Unveiling the Layers
Thami akaMbongo: Beyond Arts and Culture in the Cultural and Creative Industries.
In the realm of Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI), the landscape is intricate, diverse, and often misunderstood.
Many perceive it solely through the lens of Arts and Culture, neglecting the multifaceted tapestry that defines this dynamic sector. Even major stakeholders like federations, institutions, structures, and government entities fall short in enlightening others about the nuanced distinctions within the CCI.
UNESCO identifies nine sectors within the Cultural and Creative Industries.
However, the true depth and breadth of these sectors are frequently overlooked, and some subsectors find themselves excluded or marginalized.
1. Technical Support Services: Unseen Architects of Magic
Technical Support Services, vital contributors to the sector, often find themselves overshadowed. While the focus lies on stage performances and on-screen productions, the behind-the-scenes magic often goes unnoticed. Establishing industry councils could rectify this oversight, ensuring the recognition and representation of these crucial players.
2. Indigenous Wisdom: Embracing African Roots
In our pursuit of cultural expression, we must not lose sight of our roots. Indigenous Wisdom, a vital sector, is often overshadowed by European influences. There is a pressing need to acknowledge and integrate African knowledge and wisdom, fostering a richer and more authentic cultural landscape.
3. Arts Education & Training: Bridging the Isolation Gap
Numerous training programs and arts education institutions operate in isolation, detached from discussions on Cultural and Creative Industries. Their absence in crucial conversations hampers holistic industry growth, emphasizing the need for a more collaborative approach.
4. Cultural and Natural Heritage: Beyond Museums
The broader spectrum of Cultural and Natural Heritage, encompassing museums, geology, palaeontology, archaeology, historical places, cultural landscapes, and natural heritage, often goes unnoticed. Recognizing and integrating these subsectors into the CCI narrative is essential for a comprehensive understanding.
5. Visual Arts & Crafts: Fostering Collective Inclusion
Individual practitioners in Visual Arts & Crafts, including fine arts, photography, and crafts, often operate in isolation. Fostering a sense of collectivism within these subsectors is crucial to ensure their voices are heard and contributions acknowledged.
6. Language and Publishing: Amplifying Voices
The sectors of Language and Publishing, incorporating books, newspapers, magazines, and libraries, lack prominent representation. It is imperative for government bodies and institutions to actively include these voices in shaping the discourse around Cultural and Creative Industries.
7. Design and Creative: Unveiling Contributions
Despite being a significant contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Design and Creative sector faces challenges in garnering attention. Recognizing its influence and encouraging participation could elevate its role in the broader CCI narrative.
8. Audio Visual & Media Interactive Media: Harnessing Power and Influence
This sector, encompassing film, video, TV, radio, internet streaming, and video games, possesses substantial power and influence. Integrating it more seamlessly into the CCI can harness this potential for the advancement of the entire sector.
9. Performance and Celebration: Beyond Arts and Culture
While Performance and Celebration, including performing arts, theatre, music, dance, festivals, and events, often take the lead, there is a need to shift the narrative from mere artistic expression to recognizing these endeavours as businesses within the CCI.
In calling for a revaluation of the CCI landscape, it is crucial to transcend divisive lines of race, gender, and class.
A robust and honest discourse among stakeholders is essential to propel the sector forward.
Let us agree to disagree and engage in a dialogue that is as diverse and vibrant as the Cultural and Creative Industries it seeks to enhance.
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Thami aka Mbongo writes on his personal capacity.