Finally, the second edition of china trade week is starting tomorrow till Friday and I will be attending. Yes, I actually will be setting foot to the first expo ever since my existence .Let it be very clear that the only Chinese people I’ve ever met are the ones I come across along my school corridors. So yesterday when I mentioned to someone that I will be at the KICC expo, apart from asking why, they had this look on their face that read “don’t you have anything else to do? are you okay? do you have to attend everything and anything?“
Well, the only reason I’m attending is because Li Wuwei ,author of the book “HOW CREATIVITY IS CHANGING CHINA” managed to convince me that the country is really interesting. Being a newbie to the reading scene this was actually the first non-fiction book I’ve ever laid my hands on apart from my school curriculum books. I picked it specifically because I view myself as a creative and I’ve always been curious about other countries.
Before you start rolling your eyes and thinking , China ?really? Most of the time the first mention of China sets you thinking either of really how developed they are,construction of roads or the copy cat industry. I had my doubts also but a whole chapter in the book expounds on the copy cat industry in the country. Explaining that this redesigning of existing products known as the Shanzai culture is only prominent in a few cities namely Shenzen, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Just incase you decide to visit the cities.
From my understanding the book is trying to explain how having an economy led by innovation, individual talent and skill is more advantageous because they can be repeatedly and infinitely used compared to a manufacturing economy where most countries are headed to .
Here are a few examples that resonated with me on the same from the book
The animation industry
You’ve probably come across several animations that have a historical, forkelore-ish kind of background, picture kung-fu panda and Avatar .Both have a Chinese background and are the repeated stories Chinese are told as kids.Disney and Nickelodeon came in and created animations out of them proving how history can be used creatively to create modern products.Coming from a country that has so many ethnic groups I can imagine how many of this we can create .But chances are we will notice it when a foreigner flies in all the way across ,deserts ,water bodies and several countries just to turn a story we have heard time and time again into a cartoon or film. Then it will appear so genius to us,pun intended*
Turning books/novels into media products
We have seen several novels turned into a film .It happened with kite runner ,Narnia, fifty shades of grey, harry porter and even shake spear’s books, where one book has been turned into music,drama,comic,cartoon ,animation, theatrical play and even an opera .in Kenya we are still hopefully ‘waiting’ for john kiriamiti’s book “my life in crime” to be turned into a film .With all the African writers existing this is an area we can tap into from a few best selling books.
Education for creatives
By education we are not just referring to basic education but a curriculum meant for creatives. Where there is a mix of intensive art, technology and business education in one course . The first thing that came to mind after reading this part of the book was how we have so many music managers ,modeling managers ,acting managers, etc managers . I was left questioning if they normally enhance their skills through any creative management courses .Because to be constantly productive even in talent you have to constantly improve your skill and this happens not only from trial and error but also learning.
Ok,the part where the writer talks about creative agriculture and mentions a maze of corn as a tourist attraction site .I remember all the maize farms we have in my country and im thinking with all the mahindi we have we can have five hundred plus maze farms ,they could even outsource their tourists to us .if only we learnt about farm designs and a few other things we would be ready to go.
Creative city brands
Lastly the story about creativity and city brands .It didn’t come to my attention before ,but you will notice that LA is known for film and tv ,Milan is known for fashion and furniture ,Tilburg is known for music communities ,New York is known for soho city ,Barcelona is known for architecture. all the cities mentioned are creative clusters leave alone the stories about mineral, oil ,roads,beaches and tourist sites.When it comes to creativity ,what is your country known for?
See you at the expo….
Lot of love from