The Athenaeums of Andalusia have among their purposes the promotion and cultural dissemination, as well as the defense of democratic values, among others. In the fulfillment of this work, they usually count on the disinterested collaboration of artists of all kinds, who lend their performance or give their creation for the enjoyment of atheists and, in general, the entire public that participates in our activities.

 

The management of the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic clearly shows that, once again, culture is going to be left behind. Not only is it not going to be considered an essential asset (as has happened in other nearby countries), but it is not going to receive the aid it needs to lessen losses in the sector.

 

Can an institution whose primary purpose is the defense of culture remain out of this situation? It is not just about defending the culture and the people who produce it, share it, spread it, etc., but to emphasize that it is an essential piece for our individual and collective development.

 

The Athenaeums of Andalusia, as cultural activists, we must take publicly for culture as an expression of that human being who has been lost between the demands of the markets and the hoaxes of social networks. Culture as a rescue of essential values and a means to redefine our presence on the planet, from a more respectful relationship between us and with the environment. All these previous considerations lead us to declare, as an institution that brings together thousands of cultural volunteers from Andalusia, that:

 

The Andalusian Athenaeum Federation wants to express its solidarity with the victims and their families of the terrible epidemic that is ravaging our country, as well as expressing its support for the health personnel who attend them.

The Covid-19 has invaded our existence and the vast majority keep us confined to our homes. The activities that we carried out daily have been canceled, if not minimized. Contact with our loved ones is limited and virtual. In such circumstances, when the feeling of isolation and loneliness takes its toll on our spirits, it is culture that keeps the spirit of the population alive.

 

It should not be necessary to highlight the essential role of culture in the well-being and development of peoples, as a vehicle for inclusion and social cohesion, creating spaces of tolerance and respect. Unfortunately, when it comes to well-being and development, one usually thinks only of the sector's contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, never of its importance for personal growth and the development of human beings with a critical spirit and respect for the environment in which they live. However, now that the world has stopped, culture has demonstrated its potential to connect us and make us part of a feeling of community that reminds us of our roots and ethical principles, our ability to create and draw closer to the dreams and illusions of others. .

 

All of us who are part of the culture sector in Spain have made our best effort to alleviate the situation of confinement, offering citizens, in a selfless way, cultural activities, with the aim, not only of entertaining, but also of allowing them to maintain the hope of a more just and tolerant society.

 

For all these reasons, the Andalusian Athenaeum Federation and the athenaeums that comprise it consider it necessary for the Public Administrations to adopt measures that allow the survival of the cultural sector, just as they are doing with other areas of economic activity.

 

Reconstructing Spain after suffering this pandemic will require everyone's help; therefore, culture cannot be left behind either.