Since the financial crisis started at the end of 2007, a lot of governments have cut cultural and artistic budgets. Inspired by the critical social theory of Herbert Marcuse (1964), these policy decisions are understood within an ideological framework as ‘repressive liberalism’. That is a (cultural) politics that on the one hand proclaims individual freedom, stimulates cultural entrepreneurship and embraces the creative city and active citizenship, but on the other hand develops a large-scale decentralised control apparatus that strongly restricts individual, artistic freedom and activist citizenship. Within this cultural policy, creative labour itself runs the risk to be ‘instrumentalised’ as a repressive tool.
In the first part of his lecture Pascal Gielen analyses the relationship between art, politics and the civil space in the creative city. He also looks how activists and creative workers respond to this policy by organising themselves in alternative ways. In the second part of the afternoon initiatives from Rotterdam will respond to the analysis of Gielen. During the discussion different strategies of change of these initiatives, the impact on the artists and the city, and different future scenario's will be explored.
The lecture and debate are organised by WdKA and V2_.