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In December 2014 the cultural journals found themselves in the centre of the Swedish media debate.
The State Cultural Committee (Kulturutskottet) decided in a meeting just before christmas to cut the budget for the cultural journals with nearly 80%. The debate was instant and agitated. The effect of the decision would be that the majority of cultural journals would have to close down. Qualified critical journalism and writing was in danger.
Cultural critics, journalists, writers, politicians from left to right, professional organizations and interest groups, were roaring writing articles, debating and arguing.
The debate showed the importance of these journals for the public debate.
At MEG 2015, the Media Days in Göteborg, the media elite in Sweden has gathered to discuss and debate. Nätverkstan with artist Helena Persson has commented on the role of the cultural journals and their near-death experience last December in a Lit de Parade for the journals: an installation called ”The Resurrection”.
It was followed by a seminar with editor and Nätverkstan Chair David Karlsson and journalist Siri Reuterstrand on ”The blue-collar workers in the public sphere – The role and importance of cultural journals”.
Due to what happened in Paris and now in Copenhagen it’s important to remember the importance of the free, open, and democratic society where the freedom of speech together with artistic freedom are key values and where antisemitism has no place.
Read Gabriel Byström in the daily Göteborgs-Posten ”There is no space for compromises”.
It’s hard to find the origin of this image. Some say it’s the famous graffiti artist Banksy, some say he published it on Instagram and someone else did the actual painting. It’s been circling on Facebook and Instagram and perhaps you’ve seen it.
Nevertheless it’s a very powerful image.
France – and the world – are in chock after the horrifying attack on the journal Charlie Hebdo in Paris today where twelve people were assassinated and around ten people hurt.
It´s an attack on the open society, says the Editor-in-chief Peter Wolodarski at the daily Dagens Nyheter, one of all the people who have been writing about and condemning the attack today.
Tonight people gathered in Paris on Place de la République to stand up for the open society and condemn the killings.
People held up the sign ”Je suis Charlie”, crying out ”Freedom” and ”Charlie”. The stream of people joining the manifestation of solidarity and grief seemed endless.
Never before have cultural journals been in the centre of the debate in Swedish media.
After the decision of the State Cultural Committee (Kulturutskottet) to cut the budget of the cultural journals with nearly 80%, the debate has been roaring.
Everyone: Cultural critics, journalists, writers; politicians from left to right (yes, even colleagues to Chair of the Committee, Per Bill, in the Conservative party have raised furious voices); professional organizations and interest groups, are writing articles, debating and arguing.
The decision has still not been changed to save the cultural journals.
But the Culture Minister who after the new election in March 2015 decides to reintroduce or even raise the support for the journals can only win. For a very small sum of money, this minister will gain respect and will be remembered as the one who saved the public critical dialogue and debate in Sweden.
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”A whole segment of critical debate is erased (…)” describes editor and critic Kim West in an article in Kunstkritikk where he writes about the outrage that hit Sweden on Friday (December 12th).
The coalition of Liberal-Conservatives is cutting the support for the rich variety of cultural journals in Sweden by around 80%. This means a whole art form is being closed down and killed. In one stroke of the red pen. No other European country has done the same.
This is possible due to the dramatic development in Swedish politics the last few weeks where the Sweden Democrats decided to vote for the opposition party’s budget, instead of the ruling left-wing coalition’s budget. This meant that the government’s budget didn’t win the election in parliament and therefore has to rule on the opposition party’s budget in waiting for the new election on March 22 2015.
And apparently the coalition of Liberal and Conservatives now take the chance to fulfil cuts of 365 million SEK in the cultural budget. 15 million SEK of these are being cut in one area specifically: cultural journals. The support for this area is 19 million SEK in total today, cutting 15 million SEK of these leaves 4 million SEK left.
This means that a whole sector is sentenced to a sure death.
Cultural journals are already living on the economic edge. Editors, writers, and critics are getting very low payment for their articles. These people are magicians who have dedicated their time to make sure that critical journalism and quality texts are still produced. The wide variety of critical and intensifying perspectives have been a pride in Swedish democracy. The Liberal-Conservatives showed on Friday how easily this could be ruined.
This is also done in a time when the media crisis is being discussed (just lately in three articles in the daily Göteborgs-Posten), newspapers are closing down their cultural pages, and critical and culture journalism is being severely threatened.
These times calls for action!
Sign this petition just to start with: Rädda Kulturtidskriftsstödet (Save the support for cultural journals).
