Culture in Crisis: Policy guide for a resilient creative sector

Autoria: UNESCO
Ano: 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the cultural and creative industries. Around the world, the livelihoods of artists and cultural professionals have been profoundly affected by lockdown and physical distancing measures. The precarious nature of their work has made them particularly vulnerable to the economic shocks caused by the crisis, which have, in turn, exacerbated the creative sector’s pre-existing volatility and inequalities. Artists and cultural professionals have lost their jobs in record numbers and around the world, the sector is fighting to survive. Since UNESCO launched the ResiliArt movement, a series of open-format virtual debates, on 15 April 2020, over 1,000 artists and cultural professionals from around the world have shared their stories and offered recommendations on how the cultural and creative sectors can emerge from the COVID-19 crisis stronger and more united. UNESCO has heard their voices.Through this guide, UNESCO provides practical guidance to policymakers as they fight for the inclusion of the cultural and creative industries in social and economic recovery plans. In order to comply with health and safety measures, and to adapt to new business models, both financial and technical support has been and will continue to be necessary. However, it is important to recognize the support mobilized thus far has been multifaceted. This guide is an attempt to provide a comprehensive overview of the range of emergency measures adopted by States in support of cultural workers, institutions and industries and a tool for strengthening the resilience of the sector. At a time when all countries are working towards crafting responses to this unprecedented crisis, UNESCO will advocate for the cultural and creative industries not to be left behind. Not only are they economic drivers and a source of employment for many, especially women and young people, but through the diversity of content they generate, they are also conveyers of meanings and identities, which have proven to be vital throughout the crisis. The COVID-19 crisis has also revealed a persistent need for improved mechanisms to protect the social, economic and working conditions of artists and cultural professionals. Now, more than ever, the status of the artist must be upheld, strengthened and reinforced. The UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of the Artist (1980) has long called for the protection of the social and economic rights of artists and for an integrated approach to legislation on the status of the artist. Measures outlined in this guide should not be seen as temporary solutions but as catalysts for long-term systemic changes that will ensure that artists can continue to inspire and represent us for years to come.

3PrefaceOn the 15th anniversary of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005), the pandemic reminds us that the adoption of measures and policies to rescue the culture sector should not be at the expense of the diversity of cultural expressions. Yet, the staggering increase in the digitization and online consumption of cultural content, which has only been accelerated by lockdown measures, is generating unprecedented challenges for the protection and promotion of the diversity of both content and creators. Next year, as the United Nations marks the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, it is my hope that the sector’s key players, artists but also cultural professionals and entrepreneurs, will play a leading role. It is only by focusing our attention on their working and employment conditions that we can truly place the creative economy at the service of sustainable development and combine economic prosperity with an ever-increasing diversity of ways to express and enjoy creativity.During this challenging time, artists and cultural professionals have allowed us to stay connected, despite the distance between us. Just as their creativity brought us together, it is now our turn to come together and speak up for them.