2. Current cultural affairs
Last update: February, 2019
The victory of the Popular Party in the 2011 elections led to the appointment of a single Minister for the areas of culture, education and sport. The basic lines of action for the period 2011-June 2018 were included in the General Strategic Plan 2012-2015, firstly, and the Culture Plan 2020 of the State Secretariat for Culture, later on.
Both periods were mainly focused on giving new impetus to culture as a right and as an economic engine, and to promoting Spanish culture abroad. Priorities for the period 2017-2020, incorporated in the Culture Plan 2020, were specified in the following five general objectives:
- to promote a cultural offer of quality, articulating a state policy that guarantees the right of access to culture through the improvement of facilities and the technological modernisation of cultural management;
- to update the legal framework of cultural protection;
- to promote a social alliance for culture that encourages participation and the role of civil society in the support and promotion of culture;
- to promote culture as a critical tool to disseminate the "brand" Spain abroad; and
- to facilitate creation, improving the conditions for contemporary creation and intellectual innovation, as key elements for the social development.
These priorities do not differ to a great extent from those of the previous government during its two terms in government (2004-2011), although the context of a severe economic crisis led to further cuts in culture, as well as to greater requirements for effectiveness, efficiency and transparency. In addition to rationality in public spending, the government's discourse became more centralist and some regions, particularly Catalonia, perceived this as an attack on the cultural plurality of the country.
The new Culture Plan 2020, passed in March 2017, in a less restrictive economic environment, has mainly focussed its first year on the promotion of reading and cinema, with new tax incentives, as well as on the adoption of measures to combat the high rates of piracy.
The unexpected rise to power of the Socialist Party in June 2018 has introduced some changes in policy discourses recognising the cultural diversity of Spain. Among the initiatives announced by the new Ministry (July 2018), we can highlight: the follow-up of the statute of artists’ proposal; a new law for cultural heritage; the defence of the richness of co-official languages and the need of dialogue among them and the reform of the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (INAEM).
Apart from cultural activity of the central administration, regional and local authorities hold many of the responsibilities for culture in Spain and execute the highest proportion of public expenditure (86% in 2016). The central government is, therefore, left with a limited scope of responsibility in terms of public policy making, though it has considerable weight in underlying policy through its constitutional mandate and its control of culture vis-à-vis foreign policy, not to mention its continued control over the best known and most influential cultural institutions.
The rise of social movements during the economic crisis prompted the establishment of new political parties and electoral alliances that entered into the political spectrum, especially since May 2015 when these coalitions (called “municipalist”) won the local elections in some of the most important capital cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Valencia, Cádiz and A Coruña. Their cultural policy proposals have focused on a democratic regeneration of institutions and the increase of citizen participation in decision-making processes.
Last update: February, 2019
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.
Last update: February, 2019
This information will be published as soon as possible.
Violation of intellectual property rights, labour, economic and social difficulties and, more recently, a decrease of artistic freedom are the main reasons of discomfort among Spanish artists and cultural professionals.
In order to improve this situation, at the national level, the Culture Plan 2020 of the State Secretariat for Culture, passed in 2017, introduces as specific strategies:
- to improve the application of legal criteria to adequately remunerate the economic value of authors’ rights;
- to develop the Statute of Artists and Cultural Professionals, in line with the proposals suggested by a Subcommittee of the Congress of Deputies;
- to promote international mobility of artists and cultural professionals through specific training on mobility, the offer of residences for Spanish and international artists and cultural managers, and the consolidation and extension of current training programmes (such as “Culturex”, “Iberex”, “Hispanex” and “Fulbright”).
Currently, the Statute of Artists and Cultural Professionals is under development and implementation. The Spanish Parliament created a Commission to adapt the labour, fiscal and intellectual property legislations to the specificities of the work of creators, artists and professionals of culture. The Commission was active during the period 2017-2018 and approved a report in June 2018. Among other things, this report made recommendations for the taxation of irregular incomes (typical for artists), for VAT reduction for artistic intermediate and final services, for training activities, social security measures and the right to receive income on copyrights.
In July 2018, the new Ministry of Culture and Sport announced its support of the report and declared that it would be applied gradually and with the commitment of other Ministries, such as the Ministry of Finance, Labour and Social Security and Equality, as well as with the support of labour unions and representative cultural associations. The Congress of Deputies unanimously approved the report in September and since then the government is slowly adopting the recommendations. For instance, a Royal Decree-Law was passed in December 2018 to modify the legislation on Income Tax, Corporate Tax, the Value Added Tax and Social Security Matters for performing arts and cinema professionals and firms (see chapters 4.1.3 and 4.1.4).
