Article by Drivhuset
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How did Global pandemic affect cultural and creative sectors?

Even a global pandemic didn’t stop creativity. Lockdowns and social distancing really highlighted the importance and value of the cultural sector in social life. There are a number of debates surrounding the notion of creative industries.

“The term ‘creative industries’ describes businesses with creativity at their heart – for example design, music, publishing, architecture, film and video, crafts, visual arts, fashion, TV and radio, advertising, literature, computer games and the performing arts.” (source)

Since global pandemic hit the entire world, being isolated, people turned to film, television, and gaming. Some may have tried an online yoga or dance class, or visited a virtual tour in a museum, or maybe even streamed a performance online.

On the one hand, the global pandemic paved the way to channel art and culture through new digital streams. But on the other hand, what the pandemic has also done is exposed the vulnerabilities of workers in the cultural sector. Emerging circumstances threaten the survival of a number of cultural organizations worldwide. According to the Creative Industries Federation in the UK over 50% of freelancers have lost all sources of their income already back in June 2020. Freelancers are particularly important for the sector because they constitute more than half of the workforce and they’ve been hit very hard since many of them are landed in-between of the institutionalized social support system.

People with valuable talent and skills, emerging artists, creators, and innovators of the future – they are particularly vulnerable at this time. The losses of a small company or a freelancer isn’t  just a problem of that company or those individuals. It’s actually a problem of the ecosystem of the sector as a whole. The pandemic didn’t create these problems, but it unleashed and aggravated the consequences of these shaky working conditions and integral vulnerabilities within the system.

As the cultural and creative sectors are one of the most hardly hit and damaged during the Covid-19 pandemic, the EUNIC EU National Institutes for Culture united their efforts and discussed possible steps to eliminate dramatic consequences of the global pandemic in the industry. In the article “How is the European cultural sector responding to the current corona crisis?” are reflected measures taken by governments to mitigate the dramatic consequences of cancelled cultural events. In addition, the Cultural Affairs Committee published the document National measures to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on the cultural and creative sectors where a sequence of long-term and short-term measures are discussed. Clearly, enormous funds and resources are invested to supporting the industry and helping it survive the crisis.

Key point here is “survive”. But what happens next? Apparently, recovery will be long and painful, yet what Covid-19 allowed is giving us the opportunity to learn from this crisis. To re-wire the way we see and experience the value of cultural and creative work. We can re-shape and re-design the architecture of the sector to strengthen it for the future. Re-frame the labor market and meet the training needs of creative professional according with demands of new norm.