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The Creative Economy – a Concept and Strategy for the Future. Justin O’Connor Monash University. Creative industries. 1998: New Labour – Department of Culture, Media and Sport Two Strands Come Together. C ultural I ndustries .
1998: New Labour – Department of Culture, Media and Sport
Two Strands Come Together
Majority of cultural goods produced and consumed outside publicly funded culture
How does is a democratic cultural policy deal with this?
Growing policy lobby (often cities): art and culture no longer ‘poor relation’ and should be brought centre stage.
Wider claims about knowledge workers:
Manuel Castells: educated population able to to ‘process knowledge and manipulate symbols’;
‘Cultural capacity’ of workforces
The wider cultural capacity of advanced producer services is opened out to a wider ‘creativity’ of populations, drawing in much wider currents of popular culture and practices, and beyond formal educational capacity to emotions, empathy, energy, senses etc.
New Labour brought these strands together in complex ways.
Some specifically UK centric, but with clear resonances elsewhere (its success surprised the DCMS).
‘those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property’ (Department of Culture, Media and Sports, 1998)
Standard list of the arts and cultural industries.
Stand-out: software - launched an endless debate as to the boundaries of this sector.
Some of this is academic and technical
In essence the argument is that ‘creativity’ is far too broad a term to specify a sector, or an input, or a capacity, at least not for the purposes of practical policy.
Creative industries opened up new perspectives, brought in new voices, highlighted wide-spread economic, technological AND cultural changes
That is: many of the currents that had gone into cultural industries, now in a new global landscape.
Under-estimated the complexity of the sector and simplified the policy tools required to deal with it.
Can not be described as talented start-ups looking for IP.
Whole range of activities – creative skills, administrative/ managerial/ legal; material supplies and logistical support.
These kind of skills & know-how exist in complex ecosystems in which commercial and not-for-profit, very large and micro, state-funded and self-employed, the institutional and the ‘pop-up’ co-exist.
Complexity of actors and their remunerations:
This has direct implications for policy tools, which have been so often reduced to simplistic interventions – ‘creative class’, for example.
Despite the rhetoric governments have been reluctant to put in the resources to develop the sector
Seen as a quick and cheap option – IP protection, a creative cluster…
Vague statements about creativity and culture.
New element: impact on the developmental agenda of the creative industries.
Traditional culture was no longer the obstacle to be overcome on the way to modernization,
It was a source of rootedness and connection, meanings and values, inspiration and energy that could be a resource for development.
World Commission on Culture and Development, (UN and UNESCO in 1993). 1995 report Our Creative Diversity: “Development divorced from its human or cultural context is growth without a soul’.
Culture can be ‘harnessed for positive social and economic transformation through [its] influence on aspirations, the co-ordination of collective action, and the ways in which power and agency work within a society’.
Culture, in the form of the creative industries, became available to local development strategies as a range of potentially profitable products and services, both ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’.
Growing importance of IP rights within the large cultural corporations suggested a close affinity, of the creative industries with the wider mobilization of capacities required for a ‘knowledge economy’
‘Creativity’: an anthropological resource of culture in a new way; no longer locked up in the arts, an everyday creativity linked to the entrepreneurial energy of independent creative businesses would galvanize local economies.
Understanding the complexity of the sector and the tools required.
Built-in inequalities between North and South – we all know this in the world of IP and it is getting worse. So too in creative industries.
This is not to say that the creative economy is an illusion. It will be essential to development….
We just have to think carefully about what we mean by development.
Needs to view the economic is a different light:
Any creative economy strategy has to build on local resources and be about livelihoods in the local economy.
This demands a recognition of the diversity of economic activity outside what textbooks say is ‘real’ activity –anything not done for wages or as part of a formal economic transaction.
Development theorists highlight unwaged, domestic, communal, gift, voluntary, self-employed activities as a way of showing the vast amounts of activity taking place in areas which economists write off as ‘poor’.
This is exactly the kind of economy which has always marked out the cultural or creative sector.
One this huge mid-shift has taken place then we can begin to specific what a creative economy policy looks like.
Those challenges around networks, projects, multiple-values, tacit skills – are these not similar to other ways in which dominant development narratives have been challenged?