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The Cultural Policy Project

NTRO ON CULTURAL POLICY: what we understand

The ASEF Project

Cultural Policy

In order to get a better sense of the cultural policies of national governments as well as international agencies such as WTO and UNESCO today, in the context of the changing nature of ‘culture’ under globalization and the hitherto unprecedented levels of mediation of cultural practices and production by major corporate houses and national governments within the framework of Creative Economy, CIDASIA envisages the following efforts:

I. Building and Sharing of a Knowledge Base on Cultural Policy and its Impact on Cultural Rights and Cultural Production: As a follow-up to CultureAsia 2008, we propose to collaborate with some of the participants of the conference, especially colleagues from Sri Lanka and Indonesia, to create and share a Knowledge Base on Cultural Policy among these countries. The knowledge base will include key policy documents related to cultural policy that have been generated within each national context under examination and will focus attention on the linkages between policy as it relates to cultural rights & diversity, livelihoods and cultural production.

II. Delimiting a National Cultural Policy in the Present: In the context of the UNESCO CCD that recommends the formulation of a national cultural policy as the means for the protection of cultural practice, the project will ask the question: Is a national cultural policy legally possible and enforceable? Is any such policy desirable? It will trace the policies located in the multiple ministries in India to show the difficulties of formulating a national culture policy in a place like India.

III. Summer School on Cultural Policy for Industry and Corporate Professionals: Exploring the possibility of an academic-corporate collaboration in discussing questions of culture policy in the light of new challenges confronting both traditional arts and digital culture (if such a distinction can be made).

The Livelihoods Project: Cultural Production and Livelihoods in the Age of the E&M Industry: Study of the Culture Industry in Bihar and Karnataka:

The project proposes to study contemporary non-traditional cultural production that emerged with the arrival of modern technologies of reproduction. The Entertainment and Media (E & M) industry or what is called the ‘creative industry’ today is becoming a site of intervention by different groups—state, corporate houses and international agencies such as the UNCTAD—that seek to transform culture into intellectual property and monetizable economic value. However, there is a hitherto unacknowledged sector that falls outside of creative industries and creative economy, and which is significantly tied to the livelihoods of a large number of cultural practitioners and entrepreneurs. The project will study this link between the non-traditional, non-creative industry sector and the question of livelihood. It will explore the question through cultural production in Bhojpuri and Kannada, the focus being Bhojpuri music and film industry and Kannada print and film industry. The study examines how cultural production and consumption is closely linked to migration and politics albeit in different ways in the two regions.

This project was supported by Sir Ratan Tata Trust.

Diminishing Spaces for Cultural Performance: A Report by Dr. P. Radhika

Which spaces are left for Political-artistic performances and for traditional cultural expressions, given the shrinking pavements of creative cities? Pondering on pavements the Author questions the relationship between culture and development…
Full report: read here

Study of Emergent Cultural Hubs in Urban India: Towards Policy Recommendations

The project thinks through new policies on Creative Cities as an alternative to Urban Engineering which merely focuses on infrastructure. It surveys contemporary arts and culture spaces in urban India, in particular Bangalore. These have not only grown in number in Bangalore in the last decade but a few are fast becoming hubs of a city’s culture. The study is important considering that the emerging network of institutions is likely to play a critical role in shaping the city’s creative future as well as the ability of creative practitioners to contribute to urban development and cultural diversity. Significantly, the new cultural hubs are becoming attractive to various audiences: local inhabitants but also discerning visitors and are being written about by the press. The relevance of a public policy encouraging city-based culture and creative industries is widely recognized by national governments as well as international agencies such as UNESCO and UNCTAD. Such creative hubs have proved to be important engines for the growth of local economies in cities across the world including London, Hong Kong and Shanghai. In such a context we propose to undertake a detailed and comprehensive study of arts and culture spaces in Bangalore and and have a consultation among artists, art-managers and representatives from the govt., private and corporate companies towards facilitating a policy that will encourage cultural hubs and make them a part of urban planning.

The project was funded by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, March-August 2011. For full report: read here

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