Recently confirmed as executive secretary of the future Ministry of Culture, historian Marcio Tavares has acted on two fronts to reverse the sector paralysis imposed by the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro: one administrative, the other political. On the administrative issue, there is the challenge of recreating, right on the first day of the Lula government, the structure of the Ministry of Culture. In an exclusive conversation with arte!brasileiros, Tavares said that the institutional body to be created will come with several new secretariats in relation to the old structure. One of the areas will be popular cultures, which will gain prominence in the new MinC, now with board status. “In addition to rescuing what was already the focus of the ministry's attention, we will also have a specific area to deal with gender mainstreaming, with a Citizenship and Diversity department, among other innovations”.
In the act of administrative restructuring, one of the great challenges will be the equating of resources – the area of culture is currently sheltered under the umbrella of the Ministry of Tourism. Tavares doesn't think this is a big problem. “The budget pays attention to constitutional functions, and culture is one of them. The budget is not created by ministries, but by so-called constitutional functions. Therefore, the Ministry of Culture will have its budget made up of what is defined in the culture function, and it will certainly have to be added, increased, because what the outgoing government has left for the sector is extremely low”, he pondered.
In the political field, the Paulo Gustavo Law was elected the highest priority. Marcio and the future minister Margaret Menezes were in Congress on Tuesday to urge parliamentarians to release the resources frozen by the Bolsonaro government. In the early afternoon of this Thursday, 22/12, the conversations had an effect: the National Congress released the R$ 3,8 billion foreseen in the law, and the money will already be available to artists from January 2023. the biggest injection of direct resources that culture will have since the creation of a federal folder destined to the sector. “This will open up fiscal space for cultural work,” he says.
Marcio Tavares also addressed the first communication noises that already surround the ministry in formation, such as a supposed crisis in his appointment as Executive Secretary of the new Ministry of Culture – it was reported that the name of Zulu Araújo was also aired, but was passed over by Tavares that he was preferred by Janja, President Lula's wife. “There was never this intrigue between us. The situation here is very calm, a relationship of partnership, of friendship. We regret (the approaches of this type), but we are dealing with the reconstruction. We know the impact of having a cultural management marked by the action of the extreme right, and our goal is to make it work, to leave everything very well balanced. Our goal is to provide for everything that is neglected because of paralysis of political initiative or incompetence. For this reason, in addition to the 'repeal' that is being asked of President Lula, we are anticipating a 'dispatch' here, to get things going, to give security to projects and cultural producers, to get out of paralysis”.
Another front of action for the new MinC will be a major audit of the activities of the secretary of culture, which takes its leave in January, which managed to cause major shocks in the republican structure for managing public resources. According to Marcio Tavares, a fine-tooth comb will be made in the performance of the Bolsonarist period and "all evidence of malpractice will be forwarded to the Public Ministry for investigation", he said. The deliberate delay in examining and approving cultural proposals to promote Lei Rouanet will receive priority attention in January, with the aim of “protecting the cultural institutions that depend on these resources” in the formulation of its annual planning.
Margareth Menezes also had the accounts of the NGO in Bahia with which she collaborates as a kind of godmother questioned. The association was ordered to return resources to the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) in 2020, but the legal responsibility is not the artist's, not implying any impediment to her future work. Still, the noise was great. “Unfortunately, we know that racism, misogyny, all of this still has a great impact on the way public management is approached, but we are very calm”, said Tavares. Margareth even intends to sing at the Posse Party, popularly known as Lulapalooza, at the Esplanada dos Ministérios, on the 1st. She had been cast in the inaugural show before she was even asked to do the job.
The new direction of the MinC informed that it has not yet defined the names of who will preside over the entities linked to the ministry, such as the Institute of National Historical and Artistic Heritage (Iphan), the Brazilian Institute of Museums (ibram), the National Arts Foundation (Funarte) it's at National Library, Among others.
The release of resources from the Paulo Gustavo Law projects an outstanding start for the cultural sector of the new government, after going through a period of progressive loss of resources and personnel – according to the final report of the government transition group, also released this Thursday. , since 2016 there has been a progressive loss of resources of around 85% in the direct administration budget and 38% in the indirect one. The National Culture Fund (FNC) had a 91% reduction in its resources in the period.