Commentary

Remember the arts? Departments and budgets disappear as politics backs culture into a dead end

Publisher
Federal government departments Arts Arts funding Australia
Description

The decision to merge the Department of Communications and the Arts with Transport, Infrastructure and Regional development (dropping the “Arts” entirely) ends a year in which Australian politics has been deeply confused over its genre.

Tragedy or farce? Realism or escapism? Character study or soapie potboiler? One thing is sure: the problems looming on the national horizon – ecological, economic and cultural – are very different from their predecessors of a few years ago, when our actions and their consequences were not so tightly aligned.

A sluggish economy is framed by a fractious global polity, quieter here, full-volume in the US and the UK. So far, Australia has been lucky. No divisive issue of nuclear intensity or truth-proof populist has emerged to shake the country’s bones. But we are at a fragile moment and now is the moment to reclaim the sensible centre.

Without it, the arts – in name and support – will enter a death spiral. It is imperative the government and the sector take action to prevent this.

Read the full article on The Conversation.

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