The SSLIS Seminar | Josefine Wikström, Gustav Strandberg, Kim West (SH)
Critique of the Freedom of Art.
Presentation of the book Critique of the Freedom of Art, a response to the much-discussed report Så fri är konsten (This Is How Free Art Is) by the Swedish Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis. In Critique of the Freedom of Art, Gustav Strandberg, Kim West, and Josefine Wikström show that the Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis does not have grounds for its claim that there “does in fact occur” an excessive political governance of publicly financed cultural activities, mainly at national level. Critique of the Freedom of Art instead poses a series of critical questions: How should we understand the concept of the “freedom of art” under contemporary conditions? What are the relations between that concept and the field of the “creative industries”? What does the metaphor of the “arm’s length” actually mean? And what would be the political implications of a rigorous understanding of the “freedom of art”? At a more fundamental level, Critique of the Freedom of Art wants to contribute to opening a discussion about what a long-term, progressive, and anti-racist cultural policy could be in Sweden today, in a situation where conservative, xenophobic, and anti-intellectual forces are gaining an ever increasing political influence.