06 November 2020


Developing themes from my recent book Red Creative, I will take an historical perspective on contemporary policies for the cultural industries in China. In the light of the signal absence of such policies in Australia and the devastating impact of the Pandemic on the cultural sector here, I will suggest that though China cannot be a model for Australia – neither pragmatically nor normatively – the importance it accords to culture, as “industry” and as central to social citizenship, is instructive for what it says about our failure to even have a CCI policy. China’s investment in this area, as with other East Asian states, reflects badly on the current Australian government’s attacks on art, culture, public media and higher education. It represents a re-enforcement of a growing elite ‘extractivism’, and an undoing of Australian social democracy established with some difficulty between Federation and 1945.

Professor Justin O’Connor

UniSA Creative

Justin O'Connor.pngJustin O’Connor is Professor of Cultural Economy at the University of South Australia and visiting Professor in the School of Cultural Management, Shanghai Jiaotong University. He has co- edited The Routledge Handbook of Cultural Industries (2015); Cultural Industries in Shanghai: Policy and Planning inside a Global City (2018); and Re-Imagining Creative Cities in 21st Century Asia (2020) and is co-author of Red Creative: Culture and Modernity in China (2020).

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