DEMOCRATIC JUSTICE PROCEDURES AND COMMUNICATION AS CONTEMPORARY ART PRACTICE
AUTHORS: EGLĖ GRĖBLIAUSKAITĖ
IR AGNĖ GINTALAITĖ.
This open letter, addressed to the elected Mayor of Vilnius Valdas Benkunskas and the Deputy Director of Vilnius Municipality Administration, Adomas Bužinskas, expresses concerns related to the defense of democratic values in culture and arts in Vilnius. As one municipal administration term ends and a new one begins, the authors call for the municipality to take responsibility for their actions, apologize to the public for misleading and disrespecting the arts and culture community, and treat the letter as an opportunity for the new officials to start their term with a new quality and positive attitude.
The letter refers to an incident in 2021, where an artistic installation was dismantled and destroyed by the municipality, violating good public administration principles, the right to fair administration, the presumption of innocence, and the right to freedom of expression. The letter highlights that the artist involved had no intention to organize the event without permission and was misled by the municipality's own employees.
The letter criticizes the public statements made by Vilnius Municipality officials, accusing the artists of lying, destructive activities, cheap attention-seeking, and hooliganism, and calls for the officials to acknowledge the democratic principles of Lithuania, respect the autonomy of professionals and experts in the field, and uphold the right to legal action of every citizen.
In conclusion, the letter urges the Vilnius Municipality to take responsibility for its actions, admit its mistakes, and ensure a better democratic environment for artists and cultural professionals in the future.
This work is part of the postdoctoral research "Institutional oversight of artistic autonomy: art and Lithuanian cultural policy". Funding was provided by the Lithuanian Research Council (LMTLT), contract no. S-pd-22-94.