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Platform Paper 40
To celebrate ten years of Platform Papers, tracking the cultural thinking of the nation, we have invited Wesley Enoch, a theatre artist and Nunuccal Nuugi man from Stradbroke Island, to define what we mean by cultural leadership; and to ruminate on where to find it. With the growth of government-led cultural patronage, have we obscured the core reasons why the arts exist? Have the voices of the mob, the dissenters and the rambunctious opposition been corralled into an official culture? ‘I am sick of hearing we’re not good enough, we don’t do enough for artists, we need more money. Where are the visionaries? Artists are amongst the best qualified people to imagine a future, the ones who can carry the creative dreams of a nation. But where are you? Government champions the arts more than artists do, he says. Enoch finds the arts community ridden with mistrust, and fearful of those who speak out. Australia, he concludes, is in great need of cultural leadership; of a fresh force to challenge thinking and gather confidence, to speak out as citizens in the national interest. But where to look? He finds the answer close to home.
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Dear Australian Theatre Artists,
Do you want the nation to be different to what it is now? Can you see an alternative world? Where are you in it? Where are these visionaries? Artists are amongst the best qualified people to imagine a future, the ones who can carry the creative dreams of a nation. But where are you? I know it’s not easy. I know the decision to be an artist does not guarantee the trappings you equate with success or influence but that does not excuse you from articulating a role in making this country the best you can imagine it to be. Are you fulfilling your role in our community?
I’m looking for Cultural Leadership. Do you know where I should look?