Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Reminder to self: creativity and recession

A few days back when I was walking home I listened to this here:

And I came up with a fabulous research project. Not quite sure with whom, how funded and how to be specified.

But it is about popular culture, the arts and recession. It is about the flip side to some of the comments I've been hearing: how great a recession is for good art. Just look at all the great music that came out of the late 70s, early 80s.

Hm... True: great music. But at the same time: crisis can go terribly wrong all the same. So, those who see it as opportunity need to have good plans, networks, and ways of doing in place to see some of that through.

I've been meeting a few new people recently who are working on fascinating projects around labour, employment, social relations and stuff. Some of them are historians. So, maybe there's something be done along the lines of oral history here. One of the ideas I had been kicking about with colleagues for some time is a project on how understandings and practices of works have been changing across generations in places like Glasgow. Both of these songs, Billy Bragg* and The Clash pick up on the stuff that is so prevalent now: to try and turn (un)employment into individual achievement, aspiration and employability - and the lack of it into incompetency, laziness etc. But, perhaps just as what is going to happen here over the near future, the late 1970s of course where a time where unemployment could not be reduced to immoral fecklessness.

But - as the half-cooked note to self that this currently is - have another song I've been trying to get into some of my academic work for a while. And this would be the place.

* Well, this is off topic but still firmly my Billy Bragg favourite, and with Kirsty MacColl even better:

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