At the national level, the Culture Plan 2020 of the State Secretariat for Culture, passed in 2017, introduces among its general objectives:
- the right of access to culture through the modernisation of facilities and of cultural management practices, but also through the improvement of social accessibility to culture. Initiatives to promote social accessibility are the programme Museos más sociales / Museums More Social that seeks to improve the social accessibility to cultural heritage or the programme Llega el cine / Cinema arrives that promotes the access to cinema in rural or small urban areas, among others;
- an adequate remuneration for authors’ rights given the great discomfort experienced by artists, authors and publishers because of the high rates of Internet piracy; and
- the promotion of a citizen culture through the establishment of networks on current cultural practices and policies, as well as on cultural innovation.
The interest, during the last years, for the access to culture in rural areas is noticeable. All Spanish regions face a deep ageing problem, which affects rural areas most. To this end, the Culture and Rural Environment Forum is part of the Culture and Citizenship Programme of the State Secretariat for Culture and constitutes a space for reflection and debate on the meaning and role of culture in rural areas. It also pursues to visualise projects and innovative practices and it promotes professional exchange and specific lines of work that foster access and cultural participation in rural areas. Culture is seen as the vehicle that can change prejudices about rural areas by means of the enhancement of collective identity, opportunities and quality of life (as identified in the conclusions of the 1st Forum held in June 2017).
Other initiatives the Ministry has recently undertaken in collaboration with the university are: the development of a study on the possible correlations between culture and demographic trends in localities of low population, the elaboration of a manual for the development of cultural projects in rural environments and a white paper for the creation and development of cultural audiences. A number of incidents in February 2018 triggered a national debate on the limits of the freedom of expression and censorship: The director of the exhibition centre where ARCO (Madrid’s Contemporary Art Fair) is held, ordered a participating gallery to remove its work titled “Political Prisoners in Contemporary Spain” featuring 24 pixelated mugshots, three of them depicting jailed Catalan separatist leaders. The Supreme Court upheld a 42-month prison sentence against a rapper for inappropriate content insulting the monarchy and glorifying terrorism in YouTube posts. And a lower-court judge decided to withdraw a book published in 2015 about the drug trade in Galicia after a local politician claimed it smeared his reputation. These events triggered the debate and the reaction of some professional collectives, such as the Spanish Federation of Association of Cultural Managers, who made a declaration against censorship.