IPM Roma 2013: Giulia Baldi- Creativity Vs Corruption in Italy (interview)
Skrufff are supporting the annual IPM conference in Rome and as part of our link-up will be running a series of Q&A with some of the key characters involved in this year’s event.
“The main difference, especially if we focus on innovation, is that in Italy there are some amazingly creative people and adventurous initiatives but the system is corrupted and it ends up becoming an obstacle. In London the same amazing people and initiatives are instead supported as their social and economic value is clearly understood, and sooner or later they can thrive.”
London based reporter Giulia Baldi previously worked with major labels and Dissonanze festival when she still lived in Italy as well as handling marketing strategies for Rome squats.
“Yes, we did have ‘marketing strategies’ in squats, meaning that we were all for spreading the word,” she laughs. “In fact, Italy’s original club culture, meaning besides raves and disco actually started in squats.”
Giulia returns to IPM to moderate two panels; DO I REALLY NEED TO MARRY YOU? and CROWD SURFING.
Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): How did you connect with IPM: what exactly is your involvement and why are you taking part?
Giulia Baldi (IPM): “This will be my second year moderating panels at IPM and we should probably ask the IPM team why they’ve been so kind to invite me again. But I guess we can improvise and say it’s because I have been born and bred in the electronic music scene, I have been promoting electronic music 24/7 for long, and I am still immersed in electronic music 25 years on.
Personally, then, it’s always enriching to connect with people that share the same passions and interests, to exchange opinions and experiences, and to be able to network around new ideas and events- and IPM is one ideal such occasion for these sort of pleasures.”
Skrufff: You’ve worked with major labels and Dissonanze festival in the past and are now in a different field, what’s your relationship with the music business today; why have your activities and roles changed?
Giulia Baldi (IPM): “While still living in Rome, beside researching the relationships between society, culture and music as an independent academic and occasional reporter, I’ve been working in music marketing for major as well as indie labels, festivals as well as clubs, institutions as well as squats.
My deep connection, in fact, has always been with music itself, electronic music in particular, and I’ve always been up to any challenge involved in ‘making it happen’, in making the good music reaching the good people, through the good producers, partners, sponsors and media. Hence my pretty eclectic collaborations . . .Once I felt I had done my bit, I just decided to move on, and away.
Today I am based in London and I work for research agencies that deal with all sort of clients interested in innovative methodologies (which unsurprisingly are mostly experiential and digital, exactly as electronic music is), but that connection is still very much alive – I am still constantly immersed in electronic music as a passionate consumer, a curious observer and an occasional reporter.
I won’t say I have a relationship with the industry anymore though, if not occasionally, i.e. when artists, labels, festivals or events involve me in some way, mostly out of my love and knowledge of it, as it is in this case.”
Skrufff: You’re moderating two panels; (DO I REALLY NEED TO MARRY YOU and CROWD SURFING) what do you hope to bring out in each panel (what are the key topics for debate?
Giulia Baldi (IPM): “Again, it’s about focusing on communications and collaborations as the vital forces behind any successful event – the collaborations between promoters and sponsors as well as the communications between promoters and their audiences, or/and the media.
The environment changes every minute and we have to adapt to evolve with it… It’s going to be interesting to dive into how each party sees this evolution happening at the moment, where they perceive potentials and see obstacles, and how they think of shaping their own future and that of this culture AND business.”
Skrufff: You’re based in London; how different is the work culture there to Italy?
Giulia Baldi (IPM): “Well, how long do we have to discuss this topic? It’s not easy to answer in one sentence. But anyway. I was working with global companies while in Italy and am working with global companies in London, and at the same time in both cities I’ve been living and supporting the strong local scenes – all in all, the real dimension of our times is glocal, with many similarities between distant places.
If we focus on popular and contemporary culture then, and on music in particular, the attitudes at an institutional level are not even comparable, as main media approaches are not comparable either – and the business is of course affected by these differences, as audiences are limited. Yet, looking at the future, since the establishment will have to rethink the strategies keeping the ‘connected’ citizens in mind, there are hopes that things will improve in Italy and elsewhere.
On the other side, being at the periphery, disconnected from the hypes and the trends, is sometimes beneficial for the originality and depth of inspiration, the commitment and the tenacity, both in the arts and in the businesses. Some things happened only in Italy, some artists could have only come out of Italy.”
Skrufff: How do Italian promoters differ from those in the UK and the rest of Europe?
Giulia Baldi (IPM): “I’m not sure I am the right person to answer to this question… but my superficial impression is that, for all the circumstances that we have briefly outlined, the UK promoters can experiment more, as they can refer to a vast audience, while the Italian ones need to please more people in order to produce feasible events, as they still appeal only to a niche.”
Skrufff: Anything else to add?
Giulia Baldi (IPM): “My proposal for next year is for a very serious panel on electronic music and politics, since the beginning of times. Will you be my guest?”