Categories: Art Artistic practice Blogg Creative Industries Creative spaces Cultural Journals Cultural Policy Culture-led Development Democracy Distribution Economy Entrepreneurship Innovation Literature Regional Development Reports, articles and books
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An art piece outside the Bibliothèque Nationale in Rabat (Morocco) called ”Digital” is reflecting on the new society. Old traditions meet the new knowledge and digital society.
”It’s not one modernity”, said South African poet, writer and Professor Pitika Ntuli in an engaging and poethic speech: ”there are several parallel modernities”. ”It’s time for the African Cultural Renaissance”, he continued.
Several examples of a growing cultural scene is shown. In Nigeria the film industry (Nollywood) comes to 10% of GDP in a country with around 174 million inhabitants. In Senegal the music industry is thriving and growing. South Africa is showing important examples as well as visual arts and museums in Morocco.
The global value of Cultural and Creative Industries is said to be around 600 billion USD.
Africa’s share is less then 1%. This is the topic of the three conference days.
Categories: Art Art and Business Artistic practice Blogg Creative Industries Creative spaces Cultural Policy Culture-led Development Democracy Digitization Distribution Economy Education Entrepreneurship International Regional Development Seminar
Etiketter:Artist, Artistic practice, Creative Industries, Creativity, Cultural economy, Cultural Policy, Cultural Project, Democracy, Development, Digitization, Distribution, Economy, Education, Employment, Entrepreneur, Globalization, International exchange, New economy, Social entrepreneur
Cooperation, not competition was this year’s theme for the network Trans Europe Halles’ yearly conference in Plzen, Czech Republic on October 9-12.
But the main topic and worry during this conference was the fact that the network lost its European network support from European Union.
The European Union was set up in 1945 after the Great Wars with the aim to through cooperation build a peaceful Europe. Mobility has therefore been central for the European Commission as a way to facilitate people to meet.
The European networks within culture have played an important role in this regard. People have been meeting over old closed borders, across political differences or old rival countries. On a network meeting recently with Encatc, the European Network for Cultural Administration Training Centres, Russian and Ukrainian participants discussed art management and its development in the midst of the Ukrainian crises. East meet West, North meet South, and across. It goes back to Socrates (469-399 BC) and his idea of the value of the Socratic discussion where arguments meet and a learning process can start.
These are significant meetings and their importance should not be under estimated. The European Union should continue support a wide variety of European networks.
When Theatre Goose on a String started in 1968 it played an important role in the resistance movement against communism in what then was Czechoslovakia. By sneaking in one or two words of the revolution into the performances on stage, the audience and the actors came to play different roles in strengthening the struggle in the real life drama.
Society has changed dramatically since then. Czechoslovakia has become Czech Republic and Slovakia. Communism has ended. The theatre has had to find its role in this new context. And more changes are to wait.
The platform Centre for Experimental Theatre consists of three theatre stages: Theatre Goose on a string, Theatre On the table, and HaDivadlo. They play together around 600 performances (theatre plays, events, festivals, readings) per year for full houses. Of the budget of 2 million euros per year, two thirds (2/3) comes from the city of Brno, the rest is through other income sources such as ticket sales, tours, projects. Sponsoring is zero.
They seem to be one of the few theatre’s of today having full capacity ensembles, with around 150 actors full-time employed. But changes are expected.
In Prague, changes have already happened. The formation of the theatre had to change from a benefit organisation (and thereby owned by the city) to a contracted one. This means that funding is not secured any more and every five years they have to compete with other theatres to get the grants. This has also meant that the actors have lost their jobs to become contractors.
The Centre for Experimental Theatre see the same development in Brno around the corner, and “there is no way to prepare for this”, as our guide Ondrej Navratil tells us. Conversation with the municipality is going on, as so many other cultural organizations they struggle with describing their value and to explain for the event- and tourist focused politicians, that an independent theatre is important.
But the show must go on. In the evening Amadeus, based on the film by the same name by Milos Forman (1984) is on stage. Amadeus’ hysterical laughter fills the auditorium as he enters the stage. He runs it, stops suddenly, looks around over a salon packed with people, and runs laughing out as the play starts. Another full house at the theatre.
The study visit was part of the 22nd Encatc Conference in Brno, Czech Republic, on 17–19 of September 2014.
Etiketter:Artist, Artistic practice, Creative Industries, Creativity, crisis, Cultural economy, Cultural Policy, Cultural Project, Democracy, Economy, Education, Entrepreneur, International exchange, Social entrepreneur
Getting funding for renting facilities during a project period or to build shared spaces is getting harder and harder. Your project should preferably be run with excellent content, but no physical spaces.
There seem to be an idea among funding authorities that sharing spaces, need for offices and physical meeting places have ended. In these digital times you may as well sit at a café or at home, have meetings on skype, through facebook groups or twitter.