Last update: February, 2019
With a great impact on the cultural field, in 2013 the government launched the Plan for the Promotion of the Digital Economy and Content Industry. The plan covered three areas of action: the growth of the sector, with education and training initiatives in digital content, funding programmes and the impulse for increasing the dimension of companies and businesses; the protection of intellectual property; and the re-use of public sector information.
Despite all the progress made in recent years, some challenges remain to be addressed:
- achieving a better geographical balance for development by using specialised plans;
- increasing the level of cultural content within the new applications, which will require additional and targeted support; and
- improving coordination between the national strategies designed by the various ministries involved and those drawn up by regional communities and local councils.
Within the framework of the Plan for the Promotion of the Cultural and Creative Industries 2018, the government continues a system of capital grants to increase the legal supply of cultural content on the Internet. Also with the aim of supporting the legal supply of cultural content on the Internet, in June 2011, the Ministry of Culture presented the Label Cultura en Positivo [Culture in Positive], which aims to identify companies and institutions in the fields of music, films, books, visual arts and video games that provide digital content, either paid or free, that respect intellectual property rights.
More recently, with the collaboration of the private sector (such as media and telecommunication companies), the Ministry has launched an awareness campaign in the media titled No piratees tu futuro [Don’t Pirate Your Future], with a series of online advertising spots aiming to reduce the high levels of piracy in Spain. In the library sector, the programme eBiblio provides free loans of e-books and audio-books and in the cinematographic sector, the government launched a new version of the portal Filmotech.com, as a new model for commercialising cultural products.
Important public and private initiatives for artists working with new technologies are:
- ArtFutura, the Festival of Digital Culture and Creativity was founded in 1990. The festival has become a point of reference in Spain for art, technology and digital culture, and offers an extensive programme of activities in museums and cultural centres in more than twelve different Spanish cities. Each year, ArtFutura presents the most outstanding and innovative international projects of the previous twelve months in digital art, interactive design, computer animation and video games;
- OFFF started in Barcelona in 2001 as a festival of post-digital culture, and today combines art, design and technology through different activities such as conferences, workshops and exhibitions;
- Arts Santa Monica Creativity Centre, under the Catalan government's Department of Culture, is a space for convergence and crossover between the different disciplines of contemporary artistic creation and science aimed at the diffusion of Catalan creativity, innovation, and reflection;
- Meeting-Show Zinc Shower, held for the first time in 2013, is an international meeting point for channelling investment, promotion, training and collaboration among the most innovative companies and projects in the sector.
There are two outstanding initiatives to support creators and artists working with new technologies: Hangar and LABoral. Hangar is a centre for arts production and research, set up in 1997. It provides support facilities for artists and designers and offers services adapted to production needs associated with the arts world. LABoral, Centre for Art and Industrial Creation, opened in 2007 in Gijón (Asturias) as an exhibition centre for art, science, technology and advanced visual industries. But it is also a venue for artistic and technological production, research investigation and training; and for the dissemination of new forms of art and industrial creation.
In recent years, new creative centres have opened their doors to the participation of social communities and citizen initiatives. For example, Medialab Prado in Madrid is conceived as a citizen lab for production, research and dissemination of cultural projects that explores new forms of experimentation and collaborative learning in digital networks. Hirikalabs in Donostia/San Sebastián (Basque Country) creates activities that combine the digital world with citizen empowerment and is now integrated in the wide project of Tabacalera. The Spanish Public Agency for Cultural Action (AC/E) publishes an Annual Report on Digital Culture that analyses the development of digital trends in the world of culture and focuses on a specific sector or discipline each year. The first issue, 2014, collected the influence of digitization on performing arts; the second one, 2015, focused on the impact on museums; the third one, 2016, on cultural festivals and professional meetings; the forth, 2017, on cultural heritage and the last one to date, 2018, on the general trends and readers in the digital world.
Last update: February, 2019
National intercultural dialogue is more or less present depending on the centralizing or decentralizing orientation of the national administration in office. Most of it is done, at the national level, by the coordination of the ministry with the autonomous communities.
During the last decades there has been a shift in the orientation of international intercultural dialogue from the concept of Alliance of Civilisations proposed in 2008 to the concept of cultural diplomacy.
At present, and especially at the local level, the third sector and the public sector (through cultural houses and civic centres) run numerous activities and projects designed to promote cultural dialogue and understanding, especially in those territories with many immigrants.
