Goldsmiths Art Against Cuts
And Staff from Goldsmiths Department of Art Against the Government's Attack on
1. No to the attack on the arts and art education
We strongly oppose any increase in tuition fees and all cuts throughout education and the public sector. In particular, we object to this Government's systematic attack on the arts and humanities as an important arena for debate, critical thought, and cultural production at large.
Contemporary art in the UK is being attacked on two fronts. Cuts to education funding will make art schools prohibitively expensive for artists, curators and writers wanting to go to art school. Cuts to art funding will dramatically reduce the spaces, opportunities and employment emerging artists, curators and writers will be able to enter and contribute to after their education. Both directly affect the future of graduates from the Art Department at Goldsmiths, and mutilate the scope of art contributing to societal processes at large.
The cuts and increases will badly damage the prospects and possibilities of so many who wish to benefit from education and the arts in the coming years. It is imperative that these proposed cuts be opposed as strongly as possible. To that end, the Warden, the College, Senior Management Team and Heads of Departments must also publicly voice their dismay and opposition to these proposals.
The real argument is not whether fees and cuts are acceptable or not - they are clearly regressive - but whether free public education is a principle respected by this Government. When, as now, a publicly funded education system is being valiantly fought for by current, future and former students, this struggle must be understood to be one amongst others for state funding to be used for the direct betterment of its population. The privatisation of education will massively exacerbate existing social divisions, and reinforce the socially catastrophic effects of a finance-dominated economy. As such we oppose it and will do all we can alongside the rest of the population now beginning to fight back against it.
Support for the victims
We strongly support, and will work to defend, the Goldsmiths students and others who have been arrested while protesting against these cuts to Education and the public sector.
The staff and students of the Department of Art wish to contribute all we can to the development of the current movement against cuts and fees. The creativity and criticality so celebrated as engines for economic growth during the bubble years should now be directed to facilitating and feeding the struggle against these regressive, ideologically motivated cuts.
Artists have historically been among those producing the critique and driving the development of society, imagining alternatives, and attacking injustices. As inheritors of this tradition we stand up against the government programme to push society backward in the attempt to sustain the profits of an elite minority.
We oppose the further commodification of teaching and study in the university, and the destruction of services and benefits across the public sector.
We support all those in occupation in art schools and universities in London, across the UK and internationally, and we call on Goldsmiths staff and students to give support and assistance to those facing intimidation from management and bailiffs.
STUDENTS AND STAFF WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF ART, GOLDSMITHS, LONDON