The Value of Culture: Beyond GDP

Cultural and creative industries make a significant contribution to the EU’s GDP. Photo: EnvironmentBlog, FlickrCoinciding with the opening of the European Culture Forum in Brussels, Monday 4th November saw the publication of a Eurobarometer survey on the cultural access and participation of nearly 27,000 citizens from across the EU. The survey was conducted by the European Commission. Although results differ substantially from country to country, the overall trend to emerge is that fewer Europeans are taking part in cultural activities compared to six years ago. The Culture Forum, organised and funded by DG Education and Culture, provided a timely opportunity for stakeholders and experts to discuss the challenges facing culture, as well as to consider possible solutions.

By Hazel Davies

Beyoncé & Jay Z: Celebrity, Culture and Politics?

Beyoncé and Jay Z meet Barack Obama. Photograph: Scout TufankjianThey are the ultimate “power-couple” in music. Both of them global icons in culture and ranked by business magazine Forbes as the number 1 highest earning celebrity couple in 2012/2013, as well as individually being ranked as #4 and #32 on the list of most influential celebrities. As the Jay Z and Beyoncé brand has grown into a giant in music and entertainment the Carter-Knowles’ cultural influence seems on its way to becoming a force in politics, both as a couple as well as individuals. But can their persuasion really build a nation?

By Erik Roshagen