Yes – our friends at BCC Lithuania asked Nikky to write a few words about how Brexit is feeling for changing cultures. So here’s what she had to say: –
Brexit from a UK Creative’s Point of View.
I think those of us who work in the arts, cultural and creative sectors are more inclined towards collaboration, finding new ways to work with fellow professionals to invent fresh experiences for our audiences. Even those who make their art in a solitary situation require the collusion of others to bring it to the attention of the public. Perhaps this is why so many of us are feeling shaken by the Brexit vote.
So far, I haven’t spoken to anyone who works in our sector who didn’t vote to remain. Reaching out across borders, making new connections, constantly learning about our fellow travellers on the human journey who are living different cultural experiences is all the stuff that feeds our imaginations and creative processes. Much mojo has been lost!
Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom. Established organisations are continuing to make the kind of high quality cultural experiences that give the UK such an enviable reputation for all things creative. Those of us who supply creative services across the broader marketplace, including for businesses, now find that we are a little more affordable to our overseas partners since the fall in the value of the pound. And as people who specialise in finding solutions within uncertainty, used to creating a tangible something out of an amorphous nothing, we are well suited to finding innovative ways to move forward. It’s the shift in what is happening at grass roots level that is more disconcerting.
The widespread occurrence of arts projects and residencies in schools, community centres and local hubs has been hit hard over recent years due to the lasting policy of austerity. The money just isn’t there any more. In addition we have had education ministers who have undermined the value of developing artistic and creative practice within the system. The ‘Leave’ vote feels like another nail in the coffin. There is something in the mood of Brexit that gives validation to an attitude that dismisses creativity as something unnecessary and indulgent, frippery for the liberal middle classes that has no place in a good old fashioned independent Great Britain.
And that’s the main issue – it feels like a step backwards, precisely the antithesis of creating something new, trying to go back to something that went before. Which is after all a fantasy.
So – it’s going to be a struggle. But I think what’s needed is that intrinsic creative spirit that is so very British, and we need to ensure that those starting out have opportunities to develop their own unique methods to solve the challenges of the future. We need creativity more than ever, and it needs to be nurtured. As do the strong connections and relationships that we have with our colleagues in Europe. For those of us who are dedicated to working with and across our entire exciting continent, no vote will ever change that.