Sharing culture and performance is a pleasure, wherever you may be. We should not be deterred from doing so by political changes.
Dynamic Dox have a long history of supporting the film and TV industry, along with other cultural sectors. The UK has been recognised as a hub for creative skills for generations and we have been pleased to play a part.
That the situation has become difficult in recent times is no secret. The Covid-19 pandemic playing a notable role, with travel and public interaction restricted, the ramifications of Brexit adding pressure.
The UK has always been a popular hub for film crews, or musicians from across the globe heading to Europe, to source equipment, crew, transport and staff. For UK performers, touring Europe is seen as rite of passage.
Stifling these activities is damaging to our culture and economy. So are ATA carnets an additional hindrance, or a way to help.
The New Reality
We understand this is hard to accept for a number of people but we have left the EU. Neither does the current deal mean too much beyond addressing the past, the UK is now a third country to the EU.
Performers have accused the government of giving away the UK’s cultural crown jewels and continue to push for reform. Until that happens, touring in Europe will not be so different to anywhere else.
This does not however mean that British culture has become less valued, or our expertise no longer respected. The international art market is a fair measure, this has fallen over 20% during the pandemic but the UK is still in second place by worldwide value.
The infrastructure that creative organisations need to work in Europe also remains available, the skills, dedication and experience. Britain has much to offer and we should continue to, despite additional paperwork.
Visas for work, or long stays are currently inescapable, as are other costs, such as additional medical insurance. The National Theatre has put European tours on hold, citing work permits as a non viable expense.
There will be cases where this is a major issue, although for other nationalities using the UK as a hub, this is not new. Depending on their activity, British performers and creative staff may be able to spread the cost between engagements.
The same can apply to equipment taken on the journey, with ATA carnets more flexible than they may appear. They can be used multiple times over a year and once inside the EU, your equipment is effectively border free.
A carnet can also cover items belonging to more than one person, or business, where they are travelling for shared reasons. Carnets are well recognised in Europe and a good way to avoid hassle in transit.
Nobody should dispute that the creative sector faces new barriers but our ambition and international outlook should not be suppressed. The appetite for British culture and technical support remains strong.
ATA carnets are a fresh cost, which can be significant in some circumstances but in others, they offer support. An international system which has ensured our goods can travel with more freedom than we may be able to.