Eventhough this of course suits some people, we see a parallell trend that is showing the opposite; the need for meeting and sharing physical spaces.
In Göteborg we have several examples, and not only those build up from the 70s-90s. People gather to find solutions for expensive equipment and places to meet and work all the time.
But just to start with the 70s, Konstnärernas Kollektivverkstad Göteborg (Collective Workshop for Artists) was formed in 1974 with the aim to share heavy equipment, ceramic ovens, facilities for metal, wood, graphic art for professional artists. You find several of these collective workshops around Sweden. These are still up and running.
Medialab in Lagerhuset started in 1998 to share hard- and software, printers, video editing equipment, and work spaces. Other initiatives are ABF Medialab for study groups, Frilagret for young people, Collaboratory, the DIY days which is all about sharing knowledge, ideas, and spaces, the newly started CopyPaste. Several of these initiatives just decided to work together in the network Göteborgs Makerlabs. Just to mention a few.
The lastest in the row is newly opened Kompani 415 in Kviberg which is about the same thing. An empty house in need of some renovation that has been taken over by an association to provide working spaces, studios, and rentable rooms for people within arts and culture. So that people can meet, talk, discuss, and share.
Who has stated that we see an end of sharing?
The final semester of the two-year International Culture Project Management Training Program, Kulturverkstan, youdo an internship at an cultural och social organization, or run your own project. The internship is prepared thoroughly with planning classes and where you decide a theme or question you would like to look into during the internship.
This adds up to a public presentation in the end of the semester with invited guests, discussion partners and (or) opponents. This year’s addition of the presentations held the same high quality as last year, with interesting topics such as Cultural Heritage and Digitization; Food Trucks’ introduction to Göteborg; Art, status, and conditions; The concept
of class – is this still relevant?; Alternative forms of exhibitions; and many more (read more here).
The last thing to do is Wednseday’s graduation party and then we will meet 35 new excellent Cultural Project Managers out there!
Categories: Art Art and Business Artistic practice Blogg Creative Industries Creative spaces Cultural Journals Cultural Policy Democracy Digitization Distribution Economy Education Entrepreneurship Innovation Kulturverkstan Seminar
Within a week, three seminars has taken place in Göteborg and Stockholm with the ambition to bring knowledge and perspectives on cultural policy, cultural and creative industries, and the myth of the creative city.
To begin with the last.
Justin O’Connor, Professor at Monash University in Australia and the authority on cultural and creative industries, did a quick stop in Göteborg on his way to Stockholm to talk about Cultural Economy and Cultural Citizenship. Beyond the Creative City. Göteborg is one of all the European cities being promoted as the ”creative” city and the ”most creative region” in Sweden, eagerly cheered by the American economic’s Professor Richard Florida during his visit in 2006 when he identified Göteborg and Sweden to be a role-model of creativity and innovation.
Interesting since at the same time Göteborg is one of the most segregated cities in Europe, something that seemed to have slipped away from the Professor’s research.
Justin O’Connor said three things to be important:
1) Reinstall the value of art and culture and move away from ”creativity”,
2) Don’t run away from economics! Culture is part of the economy. Don’t leave it for others to handle and do not escape by saying economy is only for Neo-liberalists, and
3) The public space is for all. It’s time to reinstall Cultural Citizenship.
Cultural and Creative industries was in focus in Stockholm when Professors Justin O’Connor and Birgit Mandel, from Hildesheim University in Germany, discussed CCI – and beyond. Are we seeing the end of CCI? Or is it time for a revived understanding of the concept? Where are the artists in the discussion of CCI?
And the message was clear: Drop ”creativity”. This has only messed up the discussion. Go back to cultural economy. Discuss and define economy from the perspective of the arts and culture.
And today, lastly, a day with focus on cultural policy on the regional level of Region Västra Götaland tossing and turning on Whose Culture? Whose Plans? Whose Money? The seminar ended with politicians answering questions on what they think is the most important cultural policy question that they will bring to this year’s election. Participation, inclusive culture, culture to children and youngsters, integration was some of the answers.
The most important words, though, were said by Poetry Slam Winner Nino Mick, who summarized hen’s impressions during the day in a poetic reading that went straight into the heart.
The Göteborg event with Justin O’Connor is found here.
The invitation to the seminar in Stockholm: KN_Seminarieinbjudan_pdf.
The Cultural Policy day here.
