An African-European Research about Arts and Development
Edited By Wolfgang Schneider and Daniel Gad
The Arts and Digital Media.The Question of the Public Sphere in
Jonathan Vickery and Tomi Oladepo
The subject of this chapter brings together three areas of inquiry: the arts, digital media and the public sphere. The theory of the public sphere has an intellectual history that is rooted in recent German critical theory, notably the work of sociologist Jürgen Habermas (Habermas 1989/2011). Four assumptions underpin this chapter. First, a strong concept of the public sphere should be at the centre of the discourse on governance in cultural policy. Second, governance in cultural policy should be fully integrated into new digital media and its potential for public communications. Third, the arts should not be cast as “recipients” or beneficiaries of good governance in cultural policy – creative producers can contribute to, or at least generate techniques for, cultural governance. And lastly, following the many recent and fruitful projects convened by UNESCO under the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F), the term “enterprise”’ should not remain embedded in the discourse of business or economics. Governance is not a surrogate for government bureaucracy, but a means of responding to new opportunities with innovations in administration and management. In essence it is a form of enterprise, which in turn demands ideas, innovation, risk, experimentation, judgment, vision, conviction, and other qualities internal to artistic creativity. The concept of enterprise needs therefore to be fully redefined by cultural policy.
The first of these above assumptions is perhaps contentious in the light of the recent outstanding collections edited by Anheier and Raj Isar...
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