The programme Museos más sociales [More Social Museums] of the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport aims to improve the social accessibility. It also defines the concept of “intercultural museum” as the one that promotes the relations between cultures and between social groups, enhancing the intercultural dimension of cultural heritage.
One of the most important actors in the dialogue between the European Union and the other Mediterranean countries is the European Institute of the Mediterranean. This institute, based in Barcelona (Catalonia), is a centre for reflection and debate on Mediterranean societies, a think-tank specialising in Euro-Mediterranean relations and a promoter of cooperation. The Institute promotes knowledge through research and study; carries out training and promotion activities; encourages the participation of civil society in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (also called the Barcelona Process, the main framework for political, economic, and social relations, as well as dialogue and regional co-operation in the Mediterranean).
The Institute was set up by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation as the Coordinator of the Spanish Network of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation. This Foundation is the first institution created by the 35 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, with the objective of improving reciprocal understanding and the quality of cultural dialogue between the two sides of the Mediterranean. The Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation encourages cultural dialogue, supports exchanges, cooperation and mobility, particularly among the young, and organises activities within the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. The Spanish network is formed by 82 members, representing organisations from civil society.
The Three Cultures Foundation is a non-profit foundation which, in recent years, has become the international benchmark for dialogue and respect for achieving peace and understanding amongst the people of the world, thanks to the exceptional nature of the patronage and its cultural activities. The Foundation was established under the aegis of the Andalusian Regional Government and the Kingdom of Morocco, who in 1998 broached the need to create a forum to bring together the people of the Mediterranean. This proposal was favourably received by the international community, with the support of the Peres Centre for Peace, the Palestinian National Authority, and multiple Israeli and Euro-Mediterranean individuals and institutions committed to dialogue and peace. Since March 1999, when the Three Cultures Foundation was established, the three main priorities in its day-to-day activity and cultural schedule have been: co-operation within the Mediterranean region, between Andalusia, Morocco and the Middle East, and between the European Union and the Mediterranean countries.
Last update: February, 2019
From the academic year 2007-2008 to 2014-2015, the subject "Education for citizenship and human rights" was part of the general school curricula. There was strong opposition from families with children in religious schools and from the Catholic Church, with the argument that the state should not introduce a compulsory subject aimed at the moral upbringing of students. The subject, taught at the primary and secondary levels, focused on the improvement of reciprocal understanding and the promotion of tolerance. The Organic Law for the Improvement of Educational Quality (8/2013 Organic Act) replaced this subject with courses on "Social and Civic Values" and "Ethical Values" at primary level from the academic year 2014-2015 onwards.
Both subjects are an alternative to the compulsory subject of "Religion" in primary and secondary levels and are aimed at transmitting values that promote personal freedom, responsibility, democratic citizenship, solidarity, tolerance, equality, respect and justice, as well as help to overcome any kind of discrimination. The development of that Act in 2014 has detailed the contents of the basic curriculum of primary education, and the basic competences to be acquired in the compulsory secondary education and upper secondary level.
Beyond the curricular framework, there are diversity education programmes at the national and regional levels. At the national level, the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training provides web resources designed to respond to the concerns of professionals in the educational and social spheres with regard to cultural diversity and all its implications. In addition, it runs or has run other intercultural education projects, such as:
- The Portuguese Language and Culture Programme aims to maintain the linguistic and cultural reference points of the children of Portuguese workers and immigrants, as well as promoting interest and respect among Spanish pupils for other cultures. In kindergarten and primary school, the teaching of Portuguese is part of the normal curriculum, via "integrated classes" in which Portuguese and Spanish teachers teach the whole class together, or in "simultaneous classes" (in which the Portuguese teacher teaches the members of the group who have chosen to participate in the programme). Furthermore, these schools organise other complementary activities such as exchanges and study visits, cultural weeks and Portuguese Clubs. In secondary education, Portuguese is a facultative subject and is taught by Spanish teachers. The programme only runs in several Autonomous Communities (those with large numbers of Portuguese students).
- ACT- This is a European initiative funded by Erasmus+ with the participation of several bodies of the Spanish Ministry of Education. Given that the EU promotes that pedagogical approaches should focus in social, civic, relational and intercultural skills, and that the transmission of democratic and civic values should be made on the basis of the democratic participation of children, the project empowers teachers to be better prepared to transmit these values and skills.
- The International Foundation Yehudi Menuhin, cooperating with public institutions, promotes a number of programmes. For instance, the “MUS-E Programme” aims to promote the arts, especially music, song, theatre, dance and the visual arts at school, to favour the social and cultural integration of disadvantaged children, to prevent violence and racism, and to promote tolerance and harmony between different cultures.
