NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT!
receive the newsprint magazine in the post.
Donate financial support towards the continuance
Advertise in the Spring issue.
34, Spring 2009
Front cover & centre pages: 'Every
action will be judged on the particular circumstances' by
centre pages pdf
Open Letter to Mike Russell MSP (Minister for Culture, External
Affairs and the Constitution) and call for signatories,
re. Promotional Culture versus Democratic Culture: The Case of Creative
Also see: http://creativescotland.blogspot.com
The Creativity Fix
Cogent critique of architect and popilariser of the 'creative
class' thesis, Richard Florida's best selling primers on the 'creative
economy'. Peck lays bare that Florida's creativity script facilitates
revamped forms of civic boosterism alongside the gratification
of middle-class consumption desires; lubricates flexible labour
markets and gentrifying housing markets; and relegitimizes regressive
social redistributions within the city.
Tyranny of the Ad Hoc
"In a period of massively unequal globalization, formal
institutions with at least nominal accountability have been sidelined
or become expendable. Power has shifted to a raft of ad hoc outfits
with grandiose names and a lack of even nominal accountability.
Their effect is often diffuse, and not immediately visible. Capitalism’s
protectorate demands unhindered freedom of action, happy to impose
rules on others while dodging any on itself; slippery to its
core. All this matters and especially now when in the economic
sphere voluntary agreements, ad hoc oversight, and a lack of
accountability has come to the fore."
illustrations by Paul Bommer
City: An Artist Led Property Strategy’
The potential of ‘the arts’ to rehabilitate ‘unproductive’ urban
space and stimulate the property market has long been
established by gimlet-eyed developers. However, rather
than submit to boosterist overstatement it's more useful
to contextualise the competitive creative economy mantra
as the afterbirth of a wave of self-defeating entrepreneurial
urban strategies which preceded it. Yet, despite increasing
skepticism around hyperbolic 'creativity' claims, the
creative city policy framework is still being applied
by countless slow-learning cities worldwide. Despite
the austere and worsening fiscal climate and the collapse
of commercial property markets, and the strong
correlation between inequality and 'creativity', Glasgow
City Council continue to act oblivious or unconcerned...
Artists & Art Schools:
For or against innovation? A reply to NESTA
Angela McRobbie & Kirsten Forkert
The recently published report from NESTA, ‘The Art of Innovation:
How Fine Arts Graduates Contribute to Innovation’, provides an
opportunity to offer a series of reflections on links between the art
schools and the ‘creative economy’; the nature of cultural
policy and the role of consultancy research; the rise of creative labour
and its social consequences.
Hunting, Fishing, & Shooting the Working
With the prospect of mass unemployment again looming – in addition
to the working poor of increasingly casualised, insecure work patterns
and impoverishment of substantial swaths of the population in the meantime – it's
pertinent to take stock of the social-realist tradition that continues
to provide visual narratives which take seriously the problems and possibilities
of the everyday lives of ordinary working-class people based on purportedly
accurate accounts of lived experience. Jennings sketches the patchy tradition
of UK social-realism before considering a particularly consistent exponent,
the Amber film collective, whose 40th anniversary is this year.
Man in Cairo vs The Zionist Vegetable
Anand Balakrishnan provides a thrilling pastiche of pulp non-non-fictions
in this his most honest and exaggerated 'Bidoun' treatment.
Magazine - Art & Culture from the MIddle East
Shoreditch and the creative destruction
of the inner city
In areas like London's Shoreditch and its peers around the globe, the
cosmetic renewal of a portion of the crumbling urban core coincides with
continued – or intensified – infrastructural decline. Rather
than an unfortunate side effect of the real estate market, gentrification
is an openly pursued policy objective where 'creative entrepreneurialism’ is
identified as key to reviving inner cities. Gentrification takes from
the poor and gives to the rich; anything residually ‘public’ will
either be reclaimed for the middle class or left to rot. The question
remains, is the current crisis a reprieve or a new assault, and who will
win this time?
The End of Israel’s
Muhammad Idrees Ahmad
For the second time in two years Israel's colonial ambition has floundered.
It is losing both legitimacy and power. Support for it is dwindling in
Washington; its friends are alarmed. Citizens are acting where governments
have failed; the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions is snowballing.
Apologists are finding it more difficult to justify its persistent criminality.
This leviathan may yet be tamed, accountability restored; but what part,
if any, will international law have played in this?