Cultural Commons

Cultural Commons

A New Perspective on the Production and Evolution of Cultures

Edited by Enrico Bertacchini, Giangiacomo Bravo, Massimo Marrelli and Walter Santagata

This compelling book offers a fresh and novel approach to study cultural and artistic expression from the perspective of ‘the commons’. It demonstrates how identifying cultures as shared resources is useful in eliciting the main factors and social dilemmas affecting the production and evolution of cultural expression.

Chapter 5: Overlapping Cultural Commons and Districts in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area

Clara Bocchino and Michael Murphree

Subjects: economics and finance, cultural economics

Extract

: potentials for local economic development Clara Bocchino and Michael Murphree INTRODUCTION 1 In the plethora of applications of commons theory, the rise of cultural commons as a specific research field reflects the acknowledgment that various aspects come together when we try to analyze relationships in a given physical or virtual context. As pointed out in the first chapter of this volume, in fact, cultural commons may be analyzed and defined according to three dimensions: culture, space and community. Likewise, in the case analyzed in this contribution, with reference to the communities living in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA), the synergy between social capital (culture) and natural capital (the environment) is so inevitable that a cultural commons could not flourish otherwise. Moreover, the development of such cultural commons into an institutionalized cultural district, based on the European experience, is but the “formalization” of a natural process, whose resilience to exogenous forces and changes have been tried by historical processes. This formalization may not be sufficient to promote local economic development when interacting with development projects or centralized planning that occur in the cultural district, yet outside the sphere of decision making of the primary stakeholders: the makers of the district. This chapter is based on years of fieldwork (in the East Southern African region), seeking to explore the nexus between cultural commons and cultural districts on the theoretical level, and suggests the possibility of a new subcategory of “cultural district”, based on a very localized, yet long-term, observation process....

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