RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2019

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371 Creative Economies in Africa: new research and policy perspectives (2): Geographies of creativity in Africa: urban, rural and beyond
Convenor(s) Roberta Comunian (King's College London, UK)
Brian Hracs (University of Southampton, UK)
Chair(s) Brian Hracs (University of Southampton, UK)
Timetable Friday 30 August 2019, Session 3 (14:40 - 16:20)
Room Sherfield/SALC Building, Read Lecture Theatre
Session abstract In recent years there has been a growing interest in the role that cultural and creative industries (CCIs) play in the Global South- in terms of their economic contribution and connections to social change and cultural engagement (UNESCO, 2013). To contribute to this field and to support related policy agendas, these three special sessions aim to bring together international researchers and policy makers engaged with understanding or developing creative economies in Africa. They engage with the following research questions: what role can CCIs play in the development of African countries? What challenges and opportunities emerge with the development of CCIs in Africa? What role can policy (national and international) play in this context? The three sessions will also feature a discussant to enable critical reflection on current research and policy initiatives. To explore these questions in greater detail, the sessions are organised around three themes:

1) The role of co-working and business development in the creative economy in Africa
2) Geographies of creativity in Africa: urban, rural and beyond
3) Creative work, mobilities and education in the development of Africa's creative industries

The special session builds on the work of an AHRC funded research network http://www.creative-economy-africa.org.uk . The sessions aim to contribute to a better understanding of the creative economies in African countries and to explore strategies to encourage and enable sustainable context-specific cultural, social and economic development. The papers and authors will be invited to share findings via the project blog and website or contribute to an edited book and policy report.
Linked Sessions Creative Economies in Africa: new research and policy perspectives (1): The role of co-working and business development in the creative economy in Africa
Creative Economies in Africa: new research and policy perspectives (3): Creative work, mobilities and education in the development of Africa's creative industries
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: ac2019@rgs.org
Cultural and Creative Clustering in Rural South Africa
Fiona Drummond (Rhodes University, South Africa)
Jen Snowball (Rhodes University, South Africa)
It is increasingly recognized that the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) can play an important role in economic growth and development. The socio-economic development potential of the CCIs has been widely acknowledged amongst developed countries since the 1990s (Flew and Cunningham, 2010). Moreover, traditional theory states that for the CCIs to promote development, they should form clusters in large metropolitan centres where they can take advantage of the various hard and soft infrastructures that the creative city has to offer (Florida, 2002; Landry, 2008). Accordingly, the majority of academic research into the CCIs has centred around cities. However, there have been several case studies in developed countries like Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Scandinavia which have found cultural and creative clusters in non-metropolitan spaces. Relatively recently, developing countries like South Africa have been implementing specific cultural development policies at the regional level that are aimed at growing the CCIs to foster economic growth and local economic development (LED). However, policy, investment and research has tended to focus on the country’s large cities. This research thus investigates whether cultural and creative clustering is possible in a rural, small town context in the developing country of South Africa.

The research started by conducted an audit of cultural and creative businesses operating in a district municipality of the Eastern Cape Province that has no large urban centres. Geographic information systems (GIS) and location quotients were then used to analyse the data and identify whether clustering has occurred based on CCI numbers within each small town. Results show that though the majority of small towns adhere to the traditional theory of being unsuited to CCI clustering, it is possible for CCI clusters to form in some small town rural areas. The potential for CCI clustering is based on the characteristics of the town rather than their physical size. These characteristics include population size, economic and social attributes such as the presence of the creative class and thus larger markets for CCI goods and services, the existence of tourism industries, greater socio-economic development levels, more tolerant atmospheres and amenities, and service centre towns with more diversified economies. The existence of CCI clusters in rural small town areas has several policy implications for culture-led development. To increase the likelihood of success, a small town should have an existing CCI cluster from which to build and should invest in those CCI domains (as defined in the UNESCO Framework, 2009), in which the town holds a comparative advantage as not all cultural domains are well suited to small town economies.
Creativity in South African Townships
Irma Booyens (Human Sciences Research Council / University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
This presentation centres on the potential and importance of creativity for townships, i.e. under-developed, marginal, peri-urban spaces (owing to the legacies of apartheid) characterised by poverty and accompanying social ills. Current policy debates in South Africa considers ways in which economic activities can be stimulated in township areas towards more inclusive urban development. Exploratory research reveals that there are examples of creativity in townships, these include creative entrepreneurs (makers of craft, design and other creative products) and those who offer creative tourism experiences (entrepreneurs who facilitate visits to artists and creative spaces along with participatory activities). In addition, creative spaces or precincts are found and several leisure activities and cultural and/or events are offered in large townships like Soweto in Johannesburg and in Cape Town (i.e. in Langa, Gugulethu, Khayelistha). These are areas frequented by international visitors, yet it is observed that locals also participate in leisure activities and events. It is argued that a focus on creativity holds potential for stimulating economic opportunities in townships and contribute to physical upgrading, i.e. upgrading or developing public spaces and facilities, creative spaces, infrastructure, and cultural heritage assets. This presents a rethinking of creative industries in the global South context. The literature is silent on the development, possibilities and potential pitfalls vis-à-vis creativity in peri-urban areas or those often referred to as ‘slums’.
The historical evolution of the cultural and creative economy in the North-West Province, South Africa: implications for contemporary policy?
James Drummond (North-West University, South Africa)
The cultural and creative economy is increasingly viewed as a crucial driver of economic growth and employment in an otherwise moribund South African economy. This paper presents research on the nature and extent of the cultural and creative economy in the non-metropolitan spaces of the North-West province of South Africa. The historical development of cultural production and employment is reviewed. The period of the Bophuthatswana Bantustan; 1977 to 1994, which was largely re-incorporated into the North-West province of South Africa in 1994, is significant in terms of offering an explanation of contemporary cultural production and employment. The policies underlying the expansion of the creative economy in Bophuthatswana are analysed, as are the reasons for the subsequent demise of the sector in the transition to a post-apartheid South Africa. The opportunity to revive the legacy resources of this era, are debated in the light of current economic development strategies in the North-West province.
WITHDRAWN - New Lens: Shifting the Focus of Nairobi’s CCIs to Creative City making
Melissa Ulrike Ommeh (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa)
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Discussant
Roberta Comunian (King's College London, UK)
Discussant