Jena Jade Butler

Why does London's art scene feel like a gated community?

It often feels like every door is shut in London. We’ve all been there: a low-paying internship, a £60 networking event, that one artist who made it because their parents already had a Wikipedia page. It makes you sigh a little. Despite the city being so big, many creative spaces seem to promote exclusivity and elitism. You need to be someone or at least know someone, or know someone who knows someone. But how do we get over this? How do we bridge the gap so that art can be for all of us? The obvious answer: the creative industry needs to do more than 'welcome underprivileged applicants' and show a willingness to acknowledge mistakes and help level the playing field. But we can’t rely on this alone. Fortunately, independent creators are on the rise; now more than ever, artists have the opportunity to create their own platforms and shine. The traditional gatekeepers are watching closely as this new wave of creativity creeps in. Branded content isn’t performing as well, engagement rates are dropping, and the industry is starting to panic. So, for every pop-up shop you attend and every story you reshare, remember that you too are rocking the boat.


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