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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”.
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.
Categories: Art Artistic practice Creative Industries Creative spaces Cultural Journals Cultural Policy Culture-led Development Democracy Digitization Distribution Economy Education Entrepreneurship Innovation Literature Regional Development
Etiketter:Artist, Artistic practice, Creativity, Cultural economy, Cultural Journal, Cultural Policy, Cultural Project, Democracy, Development, Digitization, Distribution, Economy, Employment, Entrepreneurship, Literature, New economy, Social entrepreneur
”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
Etiketter:Artist, Artistic practice, Creativity, Cultural economy, Cultural Journal, Cultural Policy, Cultural Project, Democracy, Development, Distribution, Economy, Education, Employment, Entrepreneur, Literature, Research, Social entrepreneur
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
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
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.
”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?
The Cultural Journal Glänta is celebrating 20 years and do this with an App full of future words. Like Deppbägare, Dialogdemonstrant, Öntreprenera, and Öövermod (sorry, an English translation of these words doesn’t exist yet as hardly the words yet exist…).
A few years ago the journal invited over hundred artists, writers, researchers, philosophers, and journalists to add one piece each to the puzzle and the Future Encyclopedia was born. It started as a printed journal and has now become an App for Iphone and Ipad possible to download for free.
Nätverkstan has created the App as part of the effort of together with Cultural Journals find new, simple, and economic sound ways to publish text in print and digital format. Also download the App for the Journal Ord&Bild.
Göteborg is the host city of one of the biggest book fairs in Northern Europe. The latest years, the need of finding another positioning has evolved and to meet this need Mediadagarna – The Media Days fires off for the second year in a row.
Nätverkstan and Kulturchock, who work vividly with different ideas and initiatives to meet up the needs of the cultural journals, see this platform as one way of putting the Swedish cultural journals on the map.
We are already convinced of the multi-dimensional spread in content as well as subjects presented in the printed cultural journals and their role in Swedish democracy. What we had not digged deeper into before was the sound of them. What would they sound like if it was sound? We decided to build a sound installation in order to make them ”speak” in a new way.
From an old portable typewriter you hear the sound of typings from laptops as well as manual key buttons in a mxi with lead pencils writing on paper. ”Typings” is a 7`48”tape recording played in a loop.
From the headphones attached to the installation play a variation of sound samples from cultural magazines that work with additional formats as sound. Some do radio, talking magazines or present sound art works along with their releases. For this special occasion we also did a special recording of a young girl reading poetry from the arty, literary, and philosophic edition of OEI.
Text and photo: Helena Persson
”Dear Beatrice Ask, I write to you with a simple wish, Beatrice Ask. I would like that we exchange skin and experiences. Come on. Let’s just do it.”
Swedish writer Jonas Hassen Khemiri writes in his open letter, published in the daily Dagens Nyheter on March 13, and addressed to Sweden’s Minister for Justice, Beatrice Ask, about his experiences of growing up in Sweden with dark hair and a foreign look. The everyday small harassment that we, with blond hair and white skin, never have to deal with.
The letter is a respond to the latest debate around the police efforts to stop paperless immigrants by just stopping people on the métro, on the street or elsewhere to check their passport. Memories goes back to the Second World War or South Africa under Apartheid, but also present conflicts, where checking ordinary people is a daily routine.
The project, REVA, has been widely criticized and the other day the Minister answered questions on the radio program (P1) responding to the critic by saying something like ” The perception of why someone has been asking me can be very personal.”
This would mean that if you are being harassed for your looks, background, sexual preferences, or other things, it is only in your own perception. Swedish inhabitants testifying about racial harassement are just being sensitive, it’s in their own perception.
The whole thing is extremely cynical and shows something of the grand structural challenges we have in front of us. Structures we are all part of withholding. It’s time for some self-examination. Also for you, Beatrice Ask.
Christmas carols are on the schedule this afternoon and on stage of the outdoor assembly hall in the township Kogorocho in Nairobi, the young musicians are in deep concentration practicing for a show later on this week. And a small taste of the concert is given in an open session for whomever who would like to listen. Kids fill up the rows, together with a few others and us guests.
”Making music can make a difference” says Elisabeth Njoroge, Head of the Art of Music Foundation, the Foundation behind the project. Getting the chance to play an instrument, learning music, can actually change peoples lives, she says, and tells us examples of children from the slums who get a chance to play and how that has opened new possibilities and hope for a future.
