In September 2011, I circulated the following invitation online:
If you’re reading this, chances are that you already know me — I’m Milena Placentile, a Winnipeg-based curator and writer. If you don’t already know me, hello! It’s nice to meet you =-)
I’m posting this open note to encourage discussion and collect anecdotes related to interconnected topics I’m researching while compiling a resource for activist artists and their allies about the neoliberalization of culture + options for resistance. I’m curious to know if you have experiences working in/around/against this large and lumbering issue. International perspectives are most welcome!
Have you or your self-organized collective found yourself:
… engaging in self-censorship to improve your chance of getting public (i.e. government) or private (i.e. corporate, individual donor) funding/support?
… feeling pressure to conduct your artistic/cultural activities in a business-like fashion?
… feeling forced to justify your activity in terms of economic benefit?
… feeling instrumentalized to fulfill social services that go beyond your realistic capacity?
And when you hear terms such as “creative industry” or “professionalization” in relation to your critical arts practice, what comes to mind?
Please feel free to post your ideas/responses/stories here, or send them to me via email: milena @ shintai-z . com. Following private discussion, I might include your story/anecdote in a forthcoming e-publication that will be circulated freely under creative commons. Participants can be named or anonymous. The goal of this e-publication is to help us talk about subjects that are infrequently addressed but connect largely with matters concerning cultural funding, the concept of “social good”, the privatization of culture/ideas/the public sphere, intellectual and creative freedom, and so much more.
Thanks for your time and consideration; I hope to hear from you =-)
PS. Please feel free to pass this on either by sharing, re-posting, or cut/pasting as an email =-) And the people tagged are a selection of individuals/collectives I thought might be interested in this topic, or might be interested in passing it along to others… thanks!
Many people expressed interest in this subject, a few people offered to make contributions, and a few people sent material for inclusion here. So far, two items have been posted. Now that this resource is “out there”, I hope there will be more to come. Please send your thoughts for inclusion as sharing experience helps others know their struggles are not isolated.