Alexandros Baltzis, Pavlos Pantazis

In the collective volume: Texts on the Creative Economy. Markets, Labor, Policies (pp. 143-168)
Editors: V. Avdikos, T. Kalogeresis
Thessaloniki (Greece): Epikentro, 2016
ISBN: 978-960-458-602-8



In this chapter the findings of an exploratory study are presented concerning the artistic labor markets during the current economic recession. Aims of this research are to fill some of the gap in the study of the artistic labor in Greece and - added to the few published surveys - to contribute for the development of further research on the features and conditions of the artistic labor in the country considering also the impact of the policy to respond to the economic recession. The method employed was focus-group interviews with visual artists, filmmakers and directors.

The findings show that the main features of the artistic labor in Greece, do not differ significantly from those detected by similar studies in other countries. This study, however, revealed that the conditions during the current economic recession lead to increased external competition. As a result, the distinction between professional occupation with the arts on the one hand and leisure time artistic activities on the other, is blurred and the artistic labor is further devaluated. At the same time, the decreasing rewards and the decreasing number of opportunities lead to an increase of multiple jobholding (not necessarily in artistic professions) and of the desire of young artists to immigrate.

Based on the findings, it can also be concluded that the entry barriers to the artistic labor markets are increased for those who rely on their cultural capital alone, while they seem to be decreasing for those who have the necessary social and economic capital. Before the recession, the higher standard of living could partially offset some of the negative consequences resulting from the peculiarities of the artistic labor. During the recession, however, it is becoming increasingly urgent to make a cultural policy that might counterbalance the changes affecting the artistic labor in directions that do not seem to support the development of the arts and culture in Greece.