When you are not treated in a fair way
This is an extract from a mail we sent to an artistic organisation who wanted to collaborate with us. We were in contact already for a year and we thought we had made our conditions clear but apparently there was a "misunderstanding". We thought it was important to publish this as most of small organisations and artists encounter this situation more often in their careers.
We never received an answer to this mail.
You are not alone...
From what we discussed, what we agreed was: MOHA provides part of the budget and the rest needs to be provided by your side. This is why you thought of applying for extra fundings so that you could support your part of the finances. It is of course logical that we would then need to send your some texts about the work since you do not know very well the project. Yet it was not to our understanding that we had to apply ourselves and lead the whole process. It makes a big difference and at the point where we are now, with this specific project, it is not an interesting offer for us.
As much as you are, we are also working a lot at the moment running many projects in parallel as well as expanding MOHA to different places. We are therefore in a point where offering just a platform to show our work is not enough.
Because we have been working very independently for quite some time, carrying a lot of financial, production, communication work on our shoulders, organising everything ourselves, the collaborations we are looking for now are the ones who can share this work with us. We realise now that those should be the conditions if we want to have a sustainable practice.
I understand that you provide a good platform for many artists who need visibility in this city. This is necessary and in this sense it is great that you can offer this opportunity to people. Nevertheless if you are looking for artistic and social practices to connect to the neighbourhood of your theatre and to expand your audience, and if you ask people who have already quite some experience in doing so, you should be able to offer more than just a platform.
I understand that your financial system doesn't allow that, but this is where the problem is. We need in the field to rethink this system. Platforms like yours need artists in order to exist and it can't be that artists need to do everything to support themselves and their project, ending up having barely a salary to survive, while the organisations are often run by a team with a monthly salary. I am happy these people have proper conditions to live, this is not the point, but I am just saying that obviously something is not working somewhere and instead of keeping and protecting this system we should all ally so that we can slowly change it.
This statement is more of a general statement, a reaction to a collection of different experiences we had as MOHA. It is not per se addressed to you directly. I just felt that it was important to share it with you regarding the problem we are encountering now. We hope you understand. We would be happy if you like some days to think along with you and your team on how to expand your structure and how to think based on different economical models.