International culture strategy: survey

We are seeking views to inform the development of a strategy to support the international aspirations and potential of Scotland’s culture sector.

6. Current pressures, challenges and opportunities

Rising costs are hampering the ability of the culture sector to recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The UK's departure from the EU adds a further level of challenge, particularly in terms of international working. While the development of international activity might not directly help to address the immediate pressures facing the sector, it might form part of a longer term approach to supporting recovery, future development and future resilience.

The Covid-19 pandemic, while hugely disruptive and an existential threat to many organisations, did provide impetus to develop new ways of taking work to audiences both domestically and internationally through digital means. We want to explore your views on how such activity may develop and to what extent it is a challenge or an opportunity.

It is not clear if we are yet seeing the full impact of having left the EU on the sector's activity. Disruption to work, both domestically and internationally, by the pandemic followed by current cost pressures may have masked any distinct impacts caused by Brexit. We know though that important sources of support for international exchange and collaboration, principally the EU's Creative Europe programme, have been lost, and that Scottish cultural organisations no longer have unhindered access to the EU's single market for touring or other activity. The end of free movement of people between the EU and UK has also restricted the ability of creative professionals from the EU to work in Scotland, which is likely to be impacting the sector's ability to access the skills it requires. This strategy will explore ways in which specific challenges caused by leaving the EU might be addressed.

Scotland's culture sector has a significant role to play in Scotland's reputation as a forward-looking nation. However, we also must recognise that our past is not universally positive and that our legacy includes the historic injustices of the transatlantic slave trade and our contribution to global warming. The recommendations set out by the steering group of the national project Empire, Slavery and Scotland's Museums could give our museums the opportunity to be international change-makers, demonstrating how to face our history responsibly and lead the way to a fairer society.

Finally, this strategy must consider climate impact and the ways in which international engagement might help or hinder efforts to achieve net zero. Cultural activity can be a way of communicating and exploring such challenges, but there is also a challenge in ensuring that international activity is undertaken in a way that is as sustainable as possible.

Question 14: In what ways can international activity help to mitigate current challenges? (e.g Brexit, pandemic, cost crisis)

Question 15: Are there particular challenges that leaving the EU has caused to your international activity?

Question 16: If so, in what ways might this strategy seek to address those challenges?

Question 17: Are there new ways that you have begun to engage internationally or ways in which you wish to do so?

  • Yes, I have begun to engage internationally in new ways
  • No, I have not begun to engage internationally in new ways but I aspire to in the future
  • No, I do not wish to engage internationally in new ways

Please could you explain your choice.

Question 18: What are your views on how this strategy should consider the impact of international activities on climate change?

Question 19: How would you like this strategy to further the aspiration of handling historic injustices responsibly?



Back to top