Creative Gist: Do you Think Politics Affects the Expression of Creativity?

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Culture, history, education, and personal experiences influence how people think and act regarding politics, and it’s not uncommon to see different reactions towards the subject; disinterest, indifference, ignorance, or overzealousness. There is also the unicorn group of people who make political decisions based on an educated, balanced and healthy understanding of politics.

However, with each year that passes and a rise in inflation, injustice and other social issues that affect citizens, we find that even the most ignorant person is becoming more interested in politics and how it affects their livelihood.

In 2021, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) reported that the previous two election cycles in Nigeria recorded voters turnout to be between 30-35%. However, INEC registered 96.3 million people ahead of the 2023 election, a 13.6% increase from 84 million registered voters in 2019, and so, the percentage of voters turnout in 2023 promises to increase beyond the existing record.

It’s election weekend in Nigeria, and the Creative Gist crew asked Nigerian creatives a crucial question: do you think politics affects the expression of creativity? We also have a special guest, ChatGPT, who gained over 100 million fans in less than two months of going live, to answer this same question. Curious? Read all responses below.

Rotimi Akinola

Media Analyst

Jonathan supposedly gave the entertainment industry $200 million back in 2010. Despite the controversy surrounding the disbursement of that fund, the current explosion of Nigerian creatives in the music and movie industries cannot be isolated from such huge government funding. Politics permeates every aspect of life. Repressive regimes usually clamp down on art, while the reverse is the case for democratic administrations. Elections matter for everyone, including creatives.

Naomi Bominuru

Candlemaker & Writer

I think politics affects every industry and individual, and regarding the expression of creativity, I’ll use the lack of cash and poor electricity supply as a premise. These issues lead to an unconducive environment, so how well can a creative person express creativity in such an environment? Similarly, occurrences in one’s environment can inspire or act as a muse for creativity. For example, Chimamanda Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun discusses the political era that the writer’s parents and tribe experienced.
Basically, whether one’s environment is negative or positive, it can aid the expression of creativity or inspire creatives to write or draw something unique, but it can also stifle creativity. Lack of freedom of expression occurs in an unconducive environment. When we don't vote rightly, wrong policymakers will make policies that may affect creative careers, such as cracking down on cryptocurrency activities, which is one of the major ways remote creatives are paid. There are many other factors the leader in power can control that will restrain the expression of creativity. So yes, politics affects the expression of creativity.

ChatGPT

Chatbot

Yes, politics can affect the expression of creativity in various ways. Creative expressions often reflect the cultural and social values of a society, and politics play a major role in shaping those values. One way politics can affect creativity is through censorship and restrictions on free speech. When governments or other institutions limit what individuals can say or create, it can stifle creativity and limit the diversity of voices in artistic expression. Politics can also affect creativity through funding and support for the arts. Governments and other institutions can provide resources and financial support to encourage creativity and artistic expression, or they can withhold those resources and limit the opportunities for artists to share their work with the world.
In addition, political ideologies and movements can shape the content and themes of creative expression. For example, art and literature created during times of social or political unrest often reflect the challenges and struggles faced by individuals and communities. Overall, politics can have a significant impact on the expression of creativity, and understanding this relationship can help us to appreciate better the role of art and literature in shaping our world.

Ofem Ubi

Artist

I completely agree that politics can affect the expression of creativity. One of the essential ingredients creatives need is freedom— freedom to think and try out new ideas. You cannot think effectively and creatively in a country that doesn’t have or hasn’t set the machinery for that to happen. An insecure country is no place to think or act creatively.

Peter Kehinde Faluro

Brand Consultant & Entrepreneur

Yes, politics can affect the expression of creativity because politics involves power, law, and control. If the ruling government has an opposing belief or policy that contradicts the voice of creatives, the creativity flow will be restricted. Creative expression thrives in freedom, and having a supportive environment and helpful modern infrastructure contributes to the easy flow of innovative ideas. As such, if you don't vote for a ruler with the capacity, competence and character to enable a system and environment where creative businesses succeed, the outcome can be severe for creative careers.

Does Politics Affect You? 

In addition to these insightful responses, we surveyed and collated opinions within our creative community to measure creatives’ interests in the forthcoming elections. About 89.9% believe that Peter Obi, one of the three leading presidential candidates, will improve the creative industry as the president, while 85.2% said they’ll vote for the same candidate, Peter Obi.

The stakes have never been higher for Nigeria and its political sphere. Many things, including the creative industry, rely on the outcome of the 2023 elections. Our creatives and ChatGPT have spoken, but what do you think?

Does politics affect the expression of creativity? Share your opinion below.

PS. If you would like to contribute as a respondent in the future episodes of the Creative Gist, send us an email to [email protected] or reach us via WhatsApp +2348088809311

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