As Creative Sydney’s opening night demonstrated, it’s not always easy being creative in Sydney – not everyone wants to listen, and not everyone cares what you have to say. Unless you’re a fashion designer from Bronte with a rosy perspective and a slideshow of your favourite things.
Guests coming to the Creative Sydney launch expecting booze and a schmooze, found themselves listening to an hour of talks on stage, as participants of the Three Minute Sydney showcase, briefly shared their perspective. Among the participants who gallantly battled against the noise from the bar area, was a representative from Milk Crate Theatre, speaking about confronting and inspiring stories from the streets, from the most abused Sydney contingent. Well, not many launches juxtapose this uncomfortable reality with an audience more interested in getting a Boags. But since Milk Crate theatre, and many other non-profit arts organisations in Sydney, face this on a daily basis, I’d say the night was effective from an audience point of view.
Some important issues were raised by Mickie Quick (Squatspace, Guerilla Gardners), about accessibility and the arts: the artists who contribute to the culturation of a suburb, and its subsequently increased value, are often forced out to the city fringes, by soaring rents and the gentrification of space. Also highlighted was the idea that an event like Sydney Film Festival is so expensive that if you live outside the middle-class demographic, you have more chance of starring in one of their gritty documentaries than watching one. I’m not sure if there is supposed to be a villain in this scenario – if there is, then I don’t know who. Perhaps its enough to just acknowledge the irony and inequity of the situation.