(Continuation of the publicist’s research. The first part was published in www.kamane.lt on November 26, 2007, and republished in the portal www.bernardinai.lt on November 28) Mindaugas Grigaitis
www.kamane.lt, 2008 02 17


In brief: After unsuccessful attempts to find out about the principles of creative activity of the Lithuanian Writers’ Union (LWU), Kaunas Branch, the question arose: what right does this organization have to behave so arrogantly with the society which feeds it by its funds?


After waiting for information about creative activity aspects of Kaunas Branch for many months, the author decided to look at the status of this organisation from the legal side. Perhaps legal acts will help to realise whether the active user of literature, young literature researcher has the right to hope for any official information from the LWU.


According to the Law on Granting the Status of Art Creator and Art Creators’ Organisation, the LWU is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation engaged in creative activity. Poets, prose writers, playwrights, translators, critics and literature scientists may belong to it.


In order to find out the rights and obligations of public organizations, the author read the Law on Public Organizations and found out that the head of LWU, Kaunas Branch Petras Palilionis follows the 11th article word by word. It is stated in this article that state institutions and officials, other organisations and persons shall not intervene with the activity and internal issues of public organizations.”


As a result, the LWU is a state in a state and is not subordinate to the citizens of this state. It is very likely that such structure of public organizations has been created by veterans of nomenclature who head these organizations up till now. Such independent activity of organizations would be justifiable if they were not supported from the money of the state citizens, from the state and municipalities.


However, let us think logically: what society does LWU, Kaunas Branch serve for, if it refuses to speak with an active reader and professionally interested literature user researching contemporary literature? The relations of a creative union with the society should be based on open dialogue due to the fact that the union is formed of live people, very talented creators sometimes, for whom publicity is necessary as air. Meanwhile, the bureaucrats of the creative union refusing to discuss about its activity publicly feel as if they have privatised the members of the union – live people.


Perhaps the members of the union could revolt and protest? However, if you object, you will not receive funds. Isn't it the evident example of bureaucratic violence against literature?


Therefore, having understood that no answers will be received from the esoteric institution LWU, Kaunas Branch, the author decided to inquire employees of Kaunas municipality, which funds the organization. A letter to Kaunas vice-mayor Kazimieras Kuzminskas was not answered. A letter to the head of Cultural Department of Kaunas Municipality Sigitas Šliažas was not answered as well. Later the deputy of the head Vida Jasaitytė offered to turn to Kaunas Branch of LWU regarding the required information.


When the research got stuck in bureaucratic bushes of the state institution, the author made a conclusion that such joint actions of the public organization and state institution should be based on serious grounds. The reasons should be useful to both sides. Bare facts testify that Kaunas literature projects are funded from Kaunas municipality funds via two organizations only: LWU, Kaunas Branch and the Lithuanian Association of Art Creators, Kaunas Branch. Both institutions are headed by P.Palilionis. This person is constantly selected as the expert of cultural projects funding trusted by Kaunas heads. Doesn’t this smell of corruption?


In 2007, the Municipality allocated partial funding for the following Kaunas literature projects: international festival Poetry Spring 2007 – LTL 16 000, publishing of Kaunas writers’ books – LTL 30 000, poetry book “Snow in Foxes” – LTL 4 000, continuous cycle of events “Kaunas Writers – to City Society” – LTL 6 000 (money transferred to LWU, Kaunas Branch), library of Poetry Spring winners – LTL 8 000, continuous project “To Local and Other People” – LTL 4 000 (money transferred to Kaunas Association of Art Creators).


The author found out about the poetry book “Snow in Foxes” and the projects “Kaunas Writers – to City Society” and “To Local and Other People” from this estimate only. Neither the cultural press, nor websites of the municipality or LWU announced about these events. In addition, the author has more questions regarding the Poetry Spring organisation and the publishing of the library of the Poetry Spring winners. He would like to find out what books in particular are funded from the municipality funds and how these authors are evaluated by critics, as a result.


The research of reading and buying data of books supported by LWU, Kaunas Branch published in the last article as well as the position of this organization in regard to the society proves that budget funds are used for own ambitions of the guild managers. The guild, which does not want to admit that literature is a product for the society. Moreover, literature is created behind the walls of the guild. Who funds it?


What influence may be made by the Lithuanian Association of Art Creators and Association of Copyrights Protection, when Kaunas Branches of both organizations are headed by the same P.Palilionis? How do organizations headed by P.Palilionis control the activity and efficiency of LWU, Kaunas Branch headed by P.Palilionis, the transparency and use to the society? The answers welter in thick fog, which is preserved by bureaucrats. However, this question is too persistent to stop searching for an answer.

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