At the regional level, where Autonomous Communities have important competences in the educational field, there are also numerous initiatives related to the intercultural focus of education, the reception of immigrant pupils, the implementation of organisational and curricular measures, linguistic and cultural support, attention to immigrant families and the training of teaching staff (for more details about regional initiatives see: https://www.mecd.gob.es/educacion/mc/convivencia-escolar/recursos/centros-atencion-diversidad.html).
Last update: February, 2019
Since 1977, when the Ministry of Information and Tourism was replaced by that of Culture, the government's responsibility for the media was separated from its responsibilities for culture. As of 2000, the media are a responsibility of the Secretariat of Telecommunications and Information Society, titled State Secretariat of Information Society and Digital Agenda of the current Ministry of Economy and Business since July 2018. However, the Film and Audio-visual Arts Institute (ICAA) of the current Ministry Culture and Sport continues to develop strategies to foster the cinema and audiovisual industries by subsidising certain production and distribution costs, as well as the construction and renovation of cinemas.
At the regional level, the Act 4/1980 allowed the Autonomous Communities to set up their own publicly funded radio and television broadcasting operations, which many of them proceeded to do, such as:
- Euskal Irrati Telebista/Basque Radio Television (1982);
- Catalan Broadcasting Corporation (1983);
- Galician Broadcasting Company (1984);
- Valencian Broadcasting Entity (1984), abolished at the end of 2013;
- Radio Television Entity of Madrid (1984);
- Radio Television Entity of the Canary Islands (created in 1984 and beginning of emissions in 1999);
- Radio Television Entity of the Balearic Islands (created in 1984, but it was not established as such until 2004);
- Aragon Broadcasting Corporation (1987);
- Public Enterprise Agency of Radio and Television of Andalusia (1987);
- Radio Television Entity of Castile-La Mancha (2000);
- Radio and Television Entity of Asturias (2003); and
- Radio and Television Entity of Murcia (2004).
At the same time, at the national level, the second TV channel of the Spanish Radio & Television Corporation (RTVE) broadcasts some of its programmes in the languages of the different bilingual regions.
The radio and television broadcasters that are owned and funded by the autonomous regions, though not always structurally linked to the regional departments of culture and language, have been one of the pillars of cultural policy, particularly in the bilingual regions. Growing immigration, especially since the beginning of the 2000s, led the public media to seek new formulas through which to make this new social reality more visible in broadcasting and to make television available and accessible to new citizens as a means of facilitating their integration.
State-funded Catalan television was the first Spanish broadcaster to create a Diversity Committee. Its main aims include the multilingual subtitling of emblematic programmes, the adaptation of its broadcasting language, coverage of the daily lives of new citizens on Catalan channels and the broadcasting of programmes that are of particular interest to new citizens. In 2005, also in Catalonia, the Table for the Diversity of the Audiovisual was created to foster coexistence, respect and interchanges among people with different cultural filiations, and to share the experience of recreation and renovation of Catalan culture.
Since the beginning of the 1990s, national and regional state-funded TV broadcasting coexists alongside private television. The proliferation of public and private channels, at national, regional and, more recently, local level, has generated fierce competition for available advertising revenue. The massive deficits accumulated by the controlled broadcasting of the government and Autonomous Communities, fuelled an ongoing debate on how publicly-owned broadcasting should be funded and about the privatisation of their management.
From a content perspective, the media owned and operated by the government are deemed to be public services that are obliged to respect the "political, religious, social, cultural and linguistic diversity [of Spain]". Among the aspirations of the state owned but independent RTVE are quality, plurality and cultural diversity. With the support of the Ministry of Culture, in April 2009, RTVE launched the Cultura.es channel to disseminate Spanish culture in Spain and worldwide. Budget cuts led to the disappearance of the cultural channel, although its contents became integrated into the programming of the second channel RTVE, which has now basically become a cultural channel.
The Media Pluralism Monitor carried out in 2017 indicates an overall medium risk to media pluralism in Spain. Although Spain has adopted progressive legislation and developed a comprehensive legal framework for ensuring media pluralism, implementation is often weak and ineffective. From the four areas included in the monitor, Social Inclusiveness is at risk the most (52%). In that area specifically, ‘Access to media for minorities’ is determined a high risk (69%), since Spain does not recognise the concept of a minority. ‘Access to media for women’ (64%) is placed at the higher end of the medium risk range. The indicators on ‘Access to media for local/regional communities’ and on ‘Media literacy’ also scored a medium risk (44% and 55% respectively).
