Prompted by musings after the #BYOD4L final topic of Creating, I am coming here to pull together my deeper thoughts around what creation means to me. The post title comes of course from Albert Camus and roughly translated means “To create is to live life twice.” Much about Camus’ work and life speaks to me. Having first encountered his writing at A’ level where L’Etranger” was a set text, I went on to study and ultimately to write my honours dissertation on his ideas. Camus created stories which helped his readers to understand how to deal with real human issues – rejection, exclusion, misuse of power and of course the meaning of life. His works cause us to examine our values and it is this focus on what we value that is so crucial if we are to think deeply about human creativity.
During the #BYOD4L session on this theme which I have described here, I found myself wanting to take time out reflecting more deeply and the more I did the more I realised just how crucial this area is not just in formal education but in life and society more generally. The myth around creativity is that only some are talented creators. This myth is comprehensively debunked by Sir Ken Robinson (you can ready a short summary of his argument here) His definition of creativity:
Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value.
- Original ideas = new to you, not necessarily new to humanity.
- have value = not exclusively financial value, humans value more than just money
The value proposition is one that is very salient to me at the moment as I prepare to present at #OER17 later this year. My focus will be on the value of teaching thanks to this work on open educational practice and earlier work with my much-loved Australian collaborator Sarah Pasfield-Neofitou on produsage. It touches on how copyright and the power that comes with financial gain can reduce or even prevent greater social gains if it is biased only towards the protection of financial benefit. Sarah has written this great post exploring the meaning of free which certainly brought together my thoughts on values today.
This opinion piece in today’s Observer was also timely for my musings. Sony is under the spotlight here avoiding taking a moral lead and preferring to await legal pronouncements on who now owns the creations of The Beatles with the 2108 change looming. All humans are creative beings, we find and solve problems using our hands, our heads, tools, materials and ideas that we have. We refine and improve our solutions through interaction with others. We only need the opportunity to engage with the creative process in order to realise our potential. If the only ones to benefit from invention are to be those who can afford costly legal fees and complicated terms and conditions we have to ask ourselves what we value in our society. Camus was able to create and publish through the free press (he understood the negative impact of financial control of publishing) in order to support the values he held – he consistently supported human rights and non aggression. If we are to stand up for our own creativity we should embrace the protection available through Creative Commons and make our voices heard. Life could be much richer as a result.