The Covid-19 health crisis has been unprecedented in its impact on lives and livelihoods. All aspects of life including economic, social and cultural have been severely impacted. Almost all sectors of the economy including cultural industries have been badly hit with long-term implications.
The tourism industry, of which cultural tourism based on heritage sites is a significant portion in India, is undergoing huge losses. The crafts sector in India, one of the largest employment sectors after agriculture, is in a severe crisis affecting livelihoods of millions of craftspeople in rural areas and thousands of craft enterprises. Similarly, the arts sector is also under tremendous pressure being informally organized with artists and professionals working on temporary contracts, lack of adequate protection of artists’ works especially in the digital sphere, and lack of funding for the arts.
To respond to this massive disruption in the arts and cultural sector, UNESCO New Delhi will be conducting a study to assess the impact of the pandemic on the creative sector with a particular focus on the arts. This is to highlight the challenges being faced by the sector and key recommendations to help mobilize necessary support. Since the arts and culture sector has always been more vulnerable during times of disasters and emergencies, we also hope that our initiative contributes towards building more resilience in the sector.