Manchester Meeting – UK’s EU Referendum: A Cultural Response 2

Article posted at 2016-01-26 10:11:32

The year ahead brings a referendum on our membership of the European Union and we’ve been working with Culture Action Europe to highlight what this means to the culture sector in the UK.

There are worries about our sovereignty, our borders and the strain on our country's resources and this malaise is repeated across Europe where, coupled with a rise of the far right, there is a wider disenchantment with the European project. Yet other EU members are not holding a referendum…

Put simply the European Union is a community, a community that you need to be part of to have a voice, a community where resources can be pooled, knowledge shared and our human rights protected.  A community where we have a vote and together we are stronger.

Our human rights are threatened by the voices that see 'terrorists' and 'scroungers' around every corner and the rhetoric of the ‘leave’ campaign feeds this fear.

Those of us working in the arts know the value that culture brings to building safe and happy communities, and that shared values bridge differences. We know it’s the fusion of different ways of thinking and seeing that create positive change.

It’s here that we can make a difference and here that we can contribute to a more tolerant and generous society. For these reasons we believe that continued membership of the European Union is vital.

ISIS Arts and other Culture Action Europe members held a meeting on Friday 22nd January at HOME in Manchester for a cultural response to the EU referendum.

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