8.10 Current debates and reforms
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised new questions about the accessibility to culture through the internet and models for its financing. Especially important is the question on how participation in culture will change and how the ability to consume culture without leaving one’s home (paired with the lockdown experiences) will influence the work of artists and cultural institutions. Such discussions are currently conducted on the grassroots level, in the civic sector and among culture producers. Experiences of last two years among the creative community have shown that those worries were not baseless. Lockdowns and event cancellations have caused significant changes in the way those institutions function. However, alongside purely negative consequences, the pandemic has contributed to the discussion in how to make culture more accessible through providing hybrid forms of participation (e.g. in stage plays or film festivals).
New context for young people’s participation in culture is the influx of young Ukrainians to Poland due to the Russian aggression. They have been included in the Polish educational system, and it needs to be said that such a qualitative and quantitative social change is not without cultural consequences. The relationship between various national groups needs to be carefully tracked in the search of potentials it brings. Work of intercultural consultants must be broadened. It is important because according to research around half of Ukrainian refugees in Poland have ever visited the country before, and fewer than one in five declare the knowledge of the Polish language.