Message from our Ubu Roi Company
Many artists and technicians working in the performing arts in France currently benefit from a specific employment status known as the ‘régime d’intermittence’. This system dates back to 1936, and is designed to take into account the ‘intermittent’ and insecure nature of the cultural industries, where many workers survive on a project-by-project basis, and offering them a greater degree of social protection thereby. The régime d’intermittence affects over 254,000 workers in France's film, theatre, television and festival industry, and is currently under review by the French government.
At the time of writing, the livelihoods of actors and technicians in the French performing arts is under severe threat.
This has led to a powerful response from all sections of the cultural industries, and protests against this governmental review, including strike action, are currently taking place on a national scale : performances are being cancelled; festivals are threatening to shut down; television series are not being filmed.
As French artists and technicians working with Cheek by Jowl, and with the support and agreement of Cheek by Jowl’s Executive, we would like to make known our solidarity with, and support for, this protest movement. The intermittence status which we want to defend has enabled all of us to do the jobs we do, to participate and contribute to the creative process, and to feel that we have a place within a broader artistic ecosystem, one which stretches from small emerging companies to national theatres.
It is precisely this status as intermittents which has allowed the industry its freedom, its unity and its efficient producing models. That a similar initiative to the intermittence might spread further afield is the wish we would like to share with you tonight. After all, it is as much the value as the social reality of the arts which is here at stake.
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