Categories: Art Art and Business Artistic practice Blogg Creative Industries Creative spaces Cultural Policy Culture-led Development Democracy Economy Education Entrepreneurship International Leadership Literature Regional Development Seminar
This is some of the content…
”Since the 1980s cities have used art and culture to promote their image, regenerate older districts, attract tourists and creative professionals, and latterly, rolled into the creative industries as a new dynamic economic sector. There is no doubting the contribution all these approaches have made to the transformation of the urban landscape. But they have also provoked a growing crisis as to what exactly is the value of culture? Distinctions have been made between ‘intrinsic’ and ‘instrumental’ value; or different levels of cultural, social, economic and environmental ‘impact’; or even new kinds of ‘public value’ measures which use quasi-markets to valuate cultural assets of programs. A great many policy documents have used these and other models to try to ”fix” the value of culture for public policy.
This talk attempts to sidestep these debates by revisiting, first, the idea of cultural citizenship and second, that of cultural economy. I will suggest that these two ideas should not be separated into the socio-cultural and the economic but need to be combined in a new agenda for urban cultural policy.”
Check the event on Facebook. The seminar is possible thanks to Göteborgs Kulturförvaltning (City of Göteborg, Cultural Department), Frilagret, Konstnärsnämnden (the Swedish Arts Grants Committee), and Nätverkstan.
Etiketter:Artist, Artistic practice, Creative Industries, Creativity, Cultural economy, Cultural Journal, Cultural Policy, Cultural Project, Democracy, Economy, Entrepreneur, Globalization, International exchange, Social entrepreneur
What does the Norwegian author Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906) have to do with Crowdfunding?
This week when Max Valentin, founder and CEO of the Swedish crowd funding platform Crowdculture, gave a lecture at the International Culture Project Management education Kulturverkstan, this is what it looked like.
Perhaps it was due to the fact that Ibsen earned his main income from performing rights, which gave – according to Wikipedia – around 3.357 euro in yearly income in 1899.
In 1898 he had a top yearly income of 9.983 euro, of these 8.469 euro was money from the rights of his collected works.
On the other hand, this doesn’t say much about funding by crowd funding…
Kulturverkstan invites professionals within art and culture, business and corporate field, voluntary and societal organizations; project managers, artists, professors, directors, officials, and many others during the education to always have the voice of practice within the education. During the two years the education lasts, a wide range of people have been invited who also serve as a good network for the students after examination.
DIY (Do It Yourself) is almost like an invitation, a command, to not sit around and wait for things to happen. Instead: Take Action!
Meet up with colleagues, experts, friends, academia, practice, interested folks; create a space, combine your expertise, and solve a problem, found a new idea or make innovations.
DIY Days Gothenburg, taking place this week (18-26th of January), is full of creation, ideas, hot spots, talks, and exchanges. It’s an interesting combination of low thresholds, an open and inviting attitude, and a willingness to share.
The goal is set high: How do we create a sustainable city for the future?
Described under the theme ”Future Cities – Sustainable and Playful Design with focus on Water” people pitch in their ideas such as Tikitut, the community-based tourism or Halo, working on sustainable architecture, or the mix between Hackathons, game industry meet ups, world cafés, crowdfunding, and mentorships and advice.
So take action and pay a visit!
When Judy Ogana takes the floor to welcome us all, the warmth and pride shines in her face. In the audience are friends, colleagues and partners from East Africa and abroad gathered to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the GoDown Arts Centre in Nairobi together with her, Joy Mboya, and the rest of the staff.
The story of the Godown is impressive, and as Joy Mboya takes us through the vision, steps, ideas, persistence, you realize that this is what running a cultural organization is about: the awareness of the context and society you are part of and your role in it; the dedication for building a strong, vivid, interesting cultural scene; empowerment with capacity-building on the grass-root level; participation, sharing, and networking.
Joy Mboya lifts a few aspects that has been especially important in the GoDown success, which she describes as ”some steps of victory and some steps of challenges”:
1. Getting a space; a multidisciplinary center for the local art and cultural scene in the local community
2. The regional linkages with colleagues in East Africa
3. The strategic plan 2005-2007 as a tool which also set the aim to create a public, innovative, dynamic, and vibrant space
4. Training and development, mobility, exchange, and exposure
5. A strong community orientation
6. Being a mirror of society. The post-election violence in 2007 was a starting-point where the exhibition Kenya Burnings was important. The need for artists to look back and reflect on what’s happening in society.
7. Sustainability and capacity-building focus on artist livelihood
8. Discourse and research
9. The role of cultural spaces in urban living
10. The Creative Entrepreneurship Programme
After the celebrations and the outline of the GoDown Arts Centre’s history and important steps, the East Africa Arts Summit continued discussions with focus on how networking, sharing knowledge, and building a strong art and cultural scene on a regional level could be enhanced.
