“Capture the soul of the city and enrich it. This is how to make a city attractive—and ready for the future.”
Expectations around the table
The group, with representatives from various fields, appears to be in positive agreement on being invited to a conversation dedicated to film and moving image in the urban space, and in supporting film as cultural expression and activity to gain admission to that space. Curiosity surrounding the potential contribution of film was great. The participants came to listen, but also expecting to network and collaborate.
The creative policy gap
The level of interest was clearly keen, since the issue What must be done? was framed immediately. What is needed? How do we activate the city, our spaces? What can the city do to make this possible? Right away, these questions were laid on the table. Several participants brought up examples of how they work with the interplay of culture and industry. A clear interest was expressed for cultural input in construction processes. There were, however, also examples of the complications involved. The concept the creative policy gap, borrowed from human geography, was introduced to describe the gap between the creative classes and positions of political power in the city regarding the understanding of culture and its uses.
Film as a source of local identity
During the conversation, the question of the role of film and moving image in our shared spaces was discussed. Marketing and profiling aspects were mentioned, along with film as a source of local identity. The importance of developing methods for co-creation and participation is emphasized as crucial in achieving values that strengthen democracy. Several participants highlighted the ability of film, through its low threshold, to reach a wide audience among residents. In this way, film can function as a force for many different purposes—social encounters, shared experiences, recognition, inclusion and personal creation and screening.
Temporary and permanent
A notion regarding public art is that it is permanently installed. The major rethinking that has occurred in this area is addressed in the conversation. Instead we now we refer to the tension between the temporary and the permanent, as reflected in film as art form.
The conversation provided many examples of the problems in matching property owners and public spaces with those who need these locations to make their cultural presence known. There was a call for greater insight and understanding of how a short-term lease could make a huge difference, of how a low-use space could be activated relatively cheaply and experienced more positively by residents. The provision of financial resources and concessions was called for, as well as also insight, dialogue, knowledge—and closer collaboration.
The importance of social sustainability for the city’s residents and visitors and a sustainable work situation for the creative class were the two aspects regarding sustainability that were most prominent in the conversation. A third aspect was concerned with the high-priority goals of property owners to create safe, secure environments and the role that culture might play in this through, e.g. lighting, social events and public art.