Top Lithuanian arts magazine releases blank issue in ‘desperate’ funding cuts protest

Top Lithuanian arts magazine releases blank issue in ‘desperate’ funding cuts protest

5 February 2018

One of Lithuania’s top culture magazines has left its latest edition completely blank in a “desperate” protest against cuts to the country’s art funding.

The latest edition of Literatura ir Menas was completely blank apart from an introductory note from its editor-in-chief. A black masthead and a mourning ribbon also adorned the front page.

Editor-in-chief Gytis Norvilas described the move as a “desperate step”.

“This is our sign of protest because the money allocated to us by the Press, Radio and Television Support Fund (SRTRF) is not enough to publish the magazine,” Norvilas told the BNS news outlet.

The magazine, which has been published weekly since 1946, received $88,122 (€71,000) in funding for 2018, down from $98,000 (€79,000) last year and almost $101,800 (€82,000) in 2016.

SRTRF chairperson Danguole Skarbaliene defended the decision, saying that the council was supporting 33 different cultural projects in 2018. She told BNS that more than a million euros were needed to support the country’s cultural media — twice the SRTRF’s annual budget.

Source: The Baltic Times