By Edward Nawotka
Earlier this week the Argentine government announced a new fair to showcase the country’s cultural industries.
MICA (or the Mercado de Industrias Culturales Agentinas) with take place June 2-5 in Buenos Aires. MICA will showcase the best of Argentina’s publishing, video game, advertising, web development, theater design and other arts. The idea is to foster cross-platform collaboration among creatives, as well as establish a marketplace for freelancers and recent graduates looking for employment.
“In Argentina the cultural industries accounted for 3.5% of GDP in 2009 and accounted for more than 200,000 jobs,” Rodolfo Hamawi, of the culture ministry of Argentina, told Publishing Perspectives.
In BA you hear the word “philosophy” uttered more often than anywhere else in the world, particularly in relationship to cultural programs. Nothing, it seems, is executed without a well-thought out intellectual strategy. So, it should come as no surprise that the announcement was placed firmly in the philosophical context. “What we the creative industries — as the Frankfurt School, might suggest — but cultural industries,” said Hamawi. “It’s a semantics problem. We don’t want to confuse this with building cars or houses, which are also creative and industries. For MICA, we are talking about culture.”
Ultimately, the goal is to enhance cultural exports from Argentina, which in 2009 amounted to goods and services valued at $330 million.
“We want ideas to circulate and to export the ‘creative system’ of the Argentines. It’s wonderful that our Tango has been declared a part of world heritage by UNESCO, but often that is all people know and we have so much more to offer,” said Hamawi.
More information about MICA can be found online at http://www.mica.gob.ar