POLObs studies the impact of Covid-19 on Culture

The CECS Observatory of Communication and Culture Policies (POLObs) is studying the impact of Covid-19 on the Portuguese cultural sector. The investigation, coordinated by Manuel Gama, will take place until March 2021 measuring how the pandemic affects the sector that has seen thousands and events postponed and canceled, leaving cultural organizations and professionals in a “dramatic situation”.

The study, which started last March, measures the media impact and the flow of news about the effects of Covid-19 on the national cultural sector, as well as analyzes Government initiatives and assesses the expected and observed impacts that the pandemic had and will have in professionals and organizations in the sector. The first phase of this investigation concludes that there is a “reduced number of explicit references to culture” in the analysis that was made of national newspaper sites and of municipalities and inter-municipal entities. Manuel Gama explains that in these references there is a “clear predominance of the focus on negative impacts” of Covid-19 in the sector. The study also reveals that “the role of services, bodies, and entities of direct administration or under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture (…) in some cases was embodied in a passive and inoperative attitude”.

Professionals and organizations in the sector, on the other hand, affirm, through the answers left to the elaborated questionnaire, that “if urgent, substantive and structural measures are not taken, the Portuguese cultural sector could suffer irreparable damage as a result of the pandemic”. The data collected reveal that “in addition to the immediate losses that cross-sectoral and sectoral measures are not being able to give a complete answer, at the end of 2020 we will be able to see, in addition to worsening precariousness, an increase in unemployment among professionals of the cultural sector that had employment contracts ”.

Thus, the first phase of this study concluded that “the impacts of Covid-19 on the Portuguese cultural sector are, and will be, many, diverse and harmful for the fragile Portuguese cultural fabric”.

More information here.

[Posted: 04-05-2020 | Text: CECS/GCII]