The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) defines culture as a “set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual, and emotional features of society or a social group, and that it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs.”
In that sense, and as I already said to the Huffington Post in my 2018 interview: ¨States who are afraid of their own citizens being culturally acquainted, show their own lack of assertiveness. ¨
Why, then, are there states who still make it difficult for their citizens to be culturally acquainted? Why are there countries that make war and destroy their own cultural assets? Why was Alexandria´s library burned down in ancient Egypt, and we keep repeating the same disaster over, and over, again?
Well, it turns out that culture actually IS VERY IMPORTANT. Not only to define our society, but also to give a value to the system we live in. To open minds and have an opinion on politics and religion. To bring emotions to our spirit and detach us from the state of numbness our governments insist on keeping us as citizens of our mega technified modern life.
So how do we give a value to culture, monetize this given value, and make a profitable business out of it?
As a mentor of small and medium cultural businesses I have realized that even though creation is a result of free of charge heavenly inspiration, it provides good energy, it heals the soul, and therefore it also generates an industry, so it has a price.
During Covid times that price was difficult to adjust, since a lot of cultural events were spontaneously poping out of online profiles like mushrooms.
Most of them for free, and just trying to reach out to the world with technologies that had to leverage to the new situation, such as IGTV (Instagram live shows) for example.
However, culture proved to be so meaningful that it was a neverending content creator, both individually and collectively. New music videos, museum online tours, educational tutorials, audible books, etc. kept us home with a smile, and our spirits high.
Also businesses build their own professional culture with their own sets of values, rules and regulations that provide a certain additional value to their products and services.
The same way, families and friends have their own special identity and culture that provides their own distinctive behaviours.
So then, if it is so important, why is culture regarded as a complicated business to make a living from? Why dont we protect it more? Why do we pay our doctors a huge amount of money, but complain about having to pay for a live concert?
Some may say doctors study for many years, know many scientific tricks, and save our lives. But I see artists doing exactly the same: studying how to play an instrument for many years, know a lot of melody tricks, and save our souls.
If you ask me, I think we need to review our priorities. We need to educate our children to enjoy culture, and value it accordingly.
Pay an artist like a doctor. Countries like France, Germany, and Sweden have done it, and they enjoy a very healthy cultural environment, from bohemian artists to officially supported goverment venues programs.
Let´s love our culture, and protect it, so that no more wars remove our cultural heritage from us. Never again.