In the winter of 2011/2 several of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s most renowned cultural institutions have closed their doors to the public or are expected to soon follow suit. The reason is the country’s complex administration apparatus’s failure to ensure operations through the design of adequate funding mechanisms. The painful result is that now the most important collections of cultural artifacts from Bosnia-Herzegovina’s past and present, prominently including those of the Regional Museum and the Art Gallery, are finally invisible to locals and visitors alike.
CULTURESHUTDOWN.NET is an initiative emergent in response to this intolerable impasse. It intends to contribute to resolve it through the cultivation of a debate on the place and mission of cultural institutions in the country on the theoretical as well as practical levels. Unconnected to a government or political party, the initiative intends to raise worldwide awareness about the problem though a variety of instruments and media, ranging from the provision of real-time information, over historical and theoretical contextualizations, to art projects and the drafting of cultural policy recommendations. It seeks not to monopolize or dominate this debate but to provide an international communication platform for a variety of projects that represent a wide spectrum of ideas and opinions.
- To MAP STATUS QUO / PROVIDE INFORMATION to both local and global audience about the critical condition of cultural institutions in Bosnia
- To RAISE AWARENESS about about the structural, political, and economic problems behind the problem of cultural shutdown, showing how ethnic conflict continues to take place in post-Dayton Bosnia within the cultural sphere
- To EXPRESS PROTEST to protest against the retardation caused by stubborn ethnopolitics
- To provide RESOURCES / TOOLS that can be useful for cultural producers (in Bosnia and worldwide) by learning about/from relevant case studies in different places
- To CONNECT PEOPLE (cultural producers, policy makers, activists, etc.) respecting their diverse religious/ethnic/national affiliations and based on their common aspiration for a peaceful and constructive coexistence, and thus encourage a healthier civil society in the region
- To INSPIRE NEW VISIONS for the future of coexistence in Bosnia though visionary proposals and pro-active cultural projects and institutions