For a creative society, give talent a level playing field, says Muscat

Labour leader Joseph Muscat says the role of the state is to give people a level playing field for the country’s talent to develop.

Opposition leader Joseph Muscat addressing the creative society seminar organised by the Labour Party
Opposition leader Joseph Muscat addressing the creative society seminar organised by the Labour Party

Addressing a Creative Society debate organised by the Labour Party, leader Joseph Muscat said the state shouldn't hinder the artists from developing their talents, but should be there to provide a level playing field.

"Policymakers should guarantee that everyone is given the opportunity to develop their talents and enjoy the reward based on their capabilities," Muscat said, adding that artists should be given the opportunity because they deserve it, and not because they were Maltese.

Muscat said the first challenge policymakers face is to abolish the monopolies that existed in small states like Malta.

"Everyone should be given the same opportunity. Only this way will true talent be exposed," he insisted.

Muscat said that the public broadcasting should use its funds to help promote activities and productions. "These cost a lot of money and at the same time, certain activities wouldn't be strong enough to attract strong advertising. The result of this would be cancellation of such productions because they wouldn't be commercially viable," he said.

Muscat said a balance should be reached by allowing talent to develop while not taking away from the commercial elements and profit which the national broadcaster needs to operate.

The Labour leader said that productions should not be chosen simply because they were Maltese, but should be chosen based on their quality.

"Extreme nationalism could be dangerous and this is were a level playing field comes in," he said.

Muscat added that Labour will soon be announcing a number of projects "to preserve the national memory".

Labour's spokesman for culture Owen Bonnici said that Malta was evolving and this should be reflected by the arts sector.

"Artists push forward change," he said, while reiterating that the PL was against censorship in arts.

Bonnici reminded how the first reading of the censorship law had to go through 46 sittings to finally be approved for the second reading.

He said that Labour wanted to revise criminal legislation that affected arts and that it will continue to work for the improvement of such legislation.

"Our role is to find talent and give it the opportunity to grow. The main challenge is to give that talent an economic dimension by which we would be protecting the artist and his talent," Bonnici said.

Also addressing the seminar were Ruth Bianco, Rebecca Cremona, Adrian Mizzi, Tanja Bayone and Domenic Galea.

The panel focused on arts such as dance, fashion, music and cinematography.

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