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Lessons from history: What can Boris learn from BTS?

South Korea’s success shows the economic benefit of backing the arts in times of crisis
Lessons from history: What can Boris learn from BTS?
  • State funding for South Korean pop culture helped the nation build back from the Asian financial crash 
  • UK arts are undergoing a crisis during the pandemic, following a decade of government cuts
  • South Korea’s success shows why the UK shouldn’t hesitate to give more support to the cultural sector

Imagine, if you dare, an entire music genre backed by the UK government. It would not be, we can presume, a global chart-topping success.

And yet, against all odds the South Korean government has achieved just that. On the back of considerable state support, Korean pop music – or K-pop – has risen from the depths of obscurity to international renown in barely a decade. If you haven’t heard it yourself, your kids undoubtedly have.

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