The indicator determined a low risk (although the highest within the Social Inclusiveness area) is ‘Access to media for people with disabilities’ (33%). On average, the indicators for Basic Protection area show a medium risk (43%) and those for Market Plurality show some important risk levels, especially regarding the ‘Cross-media concentration of ownership and competition enforcement’ (75%). Although media law provides ownership restrictions in the media sector, specific cross-media concentration limits have not been established. Medium risk has also been found with the ‘Media ownership concentration (horizontal)’ (54%) and ‘Commercial & owner influence over media content’ (50%). With regard to the Political Independence area, all indicators score as medium risk.
Within RTVE, the radio side of the organisation has remained on the side-lines; not dependent on advertising revenues, the public service offered by its various channels (RNE, Classical Radio, Radio 3, Radio 4 and Radio 5) is of good quality. Regarding audiences, in 2018, the Mediaset España group was the audience leader again (with a 28.8% share), followed by the, also private, group Atresmedia (26.8%), RTVE, the national public organisation (16.5%), Forta, the Federation of regional Radio and Television organisations or entities (7.7%), Grupo Vocento (2.9%) and Unidad Editorial (2.6%). For more details see the report.
Last update: February, 2019
The language issue is an important one in Spain by virtue of the recognition both in the Constitution of 1978 and in the regional charters of 7 communities with own languages: Asturias, Catalonia, the Basque Country, Galicia, the Balearics, Valencia and Navarre. In these regions, the local language and Castilian coexist as official languages and a system of bilingual education operates or, at least, regional governments assure its protection and promotion. This recognition is the cornerstone of Spanish cultural diversity.
The challenges experienced since the initial recognition of "other Spanish languages" (Article 3.2 of the Spanish Constitution of 1978) fall into three broad categories. The first is in defining the borderline between linguistic and cultural policy, particularly with respect to intervention by the authorities in the culture industries of bilingual communities. The second challenge has arisen from the influx of immigrants, when deciding which language should be used to integrate them socially in the host country. A third challenge relates to exchange among the different cultures within the state and the thin line between protection of the regional language by regional authorities and intervention to the detriment of the national official language.
With regard to this last point, the intention of the Popular Party to extend Castilian as a vehicular language in the Catalan educational system, included in the Organic Law for the Improvement of Educational Quality, clashed with the strong opposition of the Catalan government and society. Instead, the latter two defended the language immersion system implemented in the Catalan schools and, therefore, the centrality of the Catalan language and literature in the school curriculum.
To promote linguistic diversity, a pioneer initiative in Spain was the establishment, in 2011, of a committee of experts from different fields (education, audiovisual industry, culture, politics, consumers and users, social communication, etc.) with the task of giving advice to the government on measures to promote the original version both in cinema and television. At that time, the Senate passed a motion, with the support of all the parliamentary groups, except the Popular Party (that abstained), urging the government to adopt specific measures to guarantee the right of access to audiovisual content in its original language. This proposal sought to promote cultural diversity, to disseminate the official languages in Autonomous Communities and to ensure the right of citizens to access film and audiovisual content in its original language. At the end of 2011, the conclusions, recommendations and proposals of the committee were made public. Since then, the government has not carried out any action in this direction, nor does it seem to be among its priorities. However, one of the priorities is that Spanish becomes the second most used language on the Internet (it is currently the third one). Although there has not been a proper development, some initiatives in the digital agenda of the public administration have been implemented to better analyse and promote the presence of Spanish languages and culture on the Internet. Namely, the Plan to promote language technologies in the Internet by the Digital Agenda of the Spanish Government and the cultural programs of red.es.
Last update: February, 2019
Within the framework provided by the 3/2007 Act for effective equality between women and men, the Institute for Women sponsors various cultural initiatives, such as the celebration of the section "Affirming the rights of women", in the framework of the Malaga Film Festival. Also within the audiovisual field, the Film and Audiovisual Arts Institute (ICAA) launched affirmative action measures for women's productions. Thus, projects with a female author or director receive more points in the evaluation process. Moreover, the category "Especially recommended for the promotion of gender equality" has been established for films and other audiovisual works. More recently and due to persistent inequalities in the sector, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport has announced the increase of points for projects with female filmmakers.The Ministry of Culture has launched other initiatives in the field of culture and equality, such as museum itineraries around women and art in the 17 state museums or the festival Ellas Crean [They Create]. Nevertheless, with the extension of powers to the fields of education and sport during the government of the Popular Party, equality policies of the Ministry in the cultural field were drastically reduced.
