State-society relations and urban art districts: The case of Angono, Philippines

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3 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents a study of state-society relations in the context of urban arts and cultural space. Focusing on the suburban Manila town of Angono, Philippines, the article examines how the emergence of place-based cultural activity is supported or obstructed by top-down policymaking, in particular the policy instrumentalization of culture to increase tourism. Divergent interests between the state and artist community are embodied by respective tensions between economic interest and the drive for personal expression. Based on interviews with artists and officials, this study's findings illustrate that power imbalances within the policy making process, principally between government and artists, have led not to the erasure of arts from the public sphere but to a bipartite cultural environment with tourist-oriented art promotion at one end and endogenous local art at the other. This distinction is apparent not only in physical space but also in patterns of interaction between established and emerging artists and between the arts community and local government. The article concludes by outlining how policy can better support cultural authenticity amidst commercial pressures, and how state-society relations are mediated in a creative pursuit whose interest is not exclusively economic. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-52
JournalCity, Culture and Society
Early online dateSep 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


Hartley, K. (2018). State-society relations and urban art districts: The case of Angono, Philippines. City, Culture and Society, 15, 45-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ccs.2018.09.003


  • State-society relations
  • Cultural policy
  • Urban development


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