Independent Voices Face High Ownership Concentration: Mapping the Cultural Landscape

26 June, Reset, Brussels (BE)

Less documented than in the media landscape, the trend of concentration in the cultural sector is equally concerning.

In 2023, this predatory behaviour is evident in several areas. This is the case in the festival sector, with five major industrial groups having capital interests in approximately 150 festivals according to a study by Matthieu Barreira and Emmanuel Négrier published in the Nectart journal in 2022; in the publishing domain where “concentration has never been so significant” according to historian Jean-Yves Mollier; within the film industry, where concentration “leads to a shift in power dynamics in favour, on one hand, of these large distribution companies and, on the other hand, of large exploitation companies.”

This phenomenon leads to similar effects in these sectors: standardisation of creation, artistic homogenization, reduction of emergence, diversity, and pluralism. Faced with this trend, it is urgent to invent alternatives, based on cooperation models instead of competition.

Speakers: Sébastian Desprez (Magma, BE), Erica Pender Romero (Live DMA, ES). Moderation: Mateo Vigné (Independent Journalist, BE)

Photo: Lakshmi – Patronaat, Haarlem (The Netherlands) – 2022 © Harold Versteeg