More recently, and to great extent as a result of the international movement in defence of the role of women in the cultural and creative industries, gender equality has become an issue in the political agenda. Recent initiatives include the establishment of a Gender Equality Committee on Cultural Affairs, the requirement of a balanced representation of women and men as a transversal objective in the Strategic Plan on Grants of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport 2018-2020 and solutions for the gender pay gap in the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (INAEM).
The topic of gender equality and differences is specifically addressed in a micro-site of the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport: Equality in Numbers. The last indicators of gender for cultural participation, cultural workers, expenditure and intellectual property creation and management are available. Regarding the cultural labour market, in 2017, 39.3% of people employed in the cultural sector in Spain were women; this is smaller than the average proportion in the economy (45.5%). By economic activity, there is a clear predominance of women in libraries, archives, museums and other cultural institutions, and editing (representing 55.7% of the total) and a lower presence in the music industry (24.4%).
This is a longstanding trend resulting from the strong female presence in arts education and in specific training in cultural administration. Several studies carried out by associations of women in the fields of the audiovisual sector and the visual arts have highlighted that this majority of women in university degrees gets translated into the occupation of intermediate positions, but does not reach the boards of directors of institutions, the stages of creation and production, exhibitions or in granting of awards (for more details see Spanish Association of Women Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media Professionals and Women Observatory in the Visual Arts).
During 2018, several professional encounters debated about the gender perspective and about the role of women in the cultural sphere, such as: 2018 Workshop of the Spanish Ministry in Madrid, Encounter of Women Directors of Museums in Valencia, Archaeological Heritage and Women in Baeza.
Last update: February, 2019
This information will be published as soon as possible.
Only recently, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport has carried out initiatives aimed at the inclusion of other disadvantaged groups such as the disabled. Thus, in July 2011, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Health, Social Policy and Equality presented the document A Comprehensive Strategy of Culture for All, that sought to provide full accessibility to spaces, cultural activities and services managed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage; to encourage artistic creation of people with disabilities, as well as their activity as direct cultural managers; and to promote research on technologies that facilitate accessibility to cultural content and spaces.
Also in 2011, an inter-ministerial body (Inclusive Culture Forum) was created for the follow-up of this initiative, which was composed of both Ministries, along with National Heritage, the largest organisation representing people with disabilities, public and private referral centres and various experts. In April 2018, the Council of Ministries approved to introduce the entitled Marrakech Directive (2017/1564/UE Directive) into the Spanish legal system aimed to improve the access of people with visual disability to printed works.
The current Culture Plan 2020 of the State Secretariat for Culture for the period 2017-2020 gives further impetus to some of the previous initiatives, such as, those developed by the INAEM and related to the social accessibility to the heritage sector.
More specific institutional initiatives in this area include the participation of the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (INAEM) in several projects, such as Teatro Accesible [Accessible Theatre], which includes audio description for people with disabilities, the organisation of the A different look Festival by the National Drama Centre that programmes shows made by artists with disabilities, and the organisation of the Conference on Social Inclusion and Education in Performing Arts. A book celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Workshops organized by INAEM was published at the end of 2018. The Teatro Accesible [Accessible Theatre] initiative, promoted by Vodafone Foundation, CRLnuevavida and APTENT, with the collaboration of the Ministry of Culture and Sport, provides theatres and cultural institutions with accessibility for communication solutions and systems of hearing assistance.
In the heritage and museum sector, the programme Museos más sociales [Museums More Social] of the Ministry aims to improve the social accessibility to cultural heritage. It also defines the concept of “accessible museum” as the one that eliminates physical, sensorial and intellectual barriers to ensure the optimal accessibility to venues and contents. There are also international cooperation actions to train cultural managers. For instance, the Accessible Culture & Training Project (2015-2018) - funded by Erasmus+ with the participation of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Transit Projectes and the Department of Culture of the Catalan government - provided training to cope with the needs of cultural institutions to provide fully accessible events to guarantee cultural participation for every citizen.
Last update: February, 2019
The consideration of culture as a tool for social inclusion has been one of the central objectives of the government led by the Popular Party. Firstly, the General Strategic Plan 2012-2015, and, at present, the Culture Plan 2020 of the State Secretariat for Culture include the establishment of a state policy that ensures the right of access to culture and underpins citizenship and social inclusion as one of the five general goals for the next years. In its strategy of collaboration and cultural cooperation with private and public actors, particularly with Autonomous Communities, the government seeks to create a favourable environment for the development of a culture of excellence that contributes to social inclusion and territorial cohesion.
