Last Sunday, June 20, Enrique Bustamante, coordinator of the Report on the state of culture in Spain and a benchmark for the world of communication and culture in our country. His career was linked to the Alternativas Foundation since its origins in 1997. Initially linked to the Laboratory directed by Juan Manuel Eguiagaray, where he worked on cultural issues within the framework of public policies that were developed in what was the origin of this Foundation. Later, when verifying that the cultural policies were sufficiently important to have their own department, Enrique assumed the creation of the Observatory of Culture and Communication, which made the Alternativas Foundation the first thought center in our country that gave the culture a leading role.
This moment began a long journey of analysis, reflections and proposals that put these fields of study at the level of what had been considered driving policies of the State. His work represented a clear commitment and a positioning of the Alternativas Foundation for the defense of progressive values in which the protection of artistic creation is so important, the defense of cultural professionals and the commitment to a communication policy that allow the consolidation of an inclusive management model.
With Enrique, the Observatory of Culture and Communication gradually became a reference for the sector, as important documents emerged from there that contributed critical thinking and proposals for the improvement of public management and the strengthening of Cultural Industries. Without a doubt, his most important creation has been the aforementioned Report on the state of culture in Spain, which began its journey in 2011.
Since then, seven editions have been published that have addressed the main issues affecting the cultural sector with a European and Ibero-American approach, and without losing sight of the importance of consolidating a network of thought and reflection to provide solutions to contemporary challenges. Enrique, at the head of this publication since its inception, provided the leadership necessary to face the issues it addressed with courage. His independence of thought has always been present in his work and has characterized his tireless work for the defense of culture and communication in our country and abroad. The Advisory Council of the Observatory loses one of its referents, but it will always bear the mark of its effort and its struggle to make the voice of culture heard. Undoubtedly this has been one of his great achievements, and we will continue to walk the path that marks us from Inmaculada Ballesteros’ Department of Culture and Communication.