Confusing Arts and Culture UK edition

Posted by on Apr 24, 2013 in Blog | No Comments

I feel sure that we will never be at a loss for these stories. ?A headline in today’s Guardian reads, “British culture should be seen as commodity, says Maria Miller [culture minister]”. ?(http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/apr/24/british-culture-commodity-maria-miller)? Her stirring words on this topic were delivered before an audience of “senior cultural figures” at the British Museum. ?She vowed to “fight the corner” for the arts although the fight she maintained must be on economic grounds. ?Culture, according to Ms. Miller whose background is in advertising, is the soft power and brand identity of Britain abroad. ?Ms. Miller makes an old argument that confuses arts with culture and primarily sees one or the other (or both) primarily as a source of economic benefit. ?Questions abound: ?Who decides what art represents Britain? ?How much money must a work of art 0r cultural event make to be judged suitable for the “brand”? ?We might also question Ms. Miller’s qualification to lead this charge as she told the audience she will use last year’s overseas advertising campaign as part of her argument: ?”You will all have seen the Great campaign which was launched last year? Heritage is Great ? Creativity is Great ? Innovation is Great. All these themes market Britain to the rest of the world as precisely what we are ? great.”

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