Ghetto Classics, the project was named by the children, started in 2009 and has become an important contribution in the township. The foundation also runs the National Youth Orchestra in Kenya with the same ambition and conviction:
Music can make a difference in the lives of young Kenyans.
Nätverkstan, together with Ole Lützow-Holm, Assistant Professor at Academy of Music and Drama, University of Gothenburg, are in Kenya to work together with GoDown Arts Centre on the education Creative Entrepreneurship. Read more of Nätverkstan’s cooperation in Kenya here.
In Copenhagen it is called ”the book happening of the year”. This is also why Kulturchock made the decision to participate at the event that during the years has expanded in favour for both dedicated readers and the book industry in Denmark.
For Kulturchock it is not only the purpose to improve the distribution and visibility for the Swedish cultural magazines within the country. It is also a beneficial opportunity to overbridge borders both internationally and linguistically to show the multifaceted goldmine that we possess. The 100 culture magazines that we represent impress many of the book fairs visitors, and the question is not why the swedish magazines are there, but why the danish aren´t? Ivan Rød, head of the organisation for danish cultural magazines, tells us that the granting for these magazines har been withdrawn and that they can not afford participating. Nevertheless, the danish literature magazine Standart was elected this year´s cultural magazine in the Nordic countries.
The showcase for cultural magazines at the book fair in Gothenburg this year was a collaboration between Kulturchock at Nätverkstan and Tidskriftscentralen in Finland. In addition to the Swedish and Finnish magazines you could also find Danish and Norwegian ones. Maybe this concept can evolve and be used at future events?
Thank you for this visit, BogForum, see you again in 2013?
Post by Helena Persson, Project manager at Nätverkstan
Etiketter:Bangalore, Creative Industries, Cultural economy, Cultural Journal, Cultural Policy, Democracy, Development, Digitization, Distribution, Economy, Globalization, Literature, New economy, Transformation
GoDown Arts Centre in Nairobi started in 2009 workshops in art and entrepreneurship for the art community in Kenya and East Africa. The workshops has now evolved to build a Capacity-building Program for Creative Entrepreneurs and Artists in East Africa that is long-term and this Summer a pilot will start, a 10 weeks Summer-course in art and entrepreneurship.
Nätverkstan has been a part in this cooperation since the start, holding workshops, arranged study visit, facilitators workshops, and discussing content and educational planning. Last week (26–28th of March) a facilitators workshop took place in Nairobi, held by GoDown Art Centre, Sian Prime at Goldsmiths University and Nätverkstan.
With such a commitment and talent as found in the arts community and among institutions in Nairobi, this Summer-course is not far from coming true.
Etiketter:Artist, Artistic practice, Creative Industries, Creativity, Cultural economy, Cultural Policy, Cultural Project, Democracy, Development, Education, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, International exchange, Resources, Social entrepreneur
The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) used to be an organization seeing art and culture as a tool within international development. It was so important that a Department for Culture and Media was created with its own responsible officer.
Now winds are blowing differently.
The department is closed down since several years and to find art and culture, you have to look under the department responsible for questions such as freedom of speech, democracy, equality, environment and climate.
Between 2007 and 2011, the Sida budget for culture declined from 180 million SEK to 40 million SEK, Swedish Televion’s Kulturnyheterna (Culture News) reported on the 18th of January. With a fourth of the originial budget, many international cultural projects have lost their funding, among them now Selam, an established world music festival and organizer of education, development, inspiration, exchanges for artists in Sweden and East Africa.
Where art and culture used to be seen as a tool for grassroot development and democracy building, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Gunilla Carlsson, is instead talking of efficiency, results agenda, more distinctiveness. Sida is saying that the changes are due to orders from the government. The Minister says, in the tv interview, that this is a complete misunderstanding.
The fact is that the decline in money to culture projects at Sida coincides with the Conservative government in power since 2007.
It also coincides with the years when the Ministry of Culture published the report from the work of Kulturutredningen (Committe of Inquiry of Culture Policy) in February 2009, an inquiry proposing that culture should mainstream all policy. Sida’s decline in culture projects is exactly on the contrary of this.
It’s also during the years when Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications decided to release a plan for supporting Swedish development of cultural and creative industries. Small money has been invested, it’s true, but it’s at the same time the first time Ministry of Enterprise is discussing culture. Where this discussion goes, we will see.
Gunilla Carlsson seems to have missed all this.
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