"Fight", by Rubens Gerchman, at the Vladimir Herzog Institute. Photo: Reproduction.

President Jair Bolsonaro’s vetoes of the Aldir Blanc Law 2 and the Paulo Gustavo Law, the two main innovations in promoting culture in the country, represent, in addition to an evident effort to persecute the artistic sector, a demonstration of admirable administrative stupidity. And this ignorance can already be demonstrated with numbers. In force in 2020 and 2021, still as a cultural emergency legislation, the Aldir Blanc Law injected R$ 3 billion into the sector and became one of those responsible for the creation of 855,5 jobs in the culture segment last year – the growth in the number of vacancies, of 13% in the year (above, therefore, the 11% of the economy in general) was detected this month by the Itaú Cultural Observatory Data Panel from data from the Continuous PNAD.

The strong boost to job offers in the creative economy in the 4th quarter of 2021 can be partially attributed to the slowing down of the pandemic, but this was only consolidated in 2022 and there would not be a beginning of recovery in the sector if it was not already being oxygenated. during the previous months: a play, a show or a movie doesn't come out of nowhere. The only continuous and consistent source of public investment in the sector came from the Aldir Blanc Law, which created new productive niches throughout the country – such as the new cinema in the Amazon.

According to the survey by the Itaú Cultural Observatory, 2021 ended with 7,5 million workers employed in the creative economy (which encompasses activities such as culture, design, fashion, gastronomy, communication, architecture, among others), almost one million more than in December 2020, when 6,6 million workers were allocated.

In 2019, around 6% of the total employed in the country (around 5,5 million people) worked in the cultural sector (a segment responsible, at that time, for 2,7% of the national GDP). According to specialists such as Bruno Moretti and Marcos Souza, only the period of validity of the Aldir Blanc Law of cultural emergency, in a scenario of general stagnation, is capable of explaining this bubble of virtue. 

It is possible, if Bolsonaro (fortunately) fails, to project a kind of renaissance for the cultural sector in the coming years with the adoption of both laws. Historically, resources for the sector have always been tiny, never exceeding 1% of the Union Budget. With the overthrow of Bolsonaro's vetoes, the emergency action that has already encouraged the area will now gain the scope of permanent through the Paulo Gustavo Law (which directs R$ 3,86 billion of the National Culture Fund's financial surplus to states and municipalities to promote the sector) and the Aldir Blanc Law 2 (which allocates another 3 billion to culture in a permanent policy). Never seen anything like it in terms of political of State in Brazil.

The direct expenses of the federal government with culture, according to the Transparency Portal, have been progressively collapsing since 2018, when they accounted for around BRL 1 billion. They dropped to approximately R$ 600 million last year. This year, 2022, they are so far at R$ 109 million. It is a clear policy of dismantling a productive sector and the basis of this policy is simply that of ideological warfare, there is no economic or strategic basis for this.

Bolsonarism's cultural war blitz led the most different sectors to an almost complete collapse. Even the most organized areas, such as the audiovisual sector, are in a situation of calamity, although publicity tries to make it seem the opposite, the scenario points to devastation. Small initiatives, abandoned by public policies, languish – for example, the Ponto Cine Guadalupe project, on Estrada do Camboatá, in Rio de Janeiro, which has closed its doors after 16 years as the first large popular digital cinema theater in the world. Brazil showing only Brazilian films. Ponto Cine showed around 550 films to 350 people, but Ancine bolsonarista's coat hanger policy did not reach it.

Neither of the two laws, Paulo Gustavo and Aldir Blanc 2, passed by a large majority in the legislative houses, takes resources from or pressures spending on health, education, Santas Casas, agribusiness or public investments. Your sources of funds are already pre-existing, but now they must be stamped resources, with the correct destination. This is the great fear of a State that carelessly treats that activity that represents its own spirit, its soul, its fundamental impulse. 

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