For this week’s Alumni interview, I caught up with Mateo Londoño Rueda, Counsel for Proimágenes Colombia, to find out about his career journey, aspirations and how his time at King’s College London, supported his success.
Mateo Londoño Rueda is an expert in law, intellectual property, and cultural legislation. He is actively involved in the management of incentives for the audiovisual industry, and advises on cultural public policies in Colombia. He undertook an MA in Cultural and Creative Industries at King’s College London between 2018 and 2019.
Can you tell me about your career journey?
Since the early moments of my professional development, I wanted to work for the cultural sector; to contribute through its support, organisation and promotion. My undergraduate studies and work experience have always aimed at that goal.
I decided to study Law seeking to understand the world from the perspective of its regulation, but also considering that it is a discipline that provides skills of analysis, research, negotiation, and speech. I always knew that, as a lawyer, it would be possible for me to have different types of professional practice, including governmental or executive positions. Nonetheless, during my undergraduate studies, I also sought a balance between learning Law and exploring other fields.
During the first years of my career I worked in intellectual property matters, from the field of advisory, as part of law firms. Currently, I am in charge of the legal area of Proimagenes Colombia: the entity that promotes the Colombian audiovisual sector, and which also acts as national film commission. My activities in this institution include advisory, legal management, participation in the design of cultural public policies, and strategic affairs.
How did you get to this position?
I believe that it was a mixture of various elements. My career’s focus may have been a key factor, especially because there are not too many lawyers in Colombia working in arts and culture. Also, it helped to do a constant tracking of the sector’s developments, news, and opportunities.
What drew you to this industry?
This is a cultural industry that in my country has had a very successful and sustained support policy in the last two decades. I always thought that it could be a good sector to be, in terms of learning and growing. Also, I have always been keen on filmmaking and the value of movies as a cultural heritage.
How has your education, and more specifically your time at King’s College London, supported your success?
After being in contact with the cultural industries for some years, I decided to study the MA in Cultural and Creative Industries at King’s. Thankfully, I got support from the Chevening scholarships programme. Clearly, the fact of being in a top-ranked university was a deciding factor for me. However, I also found that the programme’s interdisciplinary approach and its theoretical design (centred on pivotal elements of the cultural sector), was exactly what I needed to gain a deeper comprehension and perspective of my fieldwork.
What are your career aspirations?
I would like to contribute –or even lead–, the construction of new incentive systems directed to forms of art, or cultural industries that need more support in my country. While Colombia has an outstanding stimulus system for the audio-visual industry, as I mentioned before, there are other sectors such as music or theatre that have not yet developed solid models of promotion. In the mid-term, I would also like to have my own consultancy firm focused on cultural policy and legal advisory for artists.