Bolivia’s creative potential

In a world where globalization and technology are changing the labor market, some traditional jobs have evolved or tend to be replaced by technology. However, creativity is a human characteristic that cannot be easily replaced by algorithms.

Photo: Lesly Derksen
Photo: Lesly Derksen

The famous Spanish painter Pablo Picasso once said: “Every child is an artist, the problem is to stay an artist when you grow up. This phrase reflects the reality of many creatives and artists in Bolivia. Creativity and talent are an intrinsic characteristic of the Bolivian and we can see it in the different artistic and creative expressions that characterize us, such as the recent International Theatre Festival.

Although we are sure that we have talent, the key lies in the process in which this creativity/talent is transformed and generates quality jobs.

While creativity is an asset to every worker’s profile, there is a creative sector par excellence. This ranges from video game creators to architects, whose main protagonist is the human being and who generate inclusive businesses that do not respond (like other traditional sectors) to the sudden changes in international prices. We are talking about the orange economy.

This new and fresh concept has been the result of the work of researchers from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), including the current president of Colombia, Iván Duque.

It is defined as “the group of activities through which ideas are transformed into cultural and creative goods and services, whose value is or could be protected by intellectual property rights.

In Bolivia, in 2017, according to studies based on the Household Survey of the National Statistics Institute (INE), this sector had an approximate participation between 1 and 2% of the Gross Domestic Product and around 2% of national consumption. This indicates that there is an interesting demand for goods and services in the sector. In 2017, for example, the theater had around 288 thousand spectators, equivalent to 4% of the country’s population over 18 years of age, who paid an average of Bs 40 per ticket.

The creative sector has a lot of potential, given that the Bolivian labor force is quite young and, on the other hand, we have a great cultural and creative richness due to our multiethnic and pluricultural characteristic. In order to foster the growth of the sector, we must take a few steps. Perhaps the most important is the fair valorization of the work of our artists and entrepreneurs, attending festivals, consuming art and culture, employing designers at fair prices, paying for the shows of our musicians, and above all fostering in the younger generations a love for art and culture.

Author: Liliana Serrate. El Deber