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JUNK STATUS – Different Futures, Different Opportunities? Panel Presentation, supported by a discussion note, facilitated by Business and Arts South Africa (NPC)

An exploration of arts funding opportunities in South Africa.

Given the recent conferral of junk status on South Africa, Business and Arts South Africa asks the question what does this mean for the cultural sector in real terms, as we move into the future? How does the status impact on the economy, the politics, and specifically the daily survival of cultural entrepreneurs and practitioners? What are different financial models and scenarios that the creative sector will be required to engage with? Scenario Planning is not a prediction but describes “possible pathways into a future” or futures. When we describe the ‘future’, to what end is the word a verb, or an action, as opposed to a noun, as suggested by Futurist Ari Wallach. As a verb, ‘futures’ becomes a proactive, actionable series of opportunities, for cultural practitioners to engage in.

JUNK STATUS OVERVIEW

Yacoob Abba Omar, Senior General Manager of Strategy and Communications at the Banking Association of South Africa, breaks down the economic and political results of the status amendment. This overview will consider timelines for impact, unexpected outcomes, comparative countries, and possibilities for being upgraded out of junk status. What could the cultural sector potentially offer of value to broader society, in this time? What is the immediate impact on perception and morale, and what might longer term and real outcomes be?

Luiz Coradazzi, Director of Arts at British Council São Paulo, Brazil, will consider the parallels between South Africa and Brazil, with an analysis of the Latin American context and how an over-connected world is affecting local cultural scenes. He will also give an overview of some of the public debates and initiatives currently taking place in Brazil to address the crisis.

“Futures are never given. They are created.”

OPEN THE CONVERSATION

How then could we (as a sector) consider positioning our sector in response to these futures? How could the cultural sector approach both public and private sector to ensure continued support for society?

Based on what we understand from the above, how will this impact directly on the creative sector? Taking guidance from the original Dinokeng Scenarios for 2020, which described three different scenarios for the country, we have chosen three potential funding scenarios and will look at them through the lens of our learning on junk status as an economic “driver”:

1. NO PUBLIC SECTOR FUNDING, ONLY PRIVATE SECTOR FUNDING

This potential future speaks to “Creative Entrepreneurs” and a context with a high tolerance for risk and scalable work. It is underscored by:

2. COMBINATION OF PUBLIC SECTOR & PRIVATE SECTOR FUNDING

This speaks to two possible futures “Creative Survivors”, underscored by:

And “Creative Partners”, underscored by:

3. NO FUNDING

This potential future speaks to “Creative Communities”, underscored by: