Creative Economy & Cultures of Production, Creativity & Cultural Labour

Creative and cultural work without filters: Covid-19 and exposed precarity in the creative economy

Dr Roberta Comunian and Dr Lauren England 

In the first of our DISCE Webinars Dr Roberta Comunian, DISCE researcher, presented some of her work (with colleague Dr Lauren England at King’s College London) on the impact of Covid-19 on creative and cultural workers.

The review article “Creative and cultural work without filters: Covid-19 and exposed precarity in the creative economy” has been published on 4 June 2020 by Cultural Trends and is available (open access) for everyone to read.

In the article, Dr Comunian and Dr England review the existing literature on the precarious nature of creative and cultural work. They point out that as soon as the spread of Covid-19 started impacting local and national economies, many industry and policy bodies rushed into researching the impact of Covid-19 on the creative and cultural industries (CCIs) and the workers in the sector through a series of surveys.  The paper reviews the content – reflecting on what is being asked and what is not being asked – of these surveys. The results highlight common concerns in relation to visible and invisible issues that need addressing in the sector. The paper concludes by questioning if Covid-19 represents a moment of crisis for the sector or has simply exposed the unsustainable price of creative and cultural work.

Abstract

The precarious nature of creative and cultural work is widely acknowledged in academic literature. However, it has often been invisible in the eyes of policy and policymaking. As soon as the spread of Covid-19 started impacting local and national economies across the globe, many industry and policy bodies rushed into researching the impact of Covid-19 on the creative and cultural industries (CCIs) and the workers in the sector. The paper offers an insight into the key concerns of these organizations through the meta-analysis of the survey and research projects that are currently being undertaken in the context of the UK. The results highlight common concerns in relation to visible and invisible issues that need addressing in the sector. The paper concludes by questioning if Covid-19 represents a moment of crisis for the sector or has simply exposed the unsustainable price of creative and cultural work.

The full article can be downloaded here

Creative Economy & Cultures of Production, Creativity & Cultural Labour, Digital Culture

Creative Higher Education and the impact of Covid-19

Dr Roberta Comunian, Dr Tamsyn Dent and Dr Lauren England

Dr Roberta Comunian, Dr Tamsyn Dent and Dr Lauren England have launched this week a new website and research project – in collaboration with the H2020 funded project DISCE (Developing Inclusive and Sustainable Creative Economies). The project entitled ‘Creative Higher Education and the impact of Covid-19’ aims to collect reflections, experiences and perspective from academics and technical staff involved in teaching creative subjects at Higher Education level.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, most higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK and abroad have moved their teaching and work online and academics are now providing teaching support from home. However, while this is feasible for subjects where teaching tends to be lecture-base, the impact might be different for degrees where physical and material practice, equipment and spaces play a very important role in learning development and the acquisition of skills. The project will address the following questions:

  • What has been the impact of Covid-19 on your teaching practices?
  • What are the limitations/differences of online work in relation specifically to creative subjects?
  • What aspects of your teaching are not possible in the current social isolation/ home-learning context?
  • What new modes of engagement and opportunities have this crisis promoted?

The project calls for the involvement of academics and technical staff, that can participate in online discussions or undertake online interviews to feedback on the recent changes and challenges faced by the sector. To get involved, potential participants are asked to complete a brief online form and register.

The website includes a blog that will host opinion pieces and interventions on key topics. It includes already a reflection on the impact of Covid-19 on teaching practices and one on the potential financial uncertainty of creative higher education.

The research is only just started but it is hoped that project will collect important reflections on challenges and best practices within the sector that could potentially – with the input of colleagues across creative HE departments – develop into a special issue.