The global pandemic has impacted the creative industries in Saudi Arabia: but the positive effects have outweighed the negative ones
LONDON, Oct. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In Saudi Arabia, the cultural and arts scene is a strong one. But the creative industries are also forward looking with a focus on digital technology, industrial product design, and telecommunications.
The Saudi government deliberately encourages the creative industries as it continues its diversification away from oil-based revenues. The creative industries are also seen as a medium of cultural exchange, a way of normalising Saudi culture in the eyes of other countries and developing relations with the rest of the world.
As a result, considerable investment is going into the creative industries. One of the largest investments is Saudi Aramco's gift to the Kingdom of Ithra, an iconic building housing cultural exhibitions and workspaces. The organisation's aim is simple: "to enrich culture, art, and society".
Until the start of 2020, the creative industries were growing rapidly. But then COVID-19 struck, and Saudi Arabia was affected as badly as anywhere. Some types of artistic endeavour such as film making and dance became impossible. And theatres and galleries shut, obliterating traditional revenue routes for many artists.
But there were benefits too. The difficulties caused by the pandemic forced the arts and culture community to become more innovative about how they created and shared their artefacts. The inevitable move online has democratised art and culture, making it available to millions who previously would have found it difficult to visit galleries, museums and other cultural venues.
Despite the pandemic, culture and creative industries remain strong. The government of Saudi Arabia has shown a strong determination to support arts and culture in the kingdom. As the world evolves, Saudi Arabia is transforming at an even greater pace. Culture is central to that change.
To learn more about arts and culture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, read the full article.
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