Post-2010 election and the future of this country’s cultural community hangs in the balance.
Yesterday, following a Tory/Lib-Dem coalition and the announcement of the new cabinet that includes Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt *rhyming slang anyone?*, a £66 million cut in budget for the DCMS (Department for Culture Media and Sport) was reported in the national press.
Where this cut will likely be made will be to the Arts and arts funding.
So, why should this bother me?
Unable to avoid sounding like a cliche, “the Arts” is my life. My entire life. Creativity, music and performance are everything I have ever known and everything I have been able to do since I can remember. I don’t know about a lot of things, I have built my whole adult existence around music making and creating opportunities for others to make music.
But that was my choice surely?
Yes, I chose to do a variety of work that doesn’t pay very well in a field that I am passionate about. I chose to give myself the freedom I need in order to write the music I want to make. I chose to commit myself to work I believe in. But I am not a doctor, a scientist, a soldier, a psychologist, a classroom teacher, a policewoman, a plumber or a builder. If I was in the balloon I would be the first to be thrown out. I am not claiming that this is a worthy profession.
Music is all around us. It can change our mood instantaneously and unpredictably. It urges us to move, to dance, to celebrate, to cry, to sleep, to breathe differently, to rise up, to ritualise, I could go on and on.
Art is everywhere. It is what our brains do when we’re not thinking.
When did you last read a book? When did you last see a film? When did you last see a postcard or a painting that you loved? When did you last watch some people dancing or singing? When did you last pretend or lie? When did you last create, however small, even a doodle on a pad or whistling a tune? When did you last write something for work and think really hard about picking the right words? When did you last take a photograph?
What will happen?
I can’t predict the future (as you all know I’m pretty good at it though!). High end, high cost, high brow art will be largely unaffected. Yes, sure there will be cuts to the biggies (the national theatres, ballets, operas and musicals) but they will stay open and the ticket prices will go up to cover any lowering of funding.
The people who will be affected are people like me, individual artists trying to earn a living doing the only thing they are any good at. People who didn’t inherit any money to put them through private education, people who might or might not have a degree and might or might not be classically trained. Also, disabled artists, who face additional barriers to their music making and performance, this might be because of mental health difficulties, cognitive, sensory or physical impairments.
Talented, committed and incredible, unique people who have a right to express themselves through their art and have a right to be heard and seen.
In a capitalist society we all have to earn a living, we all have to contribute whatever we can to the world. I only have this. Music. This is all I have to give.
Creativity is born of revolution
I am unclear what this looks like at the moment, it is too close to yesterday’s announcement for me to feel anything other than distress. I have fire in my belly though and with time (not much time!) I will be able to express better what I mean by the above statement.
If you have anything creative in you, do it. Let it out.
Here’s some stuff that might help:
- Any of the links on the right hand side of here will take you to stuff that can inspire you.
- This was posted on Twitter by Futurising a while ago, it’s about just getting on with it.
- Drake Music is a music organisation that I work with.
- You can write to Jeremy Hunt and tell him what you think of him, in fact why not write to that awful woman Theresa May at the same time.
Although it is very near to the end of the year, today I added another entry to the top films I saw in 2009.
Waltz With Bashir is one of the best films I have ever seen. The art, animation and direction is beautiful. It is accompanied by a gorgeous soundtrack and perfectly suited and accurate sound design. It follows an amazing story.
This is horrific and traumatic to watch and shows better than most films and books the truth behind war. “In order to survive war you have to go to irony and dark humour to go on with every day life”
It is very easy to sit here and preach about the horrors of war and about the injustices by the ‘powers that be’ without ever having any direct experience of it. This film examines from a first person soldier’s account (and other individual soldiers’ accounts) the truth of war.
The interview with the filmmaker, which is an extra feature on the DVD, highlights the impact the film has made on his own life and on others who have seen the film. He tells of since the film release, how he now goes to parties or events and ends up sitting alone in the corner of the room and one by one people come to him to relay their own terrible war stories and experiences. He has opened other people’s memories up to them.
Thousands of lives would have been saved if someone, anyone in power stopped the massacre at Sabra and Shatila happening. It could have been stopped at any point. As with the conflicts around the world that continue today.
Ari Folman is a hero, not for his actions in war as a 19 year old novice soldier, but for his actions afterwards as a 40 year old filmmaker.Tags: 2009, Anime, Heroes, war
Officially just over halfway through the two-week birthday extravaganza and I’m not flagging at all (although I have drunk my weight in alcohol and eaten more food than they have in Costcutter)
So far, I have:
- enjoyed a luscious Thanksgiving meal cooked by Hannah and Aubrey
- DJed at BBA for the quiet and non-dancing crowd at the Marie Lloyd Bar (although we danced enough for everyone!)
- written new crush lists
- seen some performance art in a warehouse in Stoke Newington
- chatted up beautiful artists
- had Advent Tea and played with my nieces
- watched Milk and A Streetcar Named Desire
- hidden from huge storms and eaten pizza
- gone to Biddles with all of my Hackney family
- worn Sandi’s dress as a top
- learned about measuring social impact
- attended my first ever Beer Festival (and tried some Welsh perry)
- chatted on the phone to Nathan in India
- cried into my vodka and watched Akira the ultimate collection
TONIGHT ALL THE COOL KIDS ARE GOING TO THISTags: Akira the Don, Anime, birthday, Blind Baby Animal, crush list, films, Hackney, InCounter, manga, Thanksgiving, Vodka and Diet Pepsi
July 12th, 2009Anime
I will post tomorrow about some proper stuff that happened today but for now, here is my new discovery through Twitter…
They are THE cutest things ever and I have found several online dictionaries including this one:
I really like the vampire: ^,,^ and blushing: *^_^*
You can even symbolise the anime sweat drop (whenever a character is nervous or signifying tension of some sort) ^_^’
Okay, off to catch some sleep now
z_zTags: Anime, emoticons, language
June 6th, 2009Anime
Today I am all bunged up, sneezy and moany (since I had planned to do some vox recording, I can sing with a cold but recordings sound all weird and nasal cos of the blocked nose.)
Hiding from the rain under the duvet I have decided to while away the unwell hours today with some manga.
Starting off is the anime version of Bleach, I left off at episode 40 so I’m starting there, the crew are all on their way to save Rukia, led by the hero-in-training Ichigo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleach_(manga)
Then later on will be the English version of Karas which is the original episodes put together into two feature length films with English speaking actors dubbed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karas_(anime)