Arts and culture neglected
THERE have been numerous counter-proposals to Chris Patten's constitutional reforms, and in a number of cases the cultural sector has been included in the proposed functional constituencies.
Over the past two months, the Hongkong Cultural Sector Joint Conference (HKCSJC) has met various Legco members as well as representatives of political parties (namely the United Democrats, the Co-operative Resources Centre, the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood and the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hongkong), who all supported the emergence of the HKCSJC as a lobby group to advocate issues and views and maintain the dialogue with politicians and political parties.
The HKCSJC supports the idea of a democratic system for Hongkong. But in the present circumstances, and looking at the stated agenda of the major political parties, the arts and culture are given low priority.
In view of the fact that we consider the arts and culture not as a minority activity or concern, but as a comprehensive way of enriching the lifestyle and environment of the whole society, we feel it is important to support a system like the functional constituency, which would give the arts direct representation and thus ensure it be given a higher priority in the present political agenda.
The HKCSJC strongly feels that culture and the arts form an integral and important part of our community and that policy-makers should give due attention to an environment conducive to free, creative and dynamic expression particularly in the lead up to 1997 and beyond.
We also call for an immediate review of the Government's overall policy (or lack of it) towards the arts, in full consultation with the arts community and the public.
BERNADETTE TSUI Hongkong Cultural Sector Joint Conference Steering Committee