Joost Smiers


Birthplace: Holland

Living place: Amsterdam, Holland

Theme: political sciences

ECC Participation: panel member

photo: Kiki Amsberg

Joost Smiers studied political sciences at the University of Amsterdam. He was a professor at the Utrecht Academy of Fine Arts from 1985 to 2007. He also worked at the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures in Los Angeles.

He speaks a wide variety of languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. He gave lectures in New York, Toronto, Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Kiev, Moscow, Budapest, Cracow, Lisbon and São Paulo.

“I propose a liberal world, where we could read, watch and listen to our hearts’ desire and not pay a penny for it.”

His work focuses on the social ramifications of art during times of globalization and the influence that economy and cultural policy have on the creation and reception of art. He studies various entanglements of arts; the artist’s right to freedom of expression and his responsibility for the works he creates. He’s widely known for his research on intellectual property and support for the complete abolishing of copyrights. Smiers is also against big media companies and publishing houses and claims that mergers of companies that distribute culture might be a deathblow to democracy, arguing that this consolidates too much power over communications in the hands of too few. He has recently coauthored a book with Marieke van Schijndel titled “Imagine There’s No Copyright and No Cultural Conglomerates, Too” (2009). The book caused quite a stir in the media industry.

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