A place to put things




I am a multi disciplined artist working primarily in a 2d visual format. Here are some things I've done; a little peek at the swirling, ceaseless, ideas maelstrom. If you will.

You are cordially invited to take a look.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Part 3 of getting paid, paying youre way: So what the £$£$ should we do about it?

Who is responsible; us or them?

Like lost children; they squabbled with each other, distrustful and overwhelmed with their own interests, too busy, to see the hungry wolves picking them off, one, by, one...

I do digress. So, is it the government that's responsible or us? Responsible for the neglect of the undervalued/underpaid in the arts world and to a larger extent across the whole working world? Should it not also be the responsibility of all of us, day to day, as individuals and in our communities?

Can we rely on the government to manage these things for us or do we become uninformed, disenfranchised and lazy if we don't actively engage with our culture in a conscious way? Rather than passively consuming, should we actively seek out the things that we feel are important and valuable and then support those elements? But where do we start?

One way people, as individuals, try to actively engage with and support their interests, is through buying power. People buy fair trade products and boycott companies and businesses that they feel do not behave responsibly or are damaging to the things they care about; big supper markets destroy local businesses so we try to shop at the green grocers instead. But what impact can you have? And how do you support the things you care about whilst surviving day to day economically? Many of us want to travel and are also concerned about the environment, yet when faced with a £30 plane ticket or hundreds of pounds and a few days travel by boat and train, who can say they can afford to pay into what they believe in?

In France they value art to a greater degree than we do in the UK. There is some provision in government whereby they reward and support artists in acknowledgement of this, the intermittents du spectacle is a special benefit system for artists, actors and the like. It is designed to protect them between jobs and in doing so support creative industries, where work is often intermittent.

However right now there are plans to cut this benefit as the French face the same assult on the people through cuts as we do. Fortunately past attempts have been met with colourful and spirited protests, as you would expect from a creative bunch! In one such case protesting by over 135,000 freelance performing arts, film and television professionals managed to shut down France's most prestigious theatre festival at Avignon, causing the sacking of the culture minister. For good measure they then threatened to shut down the Cannes film festival!

There may be some value in being aware of where/who your pound, euro or dollar goes to but little impact unless we spend collectivley. This means communicating, a culture of sharing information to direct our actions; the art of protecting through dissent. And as our French friends have shown, nothing says action like, action.

This I feel is a lesson in active engagement from the rowdy, protesting, French, who have a strong culture of protecting their culture. Perhaps elements of the government can look after the interests of creative people and industries after all. Though it would seem not without the diligent efforts of an often outraged public to keep them in check.

Next week how do we achieve achieve engagement in shaping our culture; the outward expression of our lives? Demcracy is engagement; get involved! Part 4 of: Getting paid, paying youre way.

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