Global Creative Capacity? Low Marks from Freedom House & HRW Say Bad News

Is creativity on the global level healthy?

Measuring this is practically impossible. But if commonly accepted ingredients of creativity, such as freedom of expression & rights to be creative is considered, perhaps the health is not so great, since i.e. Freedom House & Human Rights Watch, have been making statements that freedom and rights, globally are tanking massively.

But while measuring this is difficult, perhaps we can use a proxy, to see the situation.

Lets look at Thailand

Thailand’s Military junta’s Ministry of Culture is trying to promote Thailand’s film industry, by forming a special body task force, established as a public organization to carry out five main missions, namely enhancement of the abilities of personnel in the film industry; effecting an improvement in marketing competitiveness; copyright and intellectual property protection; increasing cooperation with foreign producers and the development of a data center for movie production.

But the problem is, as with most military junta & extremely right wing, scientific research found, creativity have a hard time florishing in a tyranitcal mamagement system.

Fhe following is from the conclusion section of the study on nManagement Style and Creativity (See study here C

The main contribution of this study was its impact on our understanding of the concept of leadership. In the business environment, the practical implications of this can help leaders and  employees become more aware of the characteristics of the people who surround them.

Organizations, include a variety of behavioral, situational and external factors that require flexibility from leaders and employees. Therefore, it is necessary to research creativity, because the diversity of ideas, if properly analyzed, can have a major positive impact for the development of business organizations. When it comes to creativity in the context of the organization, managers can show by example how creativity is valued and thus encourage employees to use their potentials. Managers who encourage and value the creativity of their employees will always get new, better and more original ideas. Creative organizations are characterized by the willingness to change and continuously improve, as well as the willingness to take risks and experiment with new ideas when encouraging diversity.

Each leadership style is a combination of different types of behavior and characteristics of leaders. If there is the need to make a decision quickly and take urgent action, a leader should rely on the autocratic style. If the group is undisciplined and poorly organized, the autocratic style is more efficient. The democratic leadership style matches with a well-organized and stable group. In the longer term, the democratic style of leadership, which includes giving employees a certain freedom and involving them in decision-making, is more productive. If a team consists of creative individuals who are expressive in exposing their ideas and independently making decisions, the liberal leadership style can be veryeffective. In this context, we considered the leader’s orientation to people or tasks. Orientation to people is related to the development of human potential, creativity and innovation, while task-orientation allows the leader to reach a goal and complete tasks faster and achieve immediate profit. In a volatile and uncertain business environment, in a time when trends change, when decisions must be made effectively, a leader needs to be fully aware of all the styles of leadership, so that he can be flexible and apply the styles specific to the situation in which he finds himself, the company and the employees.

Flexibility in decision making, taking a different view of the situation, and a willingness to take risks with innovation and new ideas, are all characteristics of creative leaders who can create a well positioned business organization.

For Thailand, many Democraticly elected government with an eye on human rights, haver been promoting Thailand as a creative center of various types, i.e. fashion, advertisement & animation, and a few years back, a Democraticly elected government came up with a development plan for a “Creative Thailand” on the macro level.

But the problem is, in Thailand there is a coup of attempted coup, on average, every 3 years, & so Thailand has a very long track record of overall, autocratic rule by some type of tyrant, such as Thailand is currently being ruled under the Ptayuth tyrant regime.

And so as expected, “Creativity” in Thailand is suffering.

Just last week, a Thai film, that critically look at Thai Buddhism, was not allowed to be shown in Thailand, because the censorship board deem the movie, to tarnish Thailand’s image. And a globaly renouned Thai director, have stopped making films in Thailand. And all of Thailand’s information medium, i.e. TV, magazine, radio and nes[papers, are suffering massive rating and buyers decline, as they mostly are, either support the militay junta or doing self-censorship. So the raing and sales fall is rapid as Thais shift to the more diverse and free internet.

Then the following article from Guardian, shows that Thailand’s most known, globally, director, has bailed Thailand. And earlier, a movie, foreign made in Thailand, had to cut out scenes from the movie.
Apparently, Thailand’s film industry is going no-where.

Long touted in Thailand, by many government, is that Thailand’s film industry had potential to become a big profit-making venture, adding that Thai movies were widely popular in the Southeast Asian region. In 2014, they created as much as 57 billion baht in revenue. In addition to their economic benefits, Thai films can act as cultural ambassadors and tourism presenters to foreign audiences. Also Thailand is popular with film makers, many who chose the country as one of their movie locations, bringing in, about, over two billion baht in revenue, on a typical year.

The following is from the Guardian


The Palme D’Or-winning Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul has said

he does not want his new film to be screened in his home country,

for fear of the reaction of the ruling military junta.

Speaking at the London film festival, which screened Cemetery of Splendour earlier this week, Weerasethakul told the BBC he would be forced to self-censor the film if he wanted to show it in Thailand. The drama centres on a group of soldiers who fall ill with a mysterious sleeping sickness, and it has been viewed by critics as a metaphor for the country’s societal travails.
Cemetery of Splendour review: a very calm sort of hysteria

With the follow-up to his Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul drifts off into another world that teasingly blends the spiritual and the mundane

“Whatever movies we have produced, we don’t want to show it to Thai audiences, because in the current situation we don’t have genuine freedom. I don’t want to be part of a system where the movie director has to exercise self-censorship,” said Weerasethakul, whose film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives triumphed at the Cannes film festival in 2010.

“I feel there is more violence in our country than in others that are in similar situations,” added the film-maker, who debuted Cemetery of Splendour at Cannes in May. “And I am sad to see that I don’t have any power or rights to speak, because I know if I speak, harm will come to me.”

The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw praised Weerasethakul’s new film in his Cannes review, as an “essay in psychogeography and a meditation on death, the presence of the spirit world in nature and the unquiet ghosts of guilt and pain in the Thai nation, as symbolised by the military”.

Thailand has been under military dictatorship since May 2014, when a junta led by unelected prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha seized power. Human Rights Watch has condemned what it says is the continued use of arbitrary arrest and secret detention to intimidate and silence dissidents.

The following is from the BBC


An award-winning Thai film director has told the BBC

he does not want his latest film shown in Thailand

as he would be required to self-censor.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul, winner of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or prize in 2010, said Thais did not have “genuine freedom”.

The film, Cemetery of Splendour, evokes political uncertainty in Thailand.

Thailand’s army seized power in a coup last year and has since increased censorship in the country.

Weerasethakul told the BBC’s Issariya Praithongyaem that showing the film in Thailand would do more harm than good.

“Whatever movies we have produced, we don’t want to show it to Thai audiences because in the current situation we don’t have genuine freedom. I don’t want to be part of a system where the movie director has to exercise self-censorship,” he said.

The plot of his new film revolves around a unit of soldiers afflicted by an epidemic of a mysterious sleeping sickness.


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