A protest against funding cuts in art & culture.
In November 2019, a newly formed Flemish Government decided to cut funding for art & culture projects by 60%. In a small region like Flanders many young artists need this funding to develop and create. A severe budget cut means that many works of art, movies, books, etc. might never get made. This would not only be a great loss for art lovers, but for society as a whole. State of the Arts, an open arts platform, wanted to make the consequences visible to the broader audience.
We sent our 500 best artists a picture of their work covered with 60% yellow, the branding color of the Flemish government. We asked them to share it simultaneously on November 14, at 12 AM, with the hashtag #thisisourculture. Showing that 60% less funding equals 60% less culture. They all did.
The hashtag #thisisourculture instantly became viral with people participating and contributing to a yellow wall on Instagram. People started using 60% yellow as a symbol for peaceful protest against this funding cut. They changed their profile pictures, created new artworks, performed music with 60% of the notes cut, etc.
The campaign reached 80% of the country’s population, generating around € 1,6 million in earned media attention. People set up a petition. Thousands of them even marched the streets in protest, demanding the funding cut to be canceled.
Currently, negotiations are re- opened and a new deal between the arts and culture sector and the Flemish government is being negotiated with State of The Arts.