Panel discussion with researchers Anamik Saha and Oli Mould chaired by Caspar Melville
I started an MA in Global Creative and Cultural Industries at SOAS, University of London in October 2021. As part of one of my practical modules, I decided to research careers in the cultural sector and, alongside fellow student Philipp Schütz, I put on a series of events inviting researchers and practitioners to talk about their careers.
The first of these events was a Panel Discussion with two academics: Anamik Saha and Oli Mould, chaired by our programme leader, Caspar Melville.
Here’s What I Learned
In my modules I had been drawn to Anamik’s critiques of the current diversity agenda and Oli’s critique that the very concept of creativity had been co-opted by neoliberal thinking. But the question always lingering in my mind was: how can I, as a professional about to enter the industry, resist these forces and work towards something better?
I concluded that I have to live with contradiction and ambivalence; that there is always good and bad and to some extent I will have to work with and probably within systems that I dislike. But that doesn’t mean I should ‘give up’ or ‘sell out’ on my principles. I should bring them to whatever roles I might find myself in. I can play the system to my advantage and I should see value in even the smallest acts of resistance.
So moving forward, I hope to feel less self-conscious or guilty for taking on commercial work or being the token woman of colour in the room. Maybe they bring opportunities to subvert what is expected of me, channel finance into projects I believe in, or bring alternative thinking into conventional spaces.
Event Photography by Philipp Schütz