Cultural Resilience in the Arts – 2021 Themes

Cultural Resilience in the Arts - 2021 SXSW Theme

This year our festivals and conference will be hosted on a digital platform from March 16-20 with attendees and speakers from all over the world ready to explore what’s next in the worlds of film, culture, music, and technology. At SXSW Online, Conference sessions will span seven themes, including: Cultural Resilience in the Arts.

Great art often thrives in times of turmoil and chaos. How will the eruption of creativity we are currently seeing across music, film, experiential, written, and visual arts impact our culture for the next decade and beyond? Highlighted below are a few sessions covering the future of art.

Emerging to Mainstream: Africa's Newfound Success

Having successfully bridged the culture gap, the African music market has found a way to produce top-charting hits that resonate with global audiences. With a population of over 1 billion, Africa has always been referenced for its market potential but continuously blocked by infrastructure barriers that stem primarily from a lack of accessibility to & affordability of digital music. However, as more African governments recognize the value of African creative industries and major players from the US invest in resources to support the emerging music market, the African music industry has started to position itself for widespread success.

Speakers: Elizabeth Eason (Vydia, Inc.), Peter Tega Oghenejobo (Mavin Records), Ikenna Nwagboso (emPawa Africa), Charlotte Bwana (Audiomack)

Impact Global VOD: Films Free for Good

VOD audiences aren’t typically renting or buying most indies, especially documentaries. And corporate worldwide VOD streaming giants are licensing fewer independent films. But if critical films are not seen, no impact is made—nothing changes. Which international VOD platforms and financial sources can filmmakers avail themselves of to achieve impact-oriented distribution? This panel will discuss how to distribute docs in a way that treats VOD as part of a robust impact campaign strategy, including how to reach audiences, impact the planet via global VOD exhibition on numerous international platforms, and get financial support from philanthropic and/or responsible corporate sources.

Speakers: Wendy Bernfeld (Rights Stuff), Orly Ravid (The Film Collaborative), Tracie Holder (Means of Productions), Yi Chen (C35 Films)

Dissent, Art, and Revolution

Artistic expression has shaped cultures all over the world, especially during times of turmoil and chaos. For people living under authoritarian regimes, art is a powerful tool in expressing dissent, and taking a stand against oppression. It is through art and creativity that people living under these regimes are able to stretch their civic imagination and envision an alternative life. By showing people that freedom and a democratic future is possible, dissident art drives movements in their efforts to bring about change. Art also creatively exposes human rights abuses that otherwise would be ignored, impacting global culture and politics. This panel will feature a variety of artists to discuss the role of art in challenging authoritarianism for the next decade and beyond.

Speakers: Badiucao 巴丢草 (Badiucao), Hajooj Kuka (Refugee Club), Celine Assaf-Boustani (Human Rights Foundation), Tania Bruguera (Estudio Bruguera)

Explore all seven conference themes and browse all Cultural Resilience in the Arts sessions.

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From March 16-20, experience Conference sessions and Keynotes, music showcases, film screenings, world-class networking, online exhibitions, networking events, mentor sessions, professional development, and more, all in a digital setting. SXSW Comedy Festival content will be announced as we get closer to the March event.

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By Hailey Hess