15. březen 2021 / Tým IDE
How the Ministry of Culture did not understand the meaning of the cultural and creative industries.
The Ministry of Culture is currently preparing a strategy to submit to the government, which was to help start a creative economy in the Czech Republic. However, the presented version is far from the original proposal prepared for it by an expert team, of which Jana Adamcová and Naďa Machková, the Institute’s Board Members, were in 2018-2020 as the main guarantors.
Do you know what the first sentences of the original strategy for supporting cultural and creative industries (CCI), of which we are co-authors, sounded? Thus: “The presented strategy aims to support new fields that connect culture and the economy and establish themselves globally alongside traditional industries. These are cultural and creative industries that are essentially interdisciplinary and thus create high added value for the economy and society. "
The entire original CCI strategy was devoted to how to help business, industry and the public sphere generate high added value thanks to the CCI. It is clear from the now iconic "laughing curve" of Stan Singh that the CCI’s are an ideal helper in the areas of the economy with the highest added value. But the strategy was not about "using" the CCI for industry, that would be a great misinterpretation. She looked at their very essence, looked at the world in which they were doing, and designed measures for their development accordingly. She was aware that once a creative was doing a business job for a computer game and a second time he was doing his own work, once he was writing an ad text and a second time a poem, because otherwise he could not live. She respected and defended the need not to build a concrete wall between the Ministries of Culture and Industry, but on the contrary to look for a bridge between culture, creativity and the economy in the cultural and creative industries.
The American physicist and astronomer of Czech origin Roger Malina, the executive editor of the International Society for Arts, Science and Technology, told me at a CCI conference that he has many knives in his back to support interdisciplinarity. Only now do I understand what he meant. The support of CCI is equal to interdisciplinarity. It is, of course, safest to stay in its box, behind the concrete wall where the Ministry of Culture has withdrawn, by disappearing from the original text of the strategy all measures concerning innovation, entrepreneurship and access to finance - the other side at the end of the bridge. The original three main strategic goals were:
1. Innovation by creativity.
2. Talent of people.
The first two disappeared, and only the less important of the third remained.
When you come to the bank today as a CCI applying for a loan for a new project, they will laugh at you, even if you are a top creator and your project (typically a computer game, digital animation, etc.) would succeed abroad. If you want to pay for a retraining course from the state, such as the one from Anomalia, where people from Pixar transfer and which will increase your probability of being immediately employed in game studios by about a thousand percent, the Employment Agency will not reimburse you.
If you want to develop a business, but only hundreds of thousands or small millions Czech crowns are enough, you are too small for a typical project from the operational program and suspiciously artistic for business support programs. We tried to correct all this in the original strategy and create tools for that. We have been negotiating all this with other ministries for two years. With all this, we wanted to prepare our country for drawing EU funds after 2021.
Unfortunately, the Ministry of Culture does not submit to the government “a government's strategy” of the CCI, but “a strategy of strengthening the Ministry of Culture in its trench war with others”. It is probably good for the Minister of Culture, but it is certainly not good for the Czech Republic.