Cultural workers in Turkey are set to go on hunger strike in protest of their unemployment and its endangerment of the country’s vulnerable cultural resources. In reaction to the government’s broken promise to hire 50 workers among the thousands of unemployed cultural heritage professionals, the Association of Culture and Art Workers (Kültür Sanat Emekçileri Derneği, or KSED) is taking desperate measures.
If the government does not show any sign of increasing cultural sector employment — and, as yet, it does not — at 1pm on November 9, museum employees, archaeologists, art historians, restorers, and visual artists will gather in Sıhhiye Abdi İpekçi Park in Ankara and begin to starve themselves. Students in those subjects, who face the prospect of mass, long-term unemployment, will participate in solidarity.
In a news release, KSED President Hızır İnan admonished successive governments’ “negligence” (ihmal), which the association considers to be so severe as to be undermining Turkey’s constitutional obligation to protect cultural heritage.
In an explanation provided to Hyperallergic, Binnur Çelebi, vice president of KSED and member of the governing council of the Archaeologists’ Union (Arkeologlar Derneği Yönetim Kurulu Üyesi) noted that, in the 1930s, nearly 300 specialists and officials had been employed in around 30 museums, while, by the 1990s, fewer than 500 specialists were expected to run more than 300 museums.
A total of 17,683 people were employed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2013; by contrast, the Religious Affairs Directorate had 141,911. Çelebi argued that, alongside 300,000 police and 700,000 soldiers, the statistics revealed the budget’s “military and religious-conservative structure” (militer ve dinsel-muhafazakâr yapıs[ı]).
At a press briefing on October 23, People’s Republican Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, or CHP) MP Haluk Ahmet Gümüş put those numbers in stark relief in a national context. Those 17,683 culture and tourism workers are now responsible for nearly 13,000 registered cultural and natural heritage sites, more than 300 museums and 135 ruins. Gümüş described it as a “national waste” (milli bir israf) that about 4,000 archaeology and art history students graduated every year, but only 5 or 6 cultural heritage workers were hired.
But the finance minister’s response to the skilled employment crisis, wherein there is 30% graduate unemployment, is that “the state is not obliged to give work to every university graduate” (devlet her üniversite mezununa iş vermek zorunda değildir). As the contrast between cultural and religious hiring statistics suggest, certain graduate professions’ unemployment rates are far higher than others. KSED’s press release noted that it had “got[ten] no response for months to requests for a meeting” (randevu taleplerine aylardır yanıt gelmemiştir), which was why it had felt the need to step up its campaign.
When Çelebi warned that, if hiring rates were going to be the same in 2014 as before, she would go on hunger strike on her own, the head of the personnel department of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı Personel Daire Başkanı), Ahmet Yılmaz, reportedly told her, “in that case, start your strike tomorrow” (öyleyse sen yarın grevine başla). Now the association is set to commit itself to that challenge.
The artist’s portrait of her mother, painted in 1977 and reproduced on the vaporetti of Venice, may be one of the most evocative artworks in the Biennale.
A new box set of four of the Iranian director’s features offers a great opportunity to get to know his singular style.
Shows at the Hudson Valley’s Hessel Museum of Art feature artists Dara Birnbaum and Martine Syms, as well as new scholarship on Black melancholia as an artistic and critical practice.
It’s not a “greatest hits” show, or a comprehensive survey; rather, it is a starting point to reconsider an expansive vision of Chicana/o art.
“I’m focused on contemporary Native American stories, the modern-day ups and downs of that lifestyle, but I’m not trying to do it in a traditional manner,” the award-winning filmmaker told Hyperallergic in an interview.
PLEASE SEND TO REAL LIFE: Ray Johnson Photographs reveals the “career in photography” that occupied the artist in the last three years of his life.
The Tweet comparing an ominous screen capture from the Tucker Carlson Show to one of Holzer’s Truisms is being sold as an NFT to benefit crucial organizations in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.
Rapper Maykel “Osorbo” Pérez was sentenced to nine years.
Contemporary Black-Indigenous women artists Rodslen Brown, Joelle Joyner, Moira Pernambuco, Paige Pettibon, Monica Rickert-Bolter, and Storme Webber are featured in this digital exhibition.
On the day of the Supreme Court’s decision to undo 50 years of constitutional rights to abortion, artist Elana Mann’s “protest rattles” feel especially poignant and urgent.
This week, Title IX celebrates 50 years, the trouble with pronouns, a writer’s hilarious response to plagiarism allegations, and much more.
Since antiquity, women’s eyebrows have been sites of intense scrutiny, constantly shifting between trend cycles.