13.06.2019. For immediate release.
The pilot project “Kritikbyrån” (The Critics’ Bureau) will boost Swedish-language art criticism in Finland.
Art criticism constitutes a pillar of any democratic society and is a precondition for the existence of a professional art scene. The Finnish critics have seen their conditions deteriorate; both salaried positions and freelance pay has decrease rapidly. The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland has now decided to allocate 380 000 euro for strengthening the position of Swedish-language art criticism in Finland.
Intresseföreningen för finlandssvenska frilandskritiker
(IFFF) – The Association of Finland-Swedish Freelance Critics –initiated the discussions leading to this decision and will receive the funds from the foundation. Through this financial assistance the pay of the freelance critics will be doubled under a three-year period. IFFF has together with the foundation created a model for supporting critics and at the same time encouraging media corporations to use professional critics.
Critics apply to participate in the Kritikbyrån-project. To the critics accepted Kritikbyrån will then pay the same per article as the one that has commissioned it, on top of the original pay. This top-up or doubling is paid only for texts published in Finnish-Swedish publication channels that have entered into agreement with Kritikbyrån. More information concerning the application process will be made public in the autumn and the payments come into effect at the start of the new year 2020.
The project will also contain seminars and training for critics as well as work disseminating the art of criticism through initiatives in schools and with participative amateur criticism.
There are now various projects focused on criticism in the Nordic region. The aim of IFFF is to exchange best practice with these kindred initiatives and it hopes that Kritikbyrån can create a model that will make an impression among grant-giving authorities and financing institutions also outside of Finland.
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