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Reconsidering them from subsistence to celebrity
Previously, we produced a couple of pieces covering the fiasco of authorship development and stunted reading culture among school children which pervaded throughout the nation. The pieces basically convinced us there is an unfinished quest which calls for urgent engagement over the continuum of writing and reading skill development. This piece will single out as to why we , as a social entity, didn’t celebrate the profession of ‘creative writing’.
Predominantly, the sociological phenomena of ‘celebrity sub-culture’ is viral for other artists, from cinema to the music industry. In recent Ethiopia, the culture of conspicuous consumption which was realized since the socio-economy was liberalized, though in relative terms, more than ever before. Artists from the fields of music, cinema, and the advertisement industry, are the ubiquitous professional prone to an icon within celebrity sub-culture. And very recently, sport athletes were lately included under the lists of Ethiopian celebrities. To mention some, the ethnographic essays of EllisCashmore entitled ‘ Celebrity/ Culture’ published in 2006 celebrity subculture of the Pop star-Madonna, Princess Diana, R&B artist Beyonce, footballer-Beckham, have been studied well. By virtue of their celebrity, their fame invites media practitioners to over-amplify the hyper life style of those ‘celebrities’ in a way of keeping us to consume more, irrespective of the merit of the basic art they produce. Indeed, we all know that the celerity sub-culture is neither a celebrated social fact nor desirable among the social actors. Perhaps, the artists of creative writing don’t have the luxury to be included under the culture of conspicuous consumption. The blessing in disguise of the conspicuous consumption of ‘ celebrity culture’, invites the artist to have more fans. In contrary, one can speculate that, the social value towards the profession of creative writers is full of misery, neglect and un-recognition. Today, we can have multiple children dreaming to be a film actor or singer. But we end up with empty lists of students who wish to be a future accomplished author of creative writing. The reason behind is all the way, the social kaleidoscope of the professional -‘ creative writing’ is biased and we all inherited a distorted image of novelists and poets, as they typically pictorially represents a pauperized miserable person. Everything what we improperly visualize when we think of authors and poets is a desperate guy with an elongated mustache ,a face affected from severe alcohol and tobacco addiction, wearing unbuttoned& unclean casual shirts, an isolated person with some weird desire. To our dismay, authors are confused and mischaracterized along with the rare ‘old days’ philosophers.
This piece would like to have conceptual stop-over where we can check the distorted image of poets and novelists that characterize abusively the professional authors. Instead we forward a possibility for we – Ethiopians as if we can unearth a dramatic U-turn to celebrate ‘creative artists’, by way of making some meaningful room of reinforcing authors to write more. Hypothetically, when authors of creative writing are reinforced to due recognition, then the more will be incentivized their psychology to create robustly. The point is that, it is this culture of celebrating and recognizing the ‘profession of creative authorship’, under the whole social system, which enhances the best substance and forms of literary production. Ultimately, the resultant optimized literary industry will determine in maximizing the skills of writing and reading conundrum.
Conclusively, the actors which compose the celebrity cultureis not an entire business of literary industry where publishers and authors admonish each other. Instead the call for celebrating ‘creative writing’ , desperately screams out to invite academia, governmental agencies, civil society organizations, business tycoons, public libraries, and technologists. Peculiarly media plays an irreplaceable role towards recognizing either the professional authors or their achievements. We bet to see a reality TV refocusing its weekly show on creative authors and poets, even to surprise the authors for their achievement. Academic institutes, governmental agencies & NGO’s ought to re-think in social engineering the social devaluation for creative writers, whose devised scheme eventually valuates authorship . Indeed, the ‘HoHe award’ is one of the schemes to nudge a call for celebrating successes as they are measured through merit based publications. Tomorrow, many likes of Ellis Cashmore, would spill the inks of their pen to ethnographically narrate the celebrity culture made surrounding writers of creative writing, whose career were neglected in yester years.
This article is contributed by HOHE Award. HOHE Award is organized by Northeast Events to promote a culture of creative writing and reading in Ethiopia. Besides the main annual literary award, there are different events and trainings that run throughout the year with the main aim of promoting creative writing and reading among the general population and children in particular.