Following last week’s widely appreciated keynote speech by Culture Minister, Fiona Hyslop, and the appointment of a new CEO at Creative Scotland, Janet Archer, comes a Petition to the Scottish Government calling on them to deliver a new participative Cultural Policy for Scotland
A PROGRESSIVE CREATIVE STANCE FOR SCOTLAND
We see state support of autonomous creative expression and its communication as key to a modern democracy. Sustaining the independence of producers and makers is essential to activity across all sectors.
The development of freedom of thought and the capacity to empathise with difference and otherness is central to life beyond mere survival. It follows that culture is not static but something we as citizens can change and shape in its complexity. People can collectively determine their own political, social and cultural reality.
Culture and access to it, is the way by which we share and confirm our humanity and understand the world. It is how we communicate with each other, exchange new ideas and engage our past, present, and potential futures.
Public funding of culture is to primarily ensure diversity, pluralism and freedom from instrumental agendas, thus counteracting any negative effects of commodification. It provides the means to uncover and question social, political, and moral assumptions. In this way, creativity, learning and societal evolution are indivisible.
Art can be made by, with, and for every citizen. Yet, while art has the capacity to entertain and please, it also exists to provoke, contest, and search for meaningful truths. Locating creativity within democratic processes offers up criticality as a benchmark of a progressive country and political system.
Nurturing the creative and artistic impulse in all its manifestations and allowing culture to take its own shape is the strongest contribution the Scottish government and its institutions can make to enriching contemporary life. To ensure this, the voices of cultural practitioners will be reflected in a new cultural framework for Scotland.