New research on COVID-19’s economic effect is released by UNESCO and the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi: Over 10 million jobs and a 40% loss in income were lost as a result of the pandemic.

The paper examines the effects of COVID-19 across all cultural domains and finds that culture was one of the most severely affected industries globally, with more than 10 million jobs lost in 2020 alone and a 20–40% decline in sector-wide income.

Additionally, the sector’s Gross Value Added (GVA) decreased by 25% in 2020. While the majority of the industry faced a steep drop, internet publishing and audiovisual platforms grew as a result of the pandemic’s greater dependence on digital material.

The paper also outlines significant worldwide trends that are altering the cultural industry and suggests fresh, integrated policy orientations and tactics to aid in the resurgence and sustainability of the industry.

“Even if the research emphasises how the pandemic has affected cultural sectors all around the world, we are positive about how we, as a worldwide community of cultures, may advance.

What the research suggests in terms of directions and tactics that will help sculpt the sector into one that is robust and sustainable for future generations is more significant than the results themselves “said DCT Abu Dhabi Chairman HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak.

Our partnership with UNESCO and Abu Dhabi’s involvement in the report’s creation “solidify our commitment to establish concepts and policies that will assist the cultural industry in the United Arab Emirates and worldwide,” the statement reads. says the statement.

Shifts in the cultural value chain

The publication emphasizes the need for an integrated approach to the recovery of the culture sector and calls for a re-framing of the value of and support for culture as a crucial foundation for a more diverse and sustainable society using data from more than 100 industry reports, 40 expert interviews, and economic analyses.

The paper also underlines larger changes in cultural production and consumption, particularly as a result of the pandemic’s faster digitalization of cultural outputs. Globally, the digital creative economy generated $2.7 billion in income in 2020, or more than 25% of the total.

A danger to the variety of artistic expression and culture as a whole

Cultural diversity has come under threat from the epidemic. Numerous artists and cultural professionals have left the field as a result of the increased precarity of freelancers’ and cultural workers’ livelihoods and the escalation of long-standing disparities in terms of gender and disadvantageous groups in society.

This has weakened the diversity of cultural expressions. For instance, as a result of COVID-19, 64% of independent contractors in Latin America’s cultural industry lost more than 80% of their revenue.

Redefining the culture sector’s place on the public agenda

According to the research, the end of the epidemic offers a critical opportunity to place culture on the public agenda and increase its value as a universal public benefit.

It mentions how the epidemic led to a greater understanding of the cultural sector’s social significance and role in promoting both individual and societal well-being as well as sustainable development. In fact, the G20 incorporated culture in policy deliberations for the first time in 2020, and the research claims that it is crucial to seize the momentum in the world.

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