Monday, February 17, 2014

The blue and the red and the green

Will the three main political parties issue cultural policies for this year's election? Maybe, maybe not. Most of them are still riding on policies set in 2011 and from these quick and dirty word clouds you can see there's not much between them.  All of them tend to speak through the language of economics throwing around incentives, sectors, initiatives, production and occasionally, jobs.

Over the last couple of years National has actioned its obsession with commemorating war and funding war memorials while at the same time fretting over and massaging the commercial movie industry. Unfortunately National’s Minister for Culture and Heritage Chris Finlayson is not really an arts guy and definitely not keen on anything contemporary. He's on record as declaring against “gloomy art”. The Minister for Culture & Heritage has only made one speech on the subject in the last 12 months and that was at Ralph Hotere’s funeral back on 28 Feb last year. 

Meanwhile Labour is pretty much settled in the same middle ground as the blue people arts wise while the Greens look like they aspire to a more local community focus (where do they get these ideas from?). Can we expect cultural innovation this election? No sign of it yet but hope springs etc etc.