The ministry of education and culture was criticized for taking one step forward and two steps back on the cultural front, after it announced on Tuesday the composition of a 16-member advisory committee that would draw up policy proposals for culture and the arts in Cyprus.
The committee, tasked with advising minister Prodromos Prodromou on matters such as the institutionalization of artists and cultural workers as recognized professions, was slammed for having serious imbalances, the most striking of which was the gender imbalance as just one of the 16 advisors was a woman.
Beyond the gender factor, the committee, made up of mainly academics specializing in cultural matters but also representatives of the local cultural landscape, was strongly criticized by active artists and cultural professionals due to the lack of adequate representation of the spectrum of cultural activities but also of the younger generation that is in many instances leading the way.
The main areas that have been pinpointed as being under-represented in the committee are dance, music, publishing, cinema, festival organization, galleries, photography, and the younger generation of artists.
As such, many have called out the ministry’s lack of vision and planning, as a development that could have proved fruitful for the island’s cultural world appears instead to be turning a blind eye to its dynamics.
The setting up of the committee appears to have a been a step toward actualizing plans for the creation of a deputy ministry for culture, that was approved by the Cabinet in early July.