Transition Countries Have Tremendous Amount of Creative Potential

Ragnar Siil, Creative And Cultural Sectors Specialist, EU-EaP Culture And Creativity Programme, about the creative power of the transition countries, which is often underused

Many countries that are in the faces of development, they have lots of problems. That’s very natural. But something that those countries all have is they have a tremendous amount of creativity. Just look around those countries, not only the heritage, where we come from, the roots, the fantastic museums and what people have done here for thousands of years, but look at the culture that is living today, look at from musicians, and designers, and architects, look at the street art, look at the young people, look at the niches, look at the underground culture. It’s public, it’s happening here. And this is creative power, it’s a potential, which is often underused, and often even seen as a problem, as a nuisance, something that, you know, makes more troubles. And this is so wrong.


I worked here in Ukraine, in Georgia, and in other countries, with cultural activists, on the ground, people that do not represent governmental institutions, they are not paid by public money, but I must say that I’ve never seen in my life such a level of activism, such a level of readiness to contribute without many money, without asking for something, really simply from the need to contribute to the development of the country. It’s such a potential to use. And often they are on the sideline, often they are not taken seriously – whether they are groups of architects that are going around country and looking at how cities can use the public space in such a way which would encourage innovation, public involvement, new innovative business models; whether it is designers that look at how Ukrainian companies, for example, could increase their international competitiveness by product development, of using new solutions. Another area, for example, is how can we combine the IT potential with culture and creativity. We know that the most, the single most fastest growing creative industry, the sector, in Europe is games industry. New aps, new solutions, new games. Fantastic! Now if you look at the potential here, in the Eastern partnership countries, this is incredible what you have here!


New aps to the market…, yes, you already have couple of success stories, but you could not only duplicate, you know, you can have ten times more of those. And that means again more potential for those people, more jobs, more growth for the government, the country. So I think, you know, these are the areas that need to be looked more carefully.

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