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Deconstructing the Capital of Culture

barcamp-liverpool-logoMy presentation from Barcamp Liverpool is up on Slideshare.  It was really designed just to open the discussion, so you won’t get the full story of the session from these notes.  Thanks to everyone who attended for all your contributions!
Deconstructing The Capital Of Culture
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3 replies on “Deconstructing the Capital of Culture”

Gutted that my talk clashed with this one. The slides are really interesting and I can see why there was so much debate afterwards. I’ll have to hope that some more of the debate comes out on blogs and maybe some video clips…

Interesting points, of course, Alex; but, as you say, not really the whole story.

I do wonder about the way that ‘culture’ is perceived – almost as if it wasn’t actually produced by human beings! One of my main worries, which I explore quite actively on my own website, is that there is (and has been) comparatively so little space for long-term locally based professional artists and performers. There is a real danger that ‘cultural capital’ will drift elsewhere next year, as people find even less opportunity to actually earn a living by being an arts practitioner in Liverpool.

I have no problem at all, as you will see in my blog, with the city’s plans for conducting business and developing the local economy; but I do have a problem with the idea that we can be a ‘city of culture’ on the cheap…. it takes a years to train professional artists, and they have to eat and have a roof over their heads in the same way as everyone else.

Hi @HilaryBurrage

Yes, we talked about exactly that after the initial slides, and there was a consensus on all sides that the sort of situation you describe could occur, if steps aren’t taken to avoid it.

We actually had a number of local artists present at the session who had a more optimistic view than I expected. They were continuing to find work even this late in the year, and had some projects lined up for early next year. Of course with the recession worsening, I wonder how they’re getting on even 2 weeks on…

One thing I didn’t address at the time but which became increasingly clear as the weekend progressed was the quality of work going on in web applications & digital design in Liverpool. Whilst we don’t traditionally think of this as part of our city’s ‘culture’, it’s becoming so, more rapidly than ever before. Most of the conference delegates were incredibly talented, creative people, many of them from Merseyside and the North West, who have absolutely no qualms about taking new ideas and innovations in web technology and successfully throwing them straight out there onto the national or world stage. Very impressive, and a great source of inspiration.

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