Nätverkstan and the GoDown Arts Center have been cooperating on capacity-building since 2009, support has been mainly from the Swedish Institute Creative Force programme.
Categories: Art Art and Business Artistic practice Blogg Creative Industries Creative spaces Democracy Economy Education Entrepreneurship Innovation International Kenya Leadership Regional Development
A weekend in Göteborg full of films, seminars, discussions, and art works on the water situation in the world. The inauguration film Friday night, Like Fireflies, a film describing the consequences and human tragedies due to privatization of water resources in Chile, was the first of many important voices shown Friday through Sunday.
The festival, Voices from the Waters, is an initiative from Bangalore Film Society and has been running parallel in Göteborg this year with Nätverkstan, Världskulturmuseet (Museum of World Culture), Sjöfartsmuseet Akvariet (Maritime Museum & Aquarium) and funding from Region Västra Götaland.
Today was the final day and the festival ended with a debate on the situation of water with EU Parliamentarian Isabella Lövin, and researchers Henrik Svedäng and Sverker Jagers.
Department of Finance invite each year board members and CEOs of state owned companies to a half-day board conference on different current topics. Today this year’s conference was held at Dramaten (Royal Dramatic Theatre) on the pressing issue of ”Sustainable business” with prominent guests as Al Gore, David Blood, and Petter Stordalen, and an introduction by Minister of Market Finance, Peter Norman.
According to the Swedish state’s definition of ”sustainable business” it includes how companies work with human rights, employment conditions, environment, anti-corruption, business ethics, diversity, and equality.
And apparently all of us board members in different state-owned boards are doing an excellent job.
This was pointed out by all speakers, with the exception of Petter Stordalen, who eagerly and passionately was claiming that we could all start our sustainable work today. Now! But for the rest it was more of a clap on the shoulder and reassurances that ”you are all doing such a good job!” looking out of the audience.
”I am happy with the support I get from the state”, two of the participants in the last panel claimed. With a cosy self-confidence the two CEOs answered the moderator’s questions on how they work sustainable, challenges they meet and how they solve them, and if they are satisfied with the support from their owner, the state. And they are happy with the support, both reassured.
And you wonder how is that possible?
How is it possible to scratch each other’s backs and claim satisfaction, when companies in the world, which also includes Swedish companies (state and privately owned), are still violating human rights? When climate goals are not reached? When children are used in child labour? When textile workers die in Bangladesh due to lousy working conditions? When women and children are sexually abused?
Shouldn’t the questions instead be: What are we all doing wrong? What is it we are NOT doing so that these violations can continue? What is it we are NOT doing but SHOULD do to fulfill the ambitions with sustainable business?
”Throw out the management books and read novels instead!”
Kerstin Brunnberg has a long list of references. She is now Chair of Swedish Art Council, and has a long career behind her as journalist and head of several of the large newspapers, as well as radio and TV.
She is invited to the education Kulturverkstan to talk about art, culture, the role of art in society, and leadership.
Being a leader of cultural institutions and organisations means to work with people, and the best place for learning of people is in novels. Read a lot, is a message.
Reading also helps writing. It’s necessary for any project manager to be able to describe its work in plans and project applications. Proposals written with passion, personal tone and genuin interest do have a larger chance to come through than buzzwords with no content. Might sound evident, but it’s easy to fall into the buzzword trap.
Flexibility, complexity, hard work, and to always stand up for the freedom of expression are leading words for this soft-strong lady.
For any project manager within art and culture, this should be on your bed-side to read: The law of freedom of the press.
Follow Nätverkstan at Vine, where you find a clip from the lecture.
What place should culture have in future Göteborg? Who’s initiative will be taken seriously and where do initiatives go?
The first semester at Kulturverkstan, the International Project Management within Culture, the students have to deal with ”glocal” Göteborg. They get real life projects to work with, which not only put them into project work, but also helps reflecting around the global and local – glocal – city. They deal with context, process and the operational from start.
Nätverkstan, the organization behind Kulturverkstan, is during 2013 using the same model to look at our own work and place in society. And we start with the question: What is the role of a cultural organization in today’s society?
To start off we went on a bus tour around glocal Göteborg. We rented a bus, asked Peter Rundqvist, Cultural Coordinator att Project UNO (Project Development Northeast) and well oriented in the city, to take us on a social, economic, and demographic tour around Göteborg from the rich south to the poorer northeast.
As the city changed around us from the dense city center to farming land, from richer to poorer areas, to hidden pearls in the middle of the million programme housing we discussed city planning, culture, space, possibilities, and demographics.
And it all came down to: Who has access to the city?
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