Debates around the creative industries, and the ‘creative cities’ and ‘creative classes’ associated with these, have now been raging for two decades. The celebratory rhetoric associated with their early expressions have been met by empirically informed critical research.
This has pointed to the economic reductionism and over-inflated expectations brought by this policy agenda; the realities and inequities of creative labour; the growing exclusion of creative producers and suburban consumers from the urban core; and the general erosion of any value for culture other than its contribution to jobs and growth.
Yet this critical work often forgets, or disavows, the optimistic – even utopian – impulses which gave rise to the great expectations placed on the cultural and creative industries from the 1970s onwards. Our take-downs can often forget the possibilities still (we hope) inherent in the idea of culture, and the crucial importance of thinking about the ways in which it is produced and consumed.
In a world that has recently taken a turn to the political dark side but which contains immense capacities to be transformed into something human, where do we stand in relation to the question of cultural economy?
This symposium brings together leading Australian and overseas researchers and thinkers in this field. They will outline how they see the contemporary stakes in various aspects of the cultural economy. They will cast a critical eye to the future and look at where we might go in the next decade if given a chance.
Some of this might be utopian and speculative, but perhaps out of this will come a chance to seize the initiative and develop a new program for culture, not just digging trenches for the coming onslaught against it.
Interested in attending this symposium?
Cultural Economy Futures: A Symposium
DATE: 11 April, Tuesday
TIME: 09:00 am – 6:00 pm
LOCATION: Level 7, 271 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Download symposium flyer (PDF)