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Review: Justin O’Connor – ‘Culture is not an industry: reclaiming art and culture for the common good’

In his new book “Culture is Not an Industry”, Justin O’Connor challenges the notion that art and culture should be valued mainly for their economic contribution, as has been policy practice since the adoption of the ‘creative industries’ approach. O’Conner critiques how creative industry approach has led to increased precarity, underfunding, and a loss of visionary leadership, arguing that culture has become too commercialized and depoliticized. Therefore, he calls for a renewed social contract for art and culture that prioritizes equity, inclusivity, and sustainability. Exploring a sustainable and ethically ambitious foundation to the creative sector, the book is of value for those who advocate for a deeper, more meaningful approach to culture and the arts.

Jan Jaap Knol, managing director of the Boekmanstichting – Kenniscentrum voor kunst, cultuur en beleid, wrote a review of the Justin O’Connor’s book ‘Culture is not an industry: reclaiming art and culture for the common good’ in the spring edition 2024 – Boekman #138: Private financiering van kunst en cultuur.arrow

Read the full review herearrow (in Dutch).

‘Our research group investigates the role artists, designers and cultural producers in general can play in developing the aesthetics and poetics of a desirable future.’

Sebastian Olma is professor Cultural and Creative Industries. He works for the Expertise Centre Art, Design and Technology.

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Research Group: Cultural and Creative Industries

The research group Cultural and Creative Industries investigates the role of artists and designers as creative innovators and drivers of social and economic change. Affiliated researchers analyse the cultural and creative industries from a critical point of view and examine the conditions under which timely forms of aesthetic expression and social connectedness can actually take place within the precarious reality of this field. What economic models are required by artists and designers to create a meaningful practice within the aesthetic, social, and economic intentions of the cultural and creative industries? What skills sets are required for those artists and designers who don’t just want to follow movements, but actually shape novel social and economic models of the future?

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