Veranstaltungen | Conferences - Part 44

posted by usha on 2006/07/13 17:52

[ Veranstaltungen | Conferences ]

The conference Cultural Policy Research, the 4th International Conference of the worldwide cultural policy research community (iccpr), which is currently taking place in Vienna, discusses topics which are quite important for smaller networks such as Kakanien revisited, as well.

Goals and challenges of cultural policy research

The primary goal of the iccpr researchers’ network is to provide a rational, i.e. empirical basis for the production, mediation and reception of art and culture. The arts, culture and media are not only judged by economic, but also by social and political criteria. The accordingly broad and interdisciplinary field of cultural policy research contributes substantially to decision making processes in this field. However, the cooperation between researchers and politicians is not yet working too well. The political interest on scientific monitoring is scarce, not only in Austria, where cultural political decisions are primarily based on personal interests rather than empirical arguments. Asked about cultural policy in the United Kingdom, Oliver Bennett, director of the centre for cultural policy studies at the University of Warwick says, “The main challenge in the UK is to introduce greater intellectual rigour and honesty into cultural policy debates.”

Oliver Bennett is member of the scientific committee and partner of iccpr2006 in his function as editor of the renowned International Journal of Cultural Policy. Before taking up an academic career, he worked for many years in arts centres, community television and community arts. He is currently directing a 3-year research project, funded by the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) on the social impact of the arts. At the conference in Vienna he will participate in the panel discussion about the relationship of scientists and politicians.

Research projects screen cultural policy practices

In comparison to the modest cultural policy influence/role of the European Commission, projects like the Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe prove that meaningful international cooperation is possible. The compendium is a Europe-wide internet based information and monitoring system on cultural policy measures, instruments, debates and cultural trends. Currently more than 50 countries all over Europe are part of the project, which is a joint venture between the Council of Europe and ERICarts realised with a ‘community of practice’ of independent cultural policy researchers, NGOs and national governments.

Andreas Wiesand, manager of ERICarts and scientific director of the centre for cultural research in Bonn, is a founding member of the compendium initiative. At the iccpr conference in Vienna Wiesand will present current data in the field of creative industries concerning intercultural and international approaches.

The creative sector - an emerging market?

According to a survey conducted by Wiesand, the combined workforce of the creative sector in 31 European countries can be estimated to be about five million people. In comparison, US-figures are near to or above 2.5 million. “The working conditions of these, mostly small businesses are extremely poor, compared to the United States, and they are therefore hardly competitive,” explains Wiesand. The requirements of this large sector have not been accommodated for on an EU or even national level. “The governments are asked to lay the foundation for making the creative sector competitive. Different types of action have to be taken, including reforms to the Structural Funds and harmonising legal, social and VAT frameworks,” emphasises the expert.

The creative industries are also one of the main topics of the Norwegian Per Mangset from the Telemark Research Institute. The cultural sociologist and philosopher is member of the scientific committee of iccpr and one of the initiators of the first iccpr-conference in 1999 in Bergen. Mangset analyses the development of the creative sector and the formation of the cultural entrepreneur while referring to the work of the Dutch cultural economist and artist Hans Abbing and the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, who described the tendency of young artists to ‘deny the economy’.

At iccpr2006 Mangset will present the findings of several studies he has conducted recently about fundamental transformations of cultural work in late-modernity/post-modernity and the rise of the cultural entrepreneur. On the whole Mangset observes a destabilization of the cultural policy landscape. “The more or less social-democrat model of cultural policy from the 1970s and 80s is now experiencing an identity crises. Structures and values are changing very fast, for example the number of freelancers in the performing arts and the attitude towards private money in the arts field. I think many cultural politicians and cultural workers are bewildered about how to keep up a strong and active public cultural policy within the context of this quite different late modern cultural landscape.”

Who is interested in the papers, yet, cannot attend the conference - like me - can always have a look at the abstracts.


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