Our Desk | Restrained creativity

Renato Marques

The call for the development in Macau of the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) has been championed by various residents and acted upon in the government’s policy and by officials at several levels.

Building and bolstering the creative industries in Macau seems to be “one of the priorities” of the central government in order to achieve its goal “of turning Macau into a World Center for Tourism and Leisure (WCTL),” however, according to the most recent orders from mainland, apparently the MSAR government has misinterpreted the word “incentive.”

As seems to happen very often with many other initiatives, the time that it has taken to plan the initiatives has been drawn out and they have been implemented across society in an ineffectual manner.

In my naiveté I was hoping to see something done at a fundamental level in society to promote CCI, such as changes to the education system (or similar). I was hoping for more time dedicated to the arts in its many forms, to thinking, and to a valorization of what is new.

Instead, we were given initiatives that invest public funds into private companies in order to stimulate people to establish other companies that promote more companies. Sounds confusing? Good! Because it is confusing!

Honestly, I do not think that the system that has been in place deserves much of my time and as such, it isn’t even the main focus of this article.

What I want to talk about is education and breaking it down to its most important form: schools.

What has changed in schools for the last 50 years? Small details, maybe, a few subjects that changed designations although the content continues to be generally the same. We have seen the introduction of a longer and more strenuous timetable! What else, though? Not much, right?

I would risk saying that schools today are 80 to 90 percent the same when compared to what they were in our parents’ time, or even in our grandparents’ time.

So how can we develop a new society with new (and creative) ideas if we continue to be focused entirely on the mechanisms of a hundred-year-old system?

What we need today, to achieve our “given goals,” is simply new knowledge and new ideas to test new solutions for both the new problems and the old ones we have yet to solve.

Of course, nurturing an enhanced value of concept and design, seems to be totally incompatible with a system based on the positivism and functional mechanism.

But still we base everything on a binary system of “yes or no”, “on or off”, because we want to be assured of scientific certainties. We want proof, we need that proof.

As parents we do not care (or sometimes dare) to know what our children are capable of or not. We want a report with numbers (preferably close to the 100 mark) as we strive for quantity and not quality.

The same happens with the CCI. We want to have figures on number of companies created, the number of companies supported, and sums of money budgeted for that support, but we would not dare to ask if they are really working, if they are really being successful, if they are in any way sustainable and, if not, why not?

Well, in my opinion, there is a good reason for us not to ask those questions.

In fact, that was a lesson learned in many of our school systems. They taught us not to ask difficult questions and take for granted everything that we were told by our teachers. In modern days, new generations continue to do the same just resorting not to the teachers but to internet search engines.

Categories Opinion