Representatives of forums, unions and artists' collectives, during a public hearing at the Legislative Assembly
Representatives of forums, unions and artists' collectives, during a public hearing at the Legislative Assembly

In a public hearing with dozens of artists, producers and culture managers on the afternoon of Wednesday, 20th, at the Legislative Assembly, in the capital of São Paulo, sector activists called for the immediate revocation of the notices of the Paulo Gustavo Law (LPG) prepared by the Secretariat of Culture, Economy and Creative Industries of the State of São Paulo. On the morning of this Thursday, the 21st, the Ministry of Culture itself, responsible for executing the law, released a statement warning of deviations from the purpose of public notices.

The Paulo Gustavo Law is a federal law to promote culture that was created in 2021 and approved in 2022, with broad support from the National Congress and the national artistic community. Like the Aldir Blanc Law (LAB), of 2020, this is emergency legislation that provides for actions aimed at the cultural sector (due to the economic and social effects of the Covid-19 pandemic). Across the country, R$3,8 billion is being injected into culture through the LPG by the end of this year. So why are artists so committed to suspending its application in São Paulo?

According to the diagnoses presented by representatives of the artistic and various collective sectors to state deputies, the problems arise from the following: the 24 notices published this September by the State Department of Culture should be distributed to only 900 cultural projects, according to estimates by the state government . This represents 677,7% less than what the Aldir Blanc Law (which allocated R$264 million to São Paulo in 2020) managed to benefit in 2020, when it reached around 7 thousand projects and initiatives.

Studies of artistic collectives point to other forms of exclusion contained in notices. The São Paulo notices from LPG in São Paulo favor large productions and propose the concentration of these resources – while the Aldir Blanc Law had an average of R$ 37 thousand per project (and the State government's PROAC 2023 itself has an average value of around R$ 100 thousand), LPG will distribute an average of resources exceeding R$ 400 thousand.

The analysis also pointed out that 21 of the 24 notices are intended for projects by legal entities, to the detriment of individuals (which is nonsense for an emergency law, since those who suffered the most from the consequences of the pandemic were individuals). The notices also require that these legal entities have at least five years of legal operation, which, in addition to being an arbitrary number, disregards the hundreds of people who in recent years left informal work to open their cultural companies and return to formality. . Activists see this as blatant targeting.

PURPOSE DEVIATION

The set of notices, according to the reports delivered to the Legislative Assembly, contributes to making the LPG (if this publication is maintained) unfair, restrictive, completely out of line with the text of the law and also serving as a deviation from purpose, since audiovisual notices (the majority of resources) disregard regional and historical inequalities, removing the obligation that at least 50% of registrants be from outside the capital. This is contrary to the text of the law, which calls for territorial deconcentration.

The impasse in São Paulo, just over a week before registrations to claim the resources of the legislation close, is already worrying the Ministry of Culture. This Thursday's statement, signed by the executive secretary of the ministry, Márcio Tavares, warns of the need to observe some peculiarities of the Paulo Gustavo Law. The Ministry of Culture emphasizes that the legislation's notices do not fall within the rules of the Law on Tenders and Administrative Contracts, as they are not about contracting services and acquiring goods. “Thus, states, the Federal District and municipalities must refrain from using these devices to carry out public selections for cultural promotion”, warns the text.

The statement reminds that cultural agents who may be awarded resources from the notices should only focus on fulfilling their proposals (the implementation of the project is the primary criterion for accountability), and that the requirement for a financial execution report will be a measure exceptional. The spirit of the law is to help an area weakened and vulnerable by the pandemic and its effects and by the “blitz” of obscurantism undertaken by the former government of Jair Bolsonaro against the sector, notoriously critical and independent in relation to the excesses of an authoritarian and founded management. in prejudices regarding gender, race and social origin.

Concerned about running out of deadlines, the artists, activists and managers decided, at the Legislative Assembly's public hearing, to seek out the Secretary of Culture, Economy and Creative Industries, Marilia Marton, and also the State Governor himself, Tarcísio de Freitas, to suspend urgently the ongoing process with the 24 notices published. The sector says that the State government ignored the deliberations prior to the publication of the notices that were the result of agreements, debates and discussions for months in all regions of São Paulo, and ask that these subsidies be considered again in a possible republication.

 

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