Declaration of the Many in the Republic of Austria

We are many

1. January 2019 – ongoing

Our society is a plural gathering where many interests clash. Our co-operation in a democracy is subject to constant re-negotiation: This is about everybody, since every single one of us is a being of many possibilities. We believe that art, culture and the institutions promoting the same are open spaces-spaces that allow us to experience diversity and ambiguity. There has been a time when art was defamed as degenerate in Austria. Art and culture were put to ill uses of inhumane propaganda. People were debased, robbed of their means of existence, persecuted, exiled, murdered. As creators of art and culture in Austria we are well aware of the responsibility that arises from history. In the Republic of Austria, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms enjoys constitutional status. Whoever attempts to abrogate the European Human Rights Convention and the rule of law is compromising the cornerstones of our democratic commonwealth.

DIE VIELEN (THE MANY) represent diversity and freedom of art. Whoever polemicises against those assets, whoever jeopardises the diversity of structures and organisations in art and culture, whoever interferes with artistic programming, whoever seeks to put pressure on artistic content by threatening with reducing or cancelling funds and whoever disturbs cultural events, agitates against creators of art and culture or acts to achieve a re-nationalisation of culture counteracts our vision of society and the fundamental democratic right of freedom of art.

We, the undersigned art and cultural institutions and creators of art and culture, will
… … promote and seek dialogue, but will not provide a forum for racist, nationalist propaganda and will oppose all attempts to misuse art and culture;
… engage in critical argument in order to expose strategies undermining fundamental democratic values;
…stand up against policies of devaluation and discrimination;
… oppose the brutalisation and dehumanisation of language;
… unite in solidarity with people, who, in the light of policies of right-wing extremism or populism, are further marginalised within our society;
… commit to solidarity with all art and cultural institutions, creators of art and culture put under pressure by baiting and defamation.

Solidarity over privilege.
This is about all of us.
Art and culture will remain free.