The Covid-19 pandemic has re-shaped the way we live and work. However, for some, including creative and cultural workers, it has exposed issues of precarity (Comunian and England, 2020) and heightened the need to rethink working practices and business models (Banks, 2020). That said, it has also created an opportunity for reflecting on structural intervention, holding open space for hope, new forms of care and new political imaginations (Gross, 2021; Gross, 2020). The Creative Work: Possible Futures after Covid-19 workshop (4th-5th November 2021), featured 14 papers considering a range of challenges and changes that had taken place during the pandemic. Many contributions to the workshop shone light further onto how the extant dynamics of creative work and employment had in many ways been doubled down on, but they also highlighted opportunities for new approaches and offered practical recommendations to tackle the challenges faced. Learnings were presented from specific sectors (film and TV, visual arts, performing arts, music, games and more) and the experiences of specific groups within industries (freelancers, self-employed, working mothers), organisations and advocacy groups (representative organisations, associations, unions and co-operatives). Different international perspectives (UK, Italy, Germany, the USA and South Africa and pan-European) were also presented, with papers exploring the dynamics of cities and rural areas, including different policy frameworks, infrastructure, spatial dimensions and networks. This report presents a series of interviews with most of the authors of papers presented at the workshop, highlighting their key findings and recommendations. The thirteen interviews are grouped under three themes regarding the impact of the pandemic on creative work, although a number of authors address issues that cut across these themes. The aim of this report is to highlight both similar and different experiences of creative and cultural workers from an international perspective, in order to extract some lessons and suggest policy directions.
- creative work