We are governed by systems and ideas that are fast becoming obsolete. They haven't evolved much from their time of inception. What worked then doesn't work today.
We are specifically concerned with the erasure of local specificities, tangible and intangible heritage, cultures, traditions, customs, ideas and ideals, localities, stories, et al. We are also concerned with the negation and removal of agency of culture from the person to capital-driven means of production and re-production. We believe that the agency should be with the individual and only then can we work outwards and understand the kinds of benefit that culture and the creative economy may have for societies, for communities, for social inclusions, for public health, for quality of life in urban and rural areas.
We do not think or expect culture and creative economy to be a quick fix for all the long-standing failures of planning and development. But we must try and animate these for the communities and cultures that we work with providing them critical tools to pursue independent inquiry and co-create ideas that enable continuity and development.
To do this we work with local governments — they connect citizens and communities with larger government bodies. and international frameworks; because they have an intimate perspective of ‘things as they are’. And today, the reality of publics, work, family, life, and the city itself demands a way of engagement that is more inclusive, more just, more equal — an engagement that values the primacy of the individual and the society over the capital.
The creative economy can be a means to restore the dignity of the worker, of communities, of ideas, of systems, of cultural forces, of values, of the local itself, and create ways in which the workforce is at the centre of this economy.
A creative economy should be taken as a means to achieve people-centric growth, as a means to flatten growing inequalities, as a means to build collective capabilities, and as a means to celebrate the triumph of the human spirit.