Speaker: Justin O’Connor, Professor of Cultural Economy at University of South Australia and Visiting Professor School of Cultural Management, Shanghai Jiaotong University, in Conversation with Dr Pete Campbell (SSPC)
Venue: Wednesday 6th March 2024, 4.15 - 5.30 SLSJ Event Space, Ground Floor SLSJ Building, Chatham Street, University of Liverpool.
Abstract: Culture is at the heart to what it means to be human. But twenty-five years ago, the British government rebranded art and culture as 'creative industries', valued for their economic contribution, and set out to launch the UK as the creative workshop of a globalised world. Where does that leave art and culture now? Facing exhausted workers and a lack of funding and vision, culture finds itself in the grip of accountancy firms, creativity gurus and Ted Talkers. At a time of sweeping geo-political turmoil, culture has been de-politicised, its radical energies reduced to factors of industrial production. In this presentation, drawing from his new book Culture is not an Industry, published by Manchester University Press Justin O'Connor discusses what happens when an essential part of our democratic citizenship, fundamental to our human rights, is reduced to an industry. Culture is not an industry argues that art and culture need to renew their social contract and re-align with the radical agenda for a more equitable future.
Biography: Justin O’Connor is Professor of Cultural Economy at the University of South Australia and Visiting Professor at the School of Cultural Management, Shanghai Jiaotong University. Between 2012-18 he was a member of the UNESCO ‘Expert Facility’, supporting the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Diversity. Previously he helped set up Manchester’s Creative Industries Development Service (CIDS) and has advised cities in Europe, Russia, Korea, Vietnam and China. Under the UNESCO/EU Technical Assistance Programme he has worked with the Ministries of Culture in both Mauritius and Samoa. He is currently working with the Reset Collective. Justin is co-editor of the 2015 Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries; Cultural Industries in Shanghai: Policy and Planning inside a Global City, (2018); Re-Imagining Creative Cities in Asia (2020); and Different Histories, Shared Futures: Dialogues on China and Australia (2022). He recently co-authored Red Creative: Culture and Modernity in China (2020), Reset: A new Start for Art and Culture (in Dutch, Starfish books); and Culture is Not an Industry,