Creative Economy & Cultures of Production, Creativity & Cultural Labour, Cultures of Creativity

New report published highlighting possible futures for creative work after Covid-19

Dr Lauren England & Dr Roberta Comunian

We are delighted to announce that the report “Creative Work: Possible futures after Covid-19” now been published and is available to download for free.

The report, co-authored with Dr Federica Viganó (Free University of Bolzano, Italy) and Dr Jessica Tanghetti (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice), shines light further onto how the extant dynamics of creative work and employment have in many ways been doubled down on, but also highlights opportunities for new approaches and offers practical recommendations to tackle the challenges faced.

Featuring a series of interviews with researchers (including a number of CMCI staff) addressing the impact of the pandemic on creative work, the report highlights both similar and different experiences of creative and cultural workers from an international perspective, in order to extract some lessons and suggest policy directions.

Three key themes are addressed: Creative working lives and Covid-19: strategies and struggles; Collective perspectives on creative work: mobilisation, care and interconnected impacts; and Sites of creative work and Covid-19: the urban and the rural.

Learnings are presented from a range of sectors and the experiences of specific groups within industries (freelancers, self-employed, working mothers), organisations and advocacy groups (representative organisations, associations, unions and co-operatives) are considered. Different international perspectives (UK, Italy, Germany, the USA and South Africa and pan-European) are presented, exploring the dynamics of cities and rural areas, including different policy frameworks, infrastructure, spatial dimensions and networks.

Bringing together recommendations from across the featured research and with reflection on the wider impacts of Covid-19, the report makes a number of recommendations for putting creative workers at the centre of policy making:

  • It is vital that creative work is understood, recognised and valued as work.
  • Policy needs to support the diversity of creative workers and their diverse value systems, including economic, social and cultural dimensions. 
  • There is a need to allow creative workers to have a voice in policymaking, particularly at the local level.  
  • Worker-centred policy making needs to recognise and value the multiple relationships between creative workers and place (including mobilities). 
  • Emphasis needs to be placed on the care and support offered to creative workers through policies that engage with sustainable and inclusive jobs and careers.

The report’s conclusions highlight the need and potential to support creative workers in their development and employment conditions, reconsider their relationship with cities, localities and their future mobilities. It also calls for greater social and legislative recognition for creative workers, a new worker-centred approach to creative policy making and the development of more collective and care-full strategies for creative employment and creative careers.

The international workshop “Creative Work: Possible Futures after Covid-19” (4th -5th November 2021) was hosted by the Faculty of Education at the University of Bolzano in collaboration with the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries at King’s College London.

Citation for published version: England, L., Viganò, F., Comunian, R., & Tanghetti, J. (2022). Creative work: possible futures after Covid-19. franzLAB.