The latest books from UniSA researchers

Culture is not an industry: Reclaiming art and culture for the common good

By UniSA Professor of Cultural Economy Justin O'Connor, Creative People, Products and Places research centre

Book cover: Culture is not an industry: Reclaiming art and culture for the common good

Culture is at the heart of what it means to be human. But 25 years ago, the British government, adapting Australia's 'Creative Nation' policy, rebranded art and culture as 'creative industries'. They were now to be valued for their economic contribution, and treated as an industry generating jobs, growth and innovation.

Where does that leave art and culture now? Facing exhausted workers and a lack of funding and vision, culture finds itself in the grip of accountancy firms, creativity gurus and Ted Talkers. At a time of sweeping geopolitical turmoil, culture has been depoliticised, its radical energies reduced to factors of industrial production. This book is about what happens when an essential part of our democratic citizenship, fundamental to our human rights, is reduced to an industry.

Culture is not an industry argues that art and culture need to renew their social contract and realign with the radical agenda for a more equitable future. Bold and uncompromising, the book offers a powerful vision for change.

The book is published by Manchester University Press and distributed by NewSouth Books in Australia. UniSA staff and students can access the book for free via this link courtesy of the UniSA Library.