According to Museos más sociales [Museums More Social], the “inclusive museum” is the one that promotes social cohesion and combats exclusion, discrimination and inequality. All in all, it works with and for the whole society, without exceptions.
In relation to minority groups, one of the projects undertaken by the central government was the creation of the Roma Cultural Institute Foundation, a state-owned public sector foundation that is associated with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. Its creation was authorised by a Council of Ministers held on 9 March 2007 to support the community of gypsies, which has maintained its own identity in Spain since its entrance in the fifteenth century. At present, this community represents around 1.5% of the Spanish population.
The main aim of the Institute is to contribute to harmonious relations between the various groups and cultures present in Spanish culture, paying special attention to equality of opportunity and to combating discrimination on grounds of gender or race. The Institute also supports the development and promotion of gypsy history, culture and language in all its manifestations, and contributes to its dissemination through research, publications and the organisation of academic and cultural events. In 2012, in accordance with European regulations, the government approved the Strategy for the Social Inclusion of the Gypsy Population in Spain 2012-2020, which includes the promotion of culture as a complementary line of action.
Another cultural project in this field is the Network of Spanish Jewish Quarters, a non-profit public association with the goal of protecting all facets of Sephardic heritage in Spain. Its members promote cultural and academic projects, sharing their experiences and organising events in Spain and abroad, and designing policies of sustainable cultural tourism in their cities.
Given their greater proximity to citizens, local governments run most of the programmes aimed at promoting the social inclusion of immigrants and other vulnerable groups: increasing their access to libraries or civic centres; organising festivals, cultural workshops, etc., or participating in folk and traditional arts. For example, the Barcelona city council launched the Culture network for social Inclusion in 2010, which is articulated as a common space of relations between organisations of the social sphere and of the cultural field. It addresses the actions and reflections on culture and social inclusion and published a map of inclusion-oriented cultural projects in 2011.
Beyond institutional initiatives, there are many actions that promote culture and artistic creation as an "instrument" for the social integration of immigrant communities and cultural minorities in Spain. They act as a "bridge" between these groups and the host population. Among their various objectives, the following are most important:
- intensifying the contacts between the associations and the NGOs: as done by the CEPAIM Foundation. Coexistence and Social Cohesion;
- exchanging good practices on intercultural community action: as done by the CEPAIM Foundation. Coexistence and Social Cohesion;
- increasing visibility through public celebrations and cultural events: the annual festival Murcia: three cultures (Arab, Jewish and Christian) organised by the Murcia City Council; Venagua, organised since 1991 by the Columbares Association in Beniajan (Murcia);
- fostering cultural mixture and respect for diversity: Columbares Association promotes the use of artistic and creative activities such as music, theatre, painting, sculpture or photography to facilitate the inclusion of the most socially vulnerable people;
- contributing to inclusive and intercultural education: the Columbares Association in Murcia organises the Diversity Educates project to promote diversity and mutual respect in the classroom and at home; and
- promoting intercultural coexistence and mutual respect for all cultures: since 1992, the Socio-Cultural Association for Cooperation and Development in Colombia and Latin America (ACULCO) coordinates different cultural projects (festivals, workshops, art exhibitions, etc.) that allow interaction between the autochthonous and immigrants; and Foundation Tot Raval (Barcelona) organises, since 2003, the Culture Festival Raval, which shows the various "Ravals" living in the neighbourhood.
Last update: February, 2019
The current Culture Plan 2020 of the State Secretariat for Culture, for the period 2017-2020, only includes a general reference to culture as a major factor for development and welfare, but, at present, it has not carried out any specific strategy on that issue.
At the project level, in 2015 the Ministry launched Culture and Citizenship which organizes workshops and meetings to reflect and promote initiatives on social change with a special focus on rural culture and inclusion.
At the local level, different emblematic cultural institutions, such as museums and music halls, are developing programmes to show the positive impact of arts in vulnerable groups. For example, the Centre for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB) has promoted a study on the impact of culture on the welfare and social inclusion of those affected by Alzheimer's disease, which has demonstrated the positive therapeutic effect that culture has when opening its doors to those affected by this disease and their caregivers. Similarly, the programme Apropa Cultura / Approaches Culture of L’Auditori in Barcelona organises music workshops for people with learning difficulties, as well as for those affected by Alzheimer's disease.
