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Should We Pay To Consume Art?


A few weeks ago, Taylor Swift posted an open letter to Apple regarding their failure to pay artists during a 3 month free trial of Apple Music. Although Taylor eventually won her case, it prompted me to think about the art that we create, the different forms in which it is recognised, the way we access it, our means of consuming it, the purpose and the impact of its reverberations.

I completely understand Taylor’s perspective. People that create art should be paid because they are trying to make a living. But should we be paying to consume it?

We create art so we can sink, so we can feel, so we can be transported, so we can be elevated, so we can feel our souls ache, so we can experience the ecstasy within the spaces, so we can cleanse, so we can preserve emotion, so we can capture the depths of our moments, so we can heal.

Earlier this year, Taylor also pulled her music from Spotify and it’s pretty much impossible to find her new album on YouTube. The only means of listening to her new songs is through a paid platform. I can appreciate that money makes the world go round, but as a writer, I write to give others something to relate to. It's free. You're reading these words for free. If I was to pour myself into a novel, the purpose of it would be to give others something to connect to, to create a space that they could find themselves in. After all, is that not the objective of sharing the art that we produce? To make others feel what we felt? To create meaning?

When did art become about money? When did we lose our passion? When did we lose our capacity to create for the sake of creating?

We all dream of making a living from doing something that we love, but if we were to reach a point of being wealthy enough, would we not just want people to enjoy the art? Would the creation of it not be driven by our need to create? To give ourselves a voice?
(Image Source: here)

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