Mapping Brazil - Creative Industries

New in 2015: special report on the creative industries of Brazil – by Gabriel Pinto
Laura Lima, Tailorshop, 2014 (credits: Pascale Leenders)


Industry and creativity are long-standing concepts in our world. The novelty is in their coupling. In Brazil, where this marriage is even more recent, they have been the driving force behind the organization of various initiatives and the raising of key issues for Brazil's sustainable development.

Since the creative economy is all about talent, some of the numbers below may help provide an overview of the situation in Brazil, despite the typical limitations of cold statistics. People and institutions driving creative development projects will be introduced too. Similarly, we shall comment on the relevance of universities as think tanks, networks and organizations that power Creative Industry in Brazil. Other important issues to be mentioned include finance, creative cities, internationalization, social inclusion and the industry-creativity alliance.

What is a key point to understand? This text presents a slanted approach to the creative industry, since other writers have very competently dealt with more specific issues. Again, despite making every effort to cover all the most important points, note that the theme of Creative Industry in Brazil is so rich that there is certainly much more terrain to be explored. 

Creative industry and its history in Brazil
Discussion of creative industries as a theme is recent in Brazil, having initially been posed by the Ministry of Culture at the UNCTAD XI Ministerial Conference held in São Paulo, in June 2004. A panel of UN experts, officials and governmental representatives suggested setting up a new international institution to strengthen and develop the creative industries in the Southern Hemisphere. This initiative resulted in the rollout of the United Nations' Creative Economy Program.

That was also the starting point of an extensive discussion on creative economy and the role of its different sectors as a process with several commonalities. Local entrepreneurs in the state of Rio de Janeiro pointed to the industry as a key sector for the state's strategic development given its potential multiplier effect and high added value, thus prompting interest in monitoring, supporting and developing creative-industry supply chains. The first major international event on the theme took place in 2008 and was organized by Sistema FIRJAN, the entity representing industry in the state of Rio de Janeiro, which also published the study “A Cadeia da Indústria Criativa no Brasil”, which chartered Brazil's creative supply chain and fostered discussions on the subject.

Rio de Janeiro took the lead on the creative-industry development agenda by setting up Rio Criativo as the state government's new platform for stimulating entrepreneurial action and driving the services supply chain.  In the context of city government, the architectural heritage agency IPRH and the Department of Culture were consolidated as the Rio de Janeiro's main links to the creative economy. In 2012, the Ministry of Culture  set up its Department of Creative Economy  to propagate nationwide the seeds of desire for the development of the creative industry in the form of its master plan, Brasil Criativo.

Continue reading Mapping Brazil - Creative Industries: People, Figures & Employment