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Creative placemaking and the cultural projectariat: artistic work in the wake of Hull City of Culture 2017

Creative placemaking and the cultural projectariat: artistic work in the wake of Hull City of Culture 2017

Umney, Charles and Symon, Graham (2019) Creative placemaking and the cultural projectariat: artistic work in the wake of Hull City of Culture 2017. Capital and Class. ISSN 0309-8168 (Print), 2041-0980 (Online) (In Press)

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Abstract

Cultural work attracts much sociological interest and is often seen as typifying “precarity”. However, this scholarship rarely examines how “placemaking” policy interventions affect the concrete conditions of cultural work. We study a major recent public/private policy intervention in the United Kingdom: Hull City of Culture 2017. This intervention embodied a multifaceted set of policy logics; combining the desire to boost arts participation, with a market-facing imperative to bolster the city’s “brand”. We examine what happened to the city’s “cultural projectariat” (meaning those workers whose career depends on assembling sequences of discrete, time-limited funded cultural projects) during this event. The influx of funds created opportunities for good quality work, but specific sources of insecurity persisted and in certain respects intensified: including the need for significant unpaid work, and permanent competition for resources. City of Culture’s nature as a market-oriented “placemaking” intervention limits its capacity to ameliorate the conditions of cultural work, which has to be conceived as a policy end in itself if conditions of the cultural projectariat are to be improved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Precarious work, Cultural policy, City of Culture, Project-based work, Creative industries
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW)
Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW) > Work & Employment Research Unit (WERU)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2019 10:51
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/24664

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