Culture Ministry Cuts Funding for Book Events

Total Croatia News

After independent media and cultural institutions, it seems that the book publishing industry is next.

After the Ministry of Culture announced results of the public competition for financing book events, the reactions of representatives of the publishing sector range from extreme disappointment to disbelief, since some of the most successful events are now in question, reports on May 2, 2016.

The Pula Book Fair received 150,000 kuna from the Culture Ministry, while in recent years it usually received half a million kuna. The World Literature Festival received 50,000 kuna, which is 40 percent less than the previous year. The Zagreb Book Festival, which was very successful in its first edition last year, when it brought to Zagreb some of the most current names of Swedish literature and whose second edition is supposed to start in about two weeks, saw its grant by the Ministry halved to 50,000 kuna.

The Interliber Book Fair’s application has been completely rejected. It is joined on the black list by Fraktura’s Exposure events, which in recent years brought to Zagreb many well-known names from the global literary scene, and the Society for the Promotion of Literature on New Media (DPKM) with its Free e-Books initiative.

Magdalena Vodopija from the Pula Book Fair said that they would still hold the event, but will have to see how they would manage. “It is certain that we will appeal against the decision of the Ministry of Culture. We now have to find the money somewhere else since we have already made arrangements for almost all foreign guests who will come to the festival”, said Vodopija.

President of the Croatian Writers Society Nikola Petković also said they would appeal against the decision. “With the appointment of Zlatko Hasanbegović for the Minister of Culture, the culture has lost its space of autonomy and became a place for conducting ideological purges. We will find a way how to survive with reduced resources, but the criteria for distribution of funds are arbitrary and ideological. Zero kuna for the Interliber Book Fair represents a direct attack against the Croatian culture”, said Petković.


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