Over the past two days I’ve been invited to a think tank discussing culture, arts and local development. With local, they were thinking of culture and arts outside the larger metropolitan areas of Sweden.

The group was consisting of artists, cultural professionals, bureaucrats and one business representatives (me alone).

Yesterday evening one of the professionals who is an acclaimed art critique gave an opening remark concerning quality and the conversation went into the fact that great art has an ability to exist no matter policy, financial support, infrastructure etc. I started to push the people on how to design support structures such as what we are talking about – Arterial, Godown, arts and business arenas, advocacy groups etc – and how we try to design activities and programs to support the development of the cultural sector – i.e. that somehow great artists emerge producing or challenging us or just makes us feel new sensations and broadens our minds.

If great and qualitative art will be created no matter what we do then what should we do?

The critiques reply was that our duty is to remove hurdles and obstacles for artistic expressions rather than try to create systems or structures that seek proactively induce greatness or quality.

For me, this was an eye opener. Thinking of what we aim to do in Kenya/ East Africa, having a mindset aiming to remove obstacles rather than seeking to push for something is a subtle thought that I think we should be aware of and try to think of as we move forward.

Does this make sense? Feel I need a bit more time to think on this and understand what this eye opener really is about for me…


/Pratik Vithlani

AuthorCato Litangen