In these complicated times of the presidential campaign, the ANRAT (National Association for Research and Action
Theatrical) is aimed at a forum for the attention of the various candidates:
“Cultural-political issues seem to have lost visibility in recent years. This is the warning Robert Abirached issued in 2018: “Reflection on the notion of cultural politics, its development, its place in contemporary art has stalled, especially among politicians (Interview by Catherine Robert, Journal La Terrasse, 2020)“.
All we can see is that cultural policy, especially in its dimension of artistic and cultural education, is hardly present in the media in these times of the presidential election campaign. However, the situation deserves real questions, real reflections, possible answers, horizons. The war that hits Europe to the heart must not make us forget what the very foundations of European identity are. Art and culture are not secondary, the icing on the cake when it comes to business or international relations. Quality, diversity and location of an artistic and cultural education are committed to the future.
And there is urgency! The pandemic that we have been experiencing for more than two years has amplified the risks of social disintegration that we see at work: segmentation of the public, increasingly individual reception of art and culture, commodification of works and sometimes even tools for their reception. In addition, territorial inequalities in the remoteness of public services have increased, increasing difficulties in imagining the future. All this should lead our politicians to deal intensively with the legacy of history and to position themselves precisely on it. The two great epochs of cultural politics, that of Malraux (1950s-60s) and that of Lang (1980s-2000s), must be accepted in the light of today’s realities.
In this context, young people deserve that together we know how to support their hopes and fears in a way other than through a materialistic and consumerist approach. Artistic and cultural education is still very much alive in France in its humanistic foundations. ANRAT is the witness and the actor. Evidenced by the joint demand of the teaching community, the theater community and the club sector, very strong and highly motivated. The recent moments of reflection initiated by ANRAT have proven this again. (See ANRAT website https://anrat.net). However, this proposal encounters certain difficulties due to political hesitations related to the cultural policy model.
The future of arts and cultural education is at stake, as is the future of education for young people. The artistic formation and the cultural path of the students must be placed at the center of the dynamics of transformation of the school system, the urgency of which is recognized by everyone, without making it a peripheral element and an adjustment variable.
All citizens of this country therefore have the right to ask themselves these questions. They expect the candidates for the presidential election to know how to give them answers that are nourished, informed, realistic and therefore promising for the future.
The ANRAT office and team
Pictured: Robert Abirached (1930-2021)