There are also a number of national programs funded and run by philanthropic entities linked to the impact of arts for social improvement (for example Art for Change by “la Caixa” Foundation) or more specifically to the impact of arts education (for example Art in the Community by Fundación Daniel and Nina Carasso, Responsible Education by Fundación Botín, and Projects in Community by Fundación Cerezales Antonino y Cinia).
Last update: February, 2019
This information will be published as soon as possible.
It is still a conceptual and practical challenge to fully incorporate culture in the sustainable development actions in Spain. A document that reflects on the different approaches is “Culture in, for, and as Sustainable Development”, the Final Report with the Conclusions of the COST Action IS1007 – “Investigating Cultural Sustainability”.
Cultural sustainability as a goal itself or a strategy to progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals is not fully incorporated in the cultural policy of the Spanish central government and the regional governments. However, there have been several initiatives at the national and local levels that have considered that culture is a pillar for any strategy of sustainable development. In this sense, the Spanish Council of Ministers approved the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Agenda 2030: Towards the Spanish strategy for sustainable development in June 2018. The sustainable management of cultural and natural resources is seen as a suitable approach as to fight depopulation of rural areas that are facing the problems associated with ageing populations.
In the analysis of the current situation, the Ministry of Culture and Sport appears to be one of the less engaged with any action or programme leading to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Actually, a single action is identified for Goal 11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable) in the area of cultural heritage. The Action Plan designs some transformative actions to advance in the achievement of SDGs in Spain and proposes the promotion of culture as a key transformative element as one of those transversal actions (p. 119). Culture is seen as a powerful means to transmit values and change attitudes, so SDGs could be easily assumed by the population. As the local administrations are closest to the citizens, the Plan proposes that they should take a leading role (also because they spend most of the public expenditure on cultural activities in Spain). The coordination among all the Spanish Ministries is to be done by the Ministry of Culture and Sport, though no specific plans have been designed.
At the national level, the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport has promoted several forums where strategies related to cultural sustainability are regularly discussed. For example, there is an annual meeting on culture and citizenship and regular meetings to discuss the role of culture in the development of rural communities, Foro Cultura y Medio Rural [Culture and Rural Environment Forum]. In addition, the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage established the promotion of sustainable cultural tourism as one of its 10 priority actions.
According to Museos más sociales [Museums More Social] the “sustainable museum” is the one that is engaged with the environment, preserves cultural heritage for future generations and disseminates sustainable habits.
Most of the progress in Spain can be found at the local level, with local action groups and agencies incorporating the sustainable management of heritage resources to their strategies of economic and social development. Some interesting initiatives are the programs by the following private institutions: Fundación Cerezales, Fundación Santa María de Albarracín and Fundación Santa María la Real.
The Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces has created working groups to raise awareness about cultural sustainability as a pillar to reach all the SDGs. This Federation calls to all local governments in Spain to contribute to SDGs by making sure that local public spaces, cultural policies and actions should be environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive (for more details see here).
At the international level, much of the activity for the promotion of cultural relations with developing countries is channelled through the Spanish Agency for International Co-operation and Development (AECID), created in 1988 to manage Spanish policy on international cooperation and development. The AECID is an autonomous body under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation through the State Secretariat for International Development Cooperation and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean.
The agency is responsible for the design, execution and management of projects and programmes of cooperation for development, either directly, using its own resources, or via cooperation with other domestic or international bodies and non-governmental development organisations. To this end, the Agency follows the guidelines of the Fifth Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation (2018-2021), focusing on three cross-cutting elements: gender perspective, environmental quality, and respect for cultural diversity, in accordance with the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, that was adopted in 2015.
Last update: February, 2019
Infringement of intellectual property rights is an issue of particular importance in Spain. In 2008, the Coalition of Creators and Content Industries was created with the aim to lobby for tightening the intellectual property law and other measures against file sharing on P2P networks. It consists of several associations that are linked to authors and to the music and film industries and it publishes an annual report on piracy and digital contents consumption habits. The latest results corresponding to 2017 show a decrease in piracy of 6% compared to 2016 (representing illegal accesses to illegal content with a total value of EUR 21 899 billion). Accumulatively, there was a decrease of 9% compared to 2015 (for more details see here). The Coalition also carries out a programme of awareness of intellectual property and piracy aimed at primary and secondary school pupils. The main results of the fourth edition of the programme can be found here.
At the institutional level, the Ministry of Culture and Sport has proved its strong commitment to the the defence of intellectual property rights. Until now, the Second Section of the Intellectual Property Committee of the Ministry of Culture has closed more than 100 pirate pages online. In 2018, the courts blocked 25 web pages and a total of 54 domains with illegal content (for more details see here).