The artistic director of the National Theater D. Maria II, Tiago Rodrigues, says funding for culture in Portugal is “ridiculous” and argues that it is time for the government to “finally support anything” in the area.
In Guimarães, on the sidelines of a rehearsal of the play Catarina eo Beleza by Matar Fascistas, Tiago Rodrigues stressed that, more than support, it is a “public service enshrined in the Constitution and in which it is not ‘there is no public investment’.
“We did not need the pandemic to be obvious that in Portugal there is a need to support more culture. Or rather, that we must finally support anything in culture. The pandemic has just lifted the veil, revealed certain problems ”, he declared.
For the director, the figures for supporting culture in Portugal, compared to any other European country, “are ridiculous”. “It is not about support, it is about guaranteeing a public service enshrined in the Constitution and in which there is no public investment. It would be like hardly any hospital or hardly any school. It is scandalous and ridiculous, ”he added.
Tiago Rodrigues also said that the way the audience is coming back to the theater and how it has “shown its eagerness” to be in theaters in contact with the artists “is an alert to policy makers that the electorate considers culture to be fundamental. to their quality of life and democratic health ”.
“But we are in the prehistory of this. It could be a futures scare in Germany and France, to get things a bit better and pay a bit more attention. In Portugal, it’s a wake-up call to finally pay some attention to a sector that has been very, very neglected, ”he added.
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The artistic director believes that the “visibility” of the cultural sector in the media “ends up masking” its precariousness. “We have a lot of public visibility, but this has not yet translated into a fundamental change in the way the state upholds the constitutional right of access to culture and artistic production.”
The play Catarina ea Beleza by Matar Fascistas opens this Saturday at the Centro Cultural Vila Flor, in Guimarães. Sunday, the play returns to the stage in the same space. Both sessions are already sold out. He then goes on stages in Switzerland, France and Italy, on tour, back to Portugal, namely Porto, in February 2021. It is only in April 2021 that he will be presented in Lisbon.