Cinematheque – Without workers, collections cannot be preserved

Image: Pietro Jeng


Letter read in the Act of August 07, 2021

This has been the motto of Cinemateca workers since June 2020. Many were the warnings made by us about the need to maintain the institution's staff, some with years of service. This motto spread in defense of Cinemateca, starting to involve workers in a single, inseparable whole. Our agenda “for wages, jobs and the collection”, unfortunately, showed its truth in a cinematographic way with the fire of July 29th in the facilities of Vila Leopoldina. This fire was criminal and the federal government is entirely responsible for it, for the abandonment and neglect of the heritage in a project to destroy Brazilian memory.

On July 30, 2021, the day after the fire and almost a year of promises, the federal government finally published a public call for a new social organization (OS) to manage the Cinemateca Brasileira.

We cannot allow ourselves to be fooled by an announcement that imposes a commercial logic on Cinemateca. This has already been tried without success by the former manager, the Associação de Comunicação Educativa Roquette Pinto – Acerp. What we saw with this was a rehearsal of a privatist logic for the institution, a logic that the Federal Government intends to expand. public social. Lowered wages, instability, non-payment of salaries and budgets always falling short of needs are examples of this commercial logic. The 2021 notice establishes a transfer of 10 million, when in 2019 the budget was around 13 million.

Public notices managed by OS have specific deadlines. With Acerp, it took three years – unilaterally interrupted – and the new notice proposes five years. This is incompatible with heritage preservation. Preservation is a long-term job, which requires constancy in procedures and work, such as daily monitoring of collections and revision of materials. This in turn requires the stability of the functional body. Preservation will only be minimally effective in a state structure, supported by a state policy not by governments.

Understanding the limitations of the current situation, the elaboration of any public call must take into account the workers and the needs of the institution before proposing a budget.

If we understand that without workers, collections cannot be preserved, we must avoid a purely formal opening. And for that you need:

1) pay the late salaries of workers fired in 2020;

2) rehire the team that was in the institution until 2020;

3) expand this staff, fully occupying the jobs required by the Cinemateca collection;

4) have a budget equal to the assets that the Cinematheque houses.

Without putting these points into effect, the opening will be superficial, running the risk of repeating the same terrible events of recent days and years.

As Paulo Emílio Sales Gomes said, in an excerpt from the film There's Coca-Cola in Vatapá, “A fabulous bird that has already risen from the ashes, the cinematheque will rise from all this rubbish, from all this dust, because its destiny has become inseparable from Brazilian cinema”

Without workers, collections cannot be preserved!

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