THE BOOK AND SOCIETY -22%
On the 10 July 1998 I initiated a one day protest, a multimedia manifestation, against a 22% taxes (VAT) on books. In comparison with some other European countries, the books in Croatia were too expensive even without the new tax (VAT), which government decided to introduce in 1998. At the same time in our country was big economically crises. The statistics had shown a huge decrease in the sale of books during the first half of the year.
About 30 contemporary artists from different generations took part in the project.
Performances were held in the city centre and installations were put in the streets, sqares, bookshops and libraries. Some works were printed in the magazines and daily press, some were put on the net. A popular independent radio station was used, video and film were shown in multimedia centre. Leaflets were handed out all around the Zagreb.
Protest caused writers and publishers reaction and lot of discussions in the media. They spoke in support of the action. After 1 year the tax (VAT) on books was withdraw.
“A protest obtruded itself as a logical consequence of the society state. Impending 21st century, the utmost devalorization of a book is absurd. Although the artistic circles suffer most by earning less and using a book the most, the problem takes hold of the whole society. Actually, what else to expect from the society lacking the possibility of cultural development and education, but to be something like silent intoxicated mass prone to change at anybody’s liking. And who is Anybody? And why he tends to hold down the development of freedom of thought and speech? The answers to these questions tamper the very core of human rights. Therefore this protest reassesses man’s fate in the society which refers to a book with such an ignorance.“
Ante Kuštre, Tomislav Gotovac, Filip Biffel, Zoran Pavelić, Schrmtz Teatar, Igor Rončević, Sandro Đukić, Ivan Kožarić, Goran Trbuljak, Vlado Martek, Milomir Repac, Iva Matija Bitanga, Duje Jurić, Mladen Stilinović, Leo Vukelić, Antun Maračić, Kata Mijatović, Bojan Gagić, Sanja Iveković, Kristina Leko, Zlatko Kopljar, Blaženko Kerešin, Andreja Kulunčić, Ivana Keser, Igor Grubić, Anonimni