Brazil’s Creative Industries Market: A hymn to Culture and Ecology

From 8 to 13 November 2023, Belém, the majestic gateway to the Amazon, was the setting for the Brazilian Creative Industries Market (MICBR), an event that goes far beyond a mere cultural market. This unique meeting highlighted how the creative industries can not only boost the local economy but also become essential spokespeople for the ecological transition and the quest for more inclusive societies.

The political context played a key role in this meeting. The restructuring of a national cultural policy, which had been muted under the Bolsonaro government, found a new voice under the leadership of Margareth Menezes, a renowned Brazilian singer who was appointed Minister of Culture in the new Lula government. This marked a renewed commitment to the arts and culture, creating a fertile ground for the affirmation and influence of the creative industries.

Belém, with its emblematic position as the gateway to the Amazon, was the ideal venue for this gathering. More than ever, the Amazon region aspires to reaffirm its culture and traditions, often undermined by a persistent colonialist spirit. The choice of Belém underlines the desire to highlight the often neglected cultural and craft riches of this unique region.

The 13 sectors showcased at the event offered a diverse palette of Brazilian creative expression. From music to fashion, cinema to visual arts, each sector showcased innovation while honouring local traditions. The rich and varied programme opened up a space where local creators could not only showcase their talent, but also engage in international dialogue.

The Brazilian Creative Industries Market raised a central question: how can these industries be active agents in the ecological transition and the creation of more inclusive societies? By providing a platform for local traditions, these creators become cultural ambassadors, using their art to evoke crucial issues such as environmental preservation and social inclusion.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, a recent Firjan study highlights the positive impact of Brazil’s creative industries. Between 2017 and 2020, the number of professionals in the sector increased significantly, growing by 11.7%. Brazil currently has 935,000 formally employed creative professionals, representing 70% of the total workforce in the Brazilian metal industry.

The report distinguishes four key areas: Technology, Consumer, Media and Culture. Consumer and Technology account for over 85% of creative jobs, with robust growth of 20.0% and 12.8% respectively. However, Media and Culture recorded sharp declines of -10.7% and -7.2%. The contraction in the Media sector is attributed to technological innovations that have reshaped the production, distribution and consumption of content.

While São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro will dominate the creative market in 2020, accounting for 50.9% of jobs, the North and North-East regions will emerge in the cultural sector, despite the sharp contraction in the latter. So the decision to hold this international gathering in Belém reinforces Brazil’s desire to re-establish a form of balance between the country’s various regions. 

To find out more about the diversity of the programme and the sectors highlighted, consult the official programme here. The Brazilian Creative Industries Market in Belém was not only a moment of artistic celebration, but also an important step towards a future where creativity shapes the economy, culture and environment in a more harmonious way.