Against any kind of degradation of art institutions
IWW Greece and the IWW WISE-RA (Wales, Ireland, Scotland & England Regional Administration) stand in solidarity with the students of the Higher School of Dramatic Art of the National Theatre of Greece against the degradation of art studies by the state.
“TO THOSE WHO HEAR US: THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES/FRAMEWORK OF OCCUPATION
The occupied Higher School of Dramatic Art of the National Theatre of Greece is self-organized by its students.
In Greece, 2023, the State Justice System continues to acquit class privileged rapists and murderers, to cover up governmental wiretapping scandals, to facilitate the collapse of the National Healthcare Service, to be responsible for leaving refugees to drown in the Aegean Sea and to orchestrate the complete privatization of Public and Free Education. At the same time as state-sponsored racist murders are being committed and the economic misery and impoverishment of citizens is rapidly intensifying, our education is once again suffering from its complete degradation. A degradation that was sealed by a Presidential Decree that equates us to unskilled high school graduates. While the government downgrades our studies, it upgrades the Police Academy, all in a climate of increasing police brutality and abuse.
We have no doubt that the current government as well as the previous ones, are completely unaware and unconcerned about the reality of Performing Arts Education, and in particular in understaffed, under-equipped public drama schools like our own. As students, even though we have a super-intense, compulsory course of study (amounting to 10 hours a day) and are under governmental supervision, we are deprived of all the rights that students have in higher education, such as board, accommodation, state scholarships, free textbooks and discounts on public transport. This exclusion from the student benefits that all other public tertiary institutions enjoy, makes our studies impossible for those who struggle financially.
The intensity of our studies makes it impossible to work after classes, creating the need for an immediate solution to the issue of accommodation and board. This is a major problem that the Ministry of Culture and governments choose to completely ignore, making exclusion based on class an integral part of Performing Arts studies.
Moreover, our school has recently received an NSF programme to upgrade its curriculum, creating a very useful, yet highly demanding schedule, to which students have responded, while struggling, at the same time, to overcome their survival issues. So our question is: how are we supposed to attend this programme knowing that the Presidential Decree officially downgrades our studies? How does a state institution receive European funding to upgrade its curriculum while the same state contradicts itself by establishing this decree?
This decision comes as the last straw in the complete devaluation of the modern Performing Arts discipline. The abolition of the professional license, unpaid rehearsals, and the existing labor exploitation are institutionalized and are just some of the manifestations of this devaluation.
What this Presidential Decree does, however, is to cement our equation with high school graduates, and even more so while, for years, the Unions of our sector have been requesting the founding of a Higher Academy of Performing Arts. We are opposed militantly to this degree and demand the return of our qualification status to the one existing before 2003 with the simultaneous establishment of new public and academic Performing Arts Schools throughout the country with the aim of providing public and free education to all interested students.
The unofficial announcement made by the government on Monday 9/1, tried to absorb the aftershock caused by the mobilizations of students and professional unions, giving false promises regarding the upgrade of Performing Arts studies. The Student’s Association of the Higher School of Dramatic Art of The National Theatre of Greece is responding to this move by continuing the occupation of the building. We continue our struggle seeking an immediate solution.
We continue the occupation of our school as one of the most powerful means of assertion. We intend to join the rest of the artistic and student movements against the policies of the government by interrupting our classes and their regularity and we reach out to the Artistic Directorate of The National Theatre of Greece and all institutions involved in theater and the arts to support our just demands in practice.
We, the students of the School of The National Theatre of Greece, wish to become an active part of the militant student movement. We express our support to the student movements throughout the world as well as our opposition to any practice of racism, sexism, fascism, abuse, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny -phenomena that plague the entire society.
We stand in solidarity and join with the corresponding demands of the other schools of artistic education.
- The IMMEDIATE withdrawal of Decree 85/2022
- The IMMEDIATE solution to the issue of upgrading our degrees: Inclusion of our degrees in Technical Education for positions in the public sector. Technical Education branch for ALL graduates of art schools and conservatories (as was the case for diploma holders until 2003). Inclusion of all graduates from 2003 onwards.
- The provision of food, accommodation, free textbooks, state scholarships and student allowances to the students of the schools supervised by the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
- The further staffing and of all Public Schools of Performing Arts .
- The establishment of an Academy of Arts with branches throughout Greece.
- The opportunity of QTS certificate/teacher Certification for graduates of higher art schools after qualifying examinations and one year of study in a University of Performing Arts.
This is a cry for help to the world: We stand against any kind of degradation of art institutions. We stand against the exploitation of art’s workers and we ask you to stand with us!”
Fellow Workers! Solidarity is our culture and civilization. We call for international support and actions!
ΙWW Greece Regional Organizing Committee
Email – iwwgreece [at] yahoo.gr
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/IWWGreece