STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE NEW GOVERNMENT PROGRAMME
Globe Art Point strongly opposes the new government programme introduced by the incoming administration in Finland, particularly regarding the proposed reforms in immigration and social security policies. These changes pose significant threats to the values of cultural equity, diversity, and inclusion the association strives to promote, and if put in use, they will have detrimental effects on the Finnish arts and culture sector with the foreign-born artists, cultural workers, and entrepreneurs being at the epicentre of it all.
In this statement, we are going to highlight three key areas that we believe will be affected most negatively by the proposed reforms;
- The Finnish Cultural Exchange
- The Finnish Economic Opportunities
- The Well-being of The Finnish Society
The reduction in funding for arts and culture may limit the resources available for artists and cultural organisations to participate in international events and exhibitions. This may lead to impaired international collaborations which will essentially result in decreased visibility and opportunities for Finland based artists in the global market. Cultural exchange thrives on diversity and different perspectives, fostering creativity and innovation. The emphasis on stricter immigration policies and reduced refugee quotas will hinder the inflow of diverse cultural perspectives and talents into Finland leading to a more homogeneous cultural landscape, significantly limiting the richness and diversity of the Finnish cultural exchange.
The creative industries, including the arts and culture sector, have the potential to contribute significantly to a country’s economy. By reducing funding and limiting resources for foreign-born artists and cultural entrepreneurs, the government policy will hinder the growth of the creative industries and diminish the economic opportunities associated with them. This could have a negative impact on Finland’s position in the global cultural and creative economy and Finland’s international reputation as a hub for creativity and cultural innovation. Artists and cultural workers play a crucial role in shaping a country’s cultural identity and projecting it onto the global stage. The new government programme will essentially hamper Finland’s ability to maintain its positive reputation as a vibrant and culturally diverse nation.
It is important to note that the specific impact of the proposed reforms on well-being will depend on the implementation details and subsequent developments. These potential negative effects, however, highlight the importance of considering the social and cultural dimensions when formulating policies to ensure the well-being of all members of society. Finland has benefited from the contributions of immigrants in various fields, including the arts and culture. The programme undermines the principles of equal access to basic necessities and essential services for all individuals living in Finland. This approach not only erodes the social fabric but also hampers the integration and well-being of both immigrant communities and the wider population.
Globe Art Point firmly believes in a society that celebrates cultural diversity and upholds the principles of equal opportunities and inclusion. We call upon the government to reconsider the proposed reforms and engage in constructive dialogues with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds. Together, we can build a more inclusive and equitable society that recognises and appreciates the valuable contributions of all individuals, regardless of their origins or immigration status.
Signed in Helsinki on 28.6. 2023 by the board and staff of Globe Art Point:
Alexandr Foy (chairperson), Tatiana Solovieva (vice-chairperson), Bekim Hasaj, Yvapurü Samaniego Bonnin, Cristian Medel, Saskia Signori, Emmi Komlosi (vice-board member), Julia Guo (vice-board member), Jaana Simula (managing director), Alex Kollerová (project manager).
- Observations on the new Government Programme by the Artists’ Association of Finland: www.artists.fi/en/uusi-hallitusohjelma-kommentti
- The New Government is Pursuing a Worrying Integration Policy by Moniheli: moniheli.fi/en/uutinen/kannanotto-hallitusohjelma/