“Every year, creative work brings joy, well-being and new ideas to Finland in addition to approximately 8 billion euros. In addition, it is a globally recognised growth industry that cannot be replaced by robots. Regardless, cuts amounting to as many as tens of millions of euros will be made in the creative industries in Finland in the future. Cuts, even though investments could and should be made instead. This is something we the undersigned cannot understand. It is something we want to change,” says the appeal of the campaign’s authors.
The campaign operating under the umbrella of the Copyright Day, or ©-DAY, publishes facts* during May that make you stop and think:
- As an employer, creative industries are much larger than the forest industry, chemical industry or the electrical and electronics industry, for instance.
- The share of GDP of the creative industries is of a similar size as the electronics industry, and larger than industries such as the paper industry, restaurant and accommodation sector, agriculture or textile industry.
Even though the campaign sparks interest with the comparisons, the message is still shared with all other fields: creativity and innovations are also the key to victory for the traditional industries.
The campaign also issues a challenge to an international Finland–Sweden match. Sweden’s systematic investment policy into the creative industries has reaped rewards: 7.5% of companies operate in the field of culture, while in Finland the same figure is only 4.5%.
Dozens of creative workers and organisations are involved
Creative workers from all areas of culture have signed the campaign appeal. All citizens can also show their support for the appeal on the campaign website at https://cday.fi (in Finnish).
Signatures and shows of support are collected until the start of June. On opening day, there is already a diverse group of authors involved. Among others, they include Antti Auvinen, Apocalyptica, Mikko Harju, Hannaleena Heiska, Kari Hotakainen, Villu Jaanisoo, Kymppilinja, Mira Luoti, Tommi Läntinen, Heikki Marila, Kimmo Pohjonen, Tuija Rantalainen, Laura Sippola, Virpi Suutari, Jarkko Tontti, Olavi Uusivirta and Erika Vikman.
Eicca Toppinen from Apocalyptica tells us why he joined the campaign:
“When a band makes a record and goes on tour, it offers work for dozens or even hundreds of people: musicians, composers, mixers, and technology, marketing, construction, logistics, transport, hotel and accommodation industry professionals. This is what we mean when we say that in Finland, creativity is life. Now is the time to make investments, not cutbacks,” Toppinen says.
The writer Kari Hotakainen is thinking along the same lines.
“People think that the work of a writer is a fun hobby, but in reality, it requires a lot of tenacity and discipline. In general, the time of the coronavirus has shown that people don’t really value the work of the creative industries, or at least they don’t see it as real work. And still, the creative industry employs as many people in Finland as the forest industry,” Hotakainen says.
The visual artist Heikki Marila who is also participating in the campaign wants to remind people that culture is capital for the nation.
“Creative fields are an indicator of a society’s cultural level. Civilised states usually maintain cultural capital, which is produced by the workers in the creative industries,” Marila notes.
The director Virpi Suutari continues Marila’s ideas.
“Documentary films often discuss important social or historical topics. In addition to a memorable cultural experience, they offer knowledge and food for thought. As a film director, I don’t work alone, but with a big team. Creating a documentary film employs a large number of other professionals in the field in addition to the screenwriter, director and editor. In fact, in addition to its inherent value, culture is also very important in creating jobs, among other things,” Suutari says.
* Statistics: Report of the working group on recognising the creative sectors as a driver of Finnish economy and employment (Publications of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland 2017:18), Statistics Finland 2015, 2016 and 2020, the Finnish Forest Industries Federation 2020, Statistics Finland 2019, Myndigheten för kulturanalys 2016, Eurostat: Cultural trade 2014–2019 and the review of different industries 2019 by ETLA Economic Research (Etla).
Sari Siikasalmi, sari.siikasalmi(at)kreab.com, +358 50 352 1073
The campaign is arranged by the Tekijänoikeusakatemia ry association; its members include e.g. Teosto, Kopiosto, Gramex, Kuvasto and Sanasto. Kreab and Helsinki 14 are responsible for the practical planning and implementation.