In 2015, the Ministry of Culture carried out a Study on Imaginaries and Cultural Consumption in Venezuela. This research covered a wide range of aspects regarding the way in which Venezuelans relate to culture. Among them, the tastes and preferences for the different artistic manifestations stood out, and the most outstanding conclusion was that we are a "predominantly musical" country. We like music more than anything else.
According to the Venezuelan philosopher Ludovico Silva, the best definition of culture is the one outlined by the Egyptian intellectual Samir Amin: "Culture is the way of organizing the use of use values." And in this sense we understand the cultural from the uses and customs of the people. What we actually do and produce, and how we do it. That is why we decided to carry out a digital survey with some questions about cultural habits to see how those answers would be similar to the findings of the 2015 study. Specifically, in terms of the relationship with artistic manifestations and the main means of cultural consumption.
It should be noted that this UN Data survey covers as a population only the people who regularly visit our web portal, latestnews.com.ve and interact with our social networks. In addition, it suffers from limitations in terms of stratification. Therefore, we do not claim to compete with the study of the Ministry of Culture, which was carried out with due methodological rigor. Rather, in that study we were inspired to do this small survey with the intention of approaching the current reality.
Between Monday, September 20 and Thursday, September 23, 311 people participated and the results are as follows:
Entertained on the web
The first thing we did was question people about their taste for certain recreational activities, to approximate how we prefer to use our free time. We used a Likert scale where people responded from 1 to 5 how much they liked the items presented in a list. We assign a qualitative value to each item on the scale: 1 = Nothing; 2 = Little; 3 = More or less; 4 = Quite a lot; 5 = Very much.
If we add the values of the positive polarity, "quite a lot" (4) and "a lot" (5), the activities that clearly stand out are: "using the internet", with 86,5%; "Read", 74,6%; "Watch movies", with 66,2%; and "listen to music", with 61,7%.
In the 2015 study, music totaled 95% by this same method. Internet reached 62%, reading 68% and watching movies 75%. Apart from what we already limited at the beginning, to appreciate the differences it is necessary to remember that this survey was carried out on the internet and that of the Ministry of Culture was carried out in homes. However, it is worth taking into account also that 5 years have passed and that internet products have advanced a lot in the world, in terms of their impact and scope.
Between lyrics and rhythms
But this was only the first approximation. To refine the matter a bit, we presented people with a list of properly artistic manifestations so that they could select those that they practiced frequently.
People could mark several options, but the one that was repeated the most was clearly writing, with 44,4%. Very close