Sutrop: COVID-19 scientific council could have culture representative

Margit Sutrop.
Margit Sutrop. Source: ERR

Culture representatives explained the sector's future and gave examples of the role of culture in livening up the economy at a meeting with MPs on Wednesday. Member of the Riigikogu Cultural Affairs Committee Margit Sutrop described the meeting as necessary and facilitating a shift in cast of mind.

Sutrop said that the meeting with culture representatives was sorely needed. "There might have even been a shift in mentality in terms of culture being an investment as opposed to a support recipient," she said, adding that because culture has been among the more invisible victims of the coronavirus, the COVID-19 scientific advisory council could include culture and economic representatives. "That would help us see the big picture."

"We agreed that there could be regular communication for closer cooperation and better exchange of information with the Riigikogu Cultural Affairs Committee where we can hear ideas from various representatives of the field of culture and better involve them in legislation," Sutrop remarked, stressing that communication is not currently missing, while it might be too slow today, with sides unable to factor in different perspectives. "We could pursue closer cooperation and find new formats," she said.

"I believe that one important thing when discussing the new culture development plan is to consider the new generation right away representatives of which have a different attitude to how culture is created and consumed," the Reform MP said, adding that the meeting made her realize culture policy is not a thing in itself. "To take new steps in the field of culture, we need to understand that culture policy is also education policy, economic policy and integration policy."

Head of the Storytek Innovation Studio Sten-Kristian Saluveer emphasized that looking at the big picture, culture does not stand alone. "What we wanted to show at the meeting is that culture is a load-bearing pillar or foundation on which various services in other sectors rely," he said. Saluveer added that Estonia finds itself in an unprecedented situation where moneys is no longer a problem. "Looking at the big picture, there is a lot of money in the world. The question is how to access that money."

"If Estonia's recent culture policy has concentrated on retrospection, how to maintain our roots and carry Estonianness forward that way, seizing new opportunities has not been a political priority," he said, stressing that we can, nevertheless, see Estonian video game companies, mobile services companies and culture tech companies cropping up. "If we want to participate in this global game, it first requires corresponding political will in which regard Commissioner Andrus Ansip's work in creating the so-called common digital market has served as a strong foundation," Saluveer suggested.

"We should be clear and say that we want to participate in the global game and create corresponding capacity on the legislative level, policymaking or culture ministry level and finally the community level to bring those resources to Estonia," the head of Storytek said.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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