Thursday, 24 February 2011

Technology Tools Up the Artist & UK Cultural Leadership Clubs Put My Name On The List

So you put forward proposals (they say they cannot fund it - oh well Further Education Univerisities have been cut ) and you send poems to people who never write back which you dont expect in the literary game (I would at the very least expect acknowledgement of receipt - so you know it did not disappear into cyber space ) You know there is Further Education money around, it just wont be coming our way i.e. professional independent artists based in the community that I work with . So much for boosting the local creative economy then !

More freedom beckons on internet radio platforms, other publishing platforms and the such like - the bigger the platform the better, seems to work out best ! Creative Commons seems a useful tool - as it is best avoid intellectual property problems. The internet is always there to offer a cornucopia of possibilities, to maintian creative thrust in order for artists to get work and eat !! I have lost count now how much work I get from facebook or how handy twitter is ....a flip camera for recording rehearsals etc. I use alot of new ITC tools as an artist more than I ever could have thought of -say a few years ago.

The current project fundraiser is taking me to task and I feel a real sense of forward momentum, the whole project now seems so incredibly innovative. I understand alot of people that had to consider the project -probably did not grasp it fully. Or indeed its eventual scale. I now see the funding request was far far too modest, given the creative technical challenges and beautiful vision. More importantly its more the 'awe' factor rather than the 'wow' factor that should be aimed for . This is typical of BME artists and Cultural Leaders as they have been undervalued for long . So they undervalue themselves within a harsh arts cultural landscape (it has always been so i.e. see the statistics not just now - hence the need for 'Rebel Dreamin' - by Gaylene Gould Clore Fellow.)

I am no different I realise this dramatically - it is as if I have been operating in a cramped space for years ( and so many BME artists before me ) , not able to spread my limbs . When I all I needed was a far bigger space in order to grow , to create, take risks, to experiment fully ....this is what creates low aspiration. It also something of a feature of the region I based am in - it is caught as is is as the 'Middle Lands' (needing to big it self/identity up more ) between London, Birmingham and Manchester . So how will things change , without Black Minority Ethnic Cultural leaders ( three generations down the line now) taking their righful place, to gain more recogniton and crucially be more valued in terms of their vital contribution overall to UK arts and culture historically? How do I get my name on that list, that gets you on all the other important lists, in terms of Cultural Leadership in arts & culture ? When do we really get this truly diverse party started in the arts cultural club in the UK ? All these thoughts will be part of my consideration for a blog about being part of the my region's Cultural Olympiad, as an emerging Writer that I have been asked to write for one of my region's literature website.


  1. This might be the 'middle lands', but Leicester - which does suffer sometimes from a 'smalling down' of itself - has much to offer culturally, and I think it is beginning to promote that. We can also begin to show our pride in Leicester's cultural heritage and current activity :-)

    One thing that fails to happen is the exceptional opportunity offered by having 3 major cities in close proximity (Leicester, Derby, Nottingham), as there is sometimes too little communication between the small- to mid-scale cultural activities of each (if you've ever tried to persuade people from Leicester to go to a gig in another city...)

  2. I wlecome and agree with your comments overall. My observation is about the 'middle lands' is that we often fall between the north and south (London Manchester respectively or even Birmingham )and as such are underestimated and overlooked.

    As I work across the East Midlands region . I know our transport infrastructure could be much improved. To allow more creative cross fertilisation as there is so much great talent around.