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'Still Standing for Culture' plans events for first anniversary of sector's closure

A 'Still Standing' sign shown during a protest of the cultural sector, in Liege, Saturday 20 February 2021. The cultural and creative sectors are struggling as events have been cancelled because of the pandemic. (BELGA PHOTO THOMAS MICHIELS)
07:34 11/03/2021

Demonstrations in support of the Belgian cultural sector will be held across the country on Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of the first coronavirus shutdown, which closed venues, cafes, bars and restaurants.

The collective "Still Standing for Culture" announced in a statement on Wednesday that Saturday’s series of demonstrations and events will reaffirm its message that the ‘Belgian model’ of easing restrictions on some sectors and maintaining others, such as those which keep many parts of the cultural sector closed, is unbalanced and unfair.

"One year later, the same pattern remains: some sectors are ignored to allow others, considered 'essential', to continue to run at full speed," the collective stated.

"This 'Belgian model' has put fundamental rights on hold, pitted sectors against each other, and closed down many socially connected activities, with detrimental effects on our mental health."

"A year is a long time for 'emergency' management that turns entire sectors into circuit breakers without giving them hope or awarding them compensation for the hardships suffered."

Written by Nick Amies