Lebanon/ 8.1 Direct and indirect support to artists  

8.1.4 Support to professional artists associations or unions

To provide additional support, a new authors and composers association called, "Council of Authors and Composers" was established. It was met with variant reactions by the affiliated artists who feared of dividing the artistic unions and bodies as is the case of the Syndicate of Artists. The debate between the new "Council" and the old "Association" has started and is positively interacting in order to reach a satisfying solution for both parties. They formed the "Council of Authors and Composers" chaired by Poet Henry Zugheib. The communication was fruitful, especially because the Association of Authors and Composers anticipated the issuance of “local" legislations to protect the rights of artists, but it was surprised by "hesitation" of the concerned people. Consequently, the way was paved for authors and composers in Lebanon to reach an agreement: meetings between the "Council" and the "Association".

After the ratification of the Law of Artistic Professions Regulation, i.e. when artists became sure that they have a law to preserve the aging and retirement rights, and consequently many became able to dedicate themselves to their work without being afraid of medication problems and the other similar issues. The major points addressed were: how to activate the Solidarity Funds which came as a savior to unify all unions under one roof. Consequently the unions of professional actors, filmmakers, artists, musicians, Zajal poets, producers, distributors and picturing arts and Lebanese Union of Writers and the Association of Fine Artists benefit from the Law. More importantly, the Law levied a tax of 10% of the production of foreign artists who come to Lebanon, and 2% of local theatre, cinema and artistic works revenues, to be transferred to the Unified Solidarity Funds and not to the unions (investigation by Zeina Birjawi, As-Safir Newspaper, "After the Law of Artistic Professions.. "Lebanon Film Festival," for the First Time, 20/02/2009).

Chapter published: 04-05-2016