Pandemic cost culture up to 40% in lost revenue and over 10 million jobs
Abu Dhabi, Vae (OTS) – The Ministry of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi announces October 23-25 as the new date for the 5th. Culture Summit Abu Dhabi announced
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and UNESCO today launched the co-publication “
Culture in times of COVID-19: Resilience, Recovery and Revitalization”, which provides a global overview of the impact of the pandemic on the cultural sector since March 2020 and suggests ways for its revitalization.
During the presentation, it was also announced that the 5th Culture Summit Abu Dhabi will be held this year from October 23-25.
The report examines the impact of COVID-19 across all cultural sectors, highlighting that culture is one of the most affected sectors globally. In 2020 alone, more than 10 million jobs will be lost and revenues across the sector will decline by 20-40%. The sector also saw a 25% drop in its gross value added (GVA) in 2020, but while most of the sector suffered a sharp decline, online publishing and audiovisual platforms saw growth as more emphasis was placed on digital content during the pandemic. The publication also identifies key global trends reshaping the cultural sector and proposes new integrated policy directions and strategies to support the sector’s revitalization and sustainability.
“We have identified key reforms currently underway around the world in response to the global crisis. It is important to recognize the potential of the cultural sector to drive social change and recovery across all development goals and to support integrated approaches to revitalize the cultural sector,” explained Ernesto Ottone Ramírez, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture.
“The report highlights the impact of the pandemic on the cultural sector worldwide, but we are optimistic about how we can move forward as an international cultural community. More important than the findings themselves is what the report suggests in terms of directions and strategies that will make the sector a resilient and sustainable one for generations to come,” added H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Head of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. “Our partnership with UNESCO and Abu Dhabi’s role in producing the report underpin our commitment to developing solutions and strategies that will strengthen the cultural sector in the UAE and around the world.”
Shifts in the Cultural Value Chain
Using data from more than 100 industry reports, 40 expert interviews and economic analysis, the publication highlights the need for an integrated approach to cultural sector recovery and calls for a redefinition of the value of and support for culture as a critical foundation for a more diverse and sustainable society.
The report also highlights broader shifts in cultural production and dissemination, particularly due to the accelerated digitization of cultural products during the pandemic. Revenue from the digital creative industries was $2.7 billion globally in 2020, more than a quarter of the industry’s total revenue.
A Threat to Cultural Diversity and Diversity of Cultural Expression
The pandemic has proven to be a threat to cultural diversity. Increasing livelihood insecurity for freelancers and cultural workers, combined with the exacerbation of already entrenched inequalities related to gender and disadvantaged groups in society, have led many artists and cultural workers to leave the field and undermine the diversity of cultural expression. In Latin America, for example, 64% of freelancers in the cultural sector lost more than 80% of their income due to COVID-19.
Redefining the cultural sector on the public agenda
The end of the pandemic offers a great opportunity to put culture back on the public agenda and increase its value as a global public good, the report says. It notes that the pandemic has led to increased recognition of the social value of the cultural sector and its contribution to collective and individual well-being and sustainable development. Indeed, Culture 2020 was included in G20 policy discussions for the first time, and the report argues that it is important to capitalize on the global momentum.
The report comes a year after UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced their work on the global study. Both examined how the cultural sector is not only recovering but changing, drawing lessons from the pandemic. The publication and event also contributed to the preparation of the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development – MONDIACULT 2022 – to be held in Mexico in late September 2022.
* The link to the publication: on [English]
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