NEGOTIATIONS no one knew what had happened. Then there was some not fully thought through alliance members on the lookout for fifteen million withdrew support to the country’s cultural journals with marginally convincing argument. In both these cases, the politicians got back because the external pressure becomes too hard. It is of course excellent, while it is clear that the cultural is not an area that is wasted much political love on. It should chug on, preferably without serious disruptions. On the wish list for the upcoming budget negotiations: an increased concern for detail and fewer proposal without impact assessments.

About the new Minister of Culture Alice Bah Kuhnkes political ambitions We do not know very much, it is still right airy when their own policies will be discussed. To Bah Kuhnke identifies media pluralism as essential to democracy oxygenation, however, is an important signal. It is possible to discern an ambition to actually see what the state can do to facilitate commercial media to continue to pursue quality journalism in a time of transition and increasing competition from new entrants. Good, important and, as I understand it, an earnest desire to improve conditions.

The media’s transformation is of course one of the things the past year also will be associated with the side of the nationalist wave. Or rather the consequences of media transformation entails. The rate of conversion has surprised many. Several journalists have lost their jobs, opportunities to engage in quality journalism has fallen. The bright spot that may be present is that the debate has now left the media world and engage much more than before. The great values ​​at stake is increasingly a general insight.

On the wish list for the upcoming year is of course that the City Theatre’s new CEO Bjorn Sandmark manage to find an equally skilled and innovative thinking artistic director of the theater as Anna Takanen been. It will also be interesting to see what the city’s new Cultural Director Anna Rosengren will be able to accomplish in his new job. Rosengren will assume in March and is surrounded by a solid reputation. Another important point is of course that the questions which existed at the People’s Theatre is able to be straightened out. There is some evidence to suggest that the worst of the crisis over.


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