Tag: policy

The Pinning Stones

Portraits from The Pinning Stones by Ray Smith On Thursday, the residents of Scotland decide whether to leave the United Kingdom and establish their own state. Whatever your view of the possible outcomes, we should be thankful that negotiations are not being conducted with arms… Read More

The Budapest Observatory

  There’s has been a great increase in cultural policy data, research and commentary in recent years, reflecting culture’s greater importance in the postmodern world, and facilitated by the ease of modern communications. Twenty years ago, fact checking (to say nothing of library research) was slow… Read More

Naked emperors

‘I want to change, but not if it means changing,’ a patient once said to me in complete innocence. This insight from psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz came to mind as I listened to some of the discussion at and around the latest ‘State… Read More

Whose will? Whose Triumph?

State funding of culture is a very tricky thing to do in a democracy. Patrons, sponsors, customers  just buy what they want. But in the post-war European welfare state, managers in state departments or arm’s length bodies were tasked – for the first… Read More

Friendly Interest

For much of the British media, 2014 began with a panic about the opening of the UK’s borders to people from Romania and Bulgaria. It remains to be seen whether more of them will come here than the  Britons who have used… Read More

Life is precious, not safe

It’s a widely held idea that art is dangerous—or at least challenging. It threatens established thinking, especially the complacency of the bourgeoisie. It dances barefoot on the ‘cutting edge’. I’ve never been wholly convinced by that belief, though it flatters the egos… Read More

A question of evaluation (MCV5)

It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it It had been a wonderful performance, the culmination of a year long community project in a small town. The theatre was packed and the applause had rung loud and long…. Read More

Art’s alternative economies

It’s been hard to escape the Glastonbury Festival in the past couple of weeks and clearly many people had no wish to do so. It has become a very English success, capable— without losing its credibility—of embracing Prince Harry and Elvis Costello… Read More

Late flowering

Art and wellbeing in old age [This is the English text of a chapter I contributed to a book on art and ageing called Lang Leven Kunst, which was published on 18 June 2013 in Rotterdam.It’s rather long for a blog post,… Read More

The Swiss Cultural Programme in the Western Balkans

Next week, I will be in Sarajevo for a conference to mark the end of the Swiss Cultural Programme in the Western Balkans, (SCP) after almost 15 years. Set up by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and managed by Pro… Read More