#023 : Empty Handed

  • Christopher Lutterodt-Quarcoo
  • Charisse Chikwiri

Dear creatives... to whom much is given, much will be required.

Image — To Pimp A Butterly, Denis Rouvre Soundtrack — Wolves, Dead Prez -
‘Dear Creatives,
To this date, we have remained relatively quiet.
Yet we can see our restraint has not lessened the taunts, insults and demonisation of our mere existence — this is unfortunate.
There is state of misguided frustration that has fabricated a hostile relationship between creators and facilitators. Too much so that we are first bewildered, fatigued then indifferent to the incoherent challenges that you claim to face. Do not be mistaken, we face the same challenges as you. Our options are limited, as our decisions are defined by the common denominator — money. We embody the same principles; notability, respect and financial independence. If we cease to fuel the “The Industry”, just as a glass of water with a hole, it will be drained out of existence if it is not continuously replenished.
Remember this, in most instances, we are three things; an incubator, a platform and a haven – with a goal to nurture talent, provide a space to showcase it and a place to protect it. Granted, we are motivated by our necessity to survive and thrive, but I question how are our ambitions different to yours?
To simplify and repeat; Our first priority is to exist, our second priority is to live, our third is to preserve our existence.
As I utter these words, I hear the growing growls of the word ‘Responsibility’, allow me to retort ‘To whom much is given, much will be required.’
Any joint venture will and must acknowledge that in a society where life is considered a constant negotiation and not a right, the arts are will be a luxury. Political attempts to create an economy out of the arts’ such as ‘Creative Industries’ are deceptive, there is an unprecedented amount of arts that operate on a charity basis. This does not support the fight for arts education and practices as a justifiable career path. The harsh reality is that everything must be monetised, even dependency. The only difference between us “The Industry” and practitioners is that we are under no disillusion of our mode of existence. Just like diversity, charity cannot be demanded, unless you are in a position to enforce it.
Consequently, your existence is best negotiated by your own hands, heed our warning, ignorance is not bliss when each decision dictates your choice between eating and working. Whatever is offered is an investment, not a gift, therefore we support opportunities for mass appeal or at the very least active audiences. Innovation may birth occupation, however, monetisable equity preserves activity.
As the division of “us and them” continues, the ridicule of those whom attempt to empower themselves through business strategies continue. To paraphrase one of your own, we will take you ask far as your vision can see, treat you as well as you treat yourselves, value you as much as you value yourselves and negotiate as far as your contributions take you. Beyond that, it is our grace and benevolence that powers our relationship and that is at our discretion and comes with interest, this is business not personal.
Arriving empty handed with an expectation of power, majority equity and autonomy is untenable.’
Written by: The Adv__
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In partnership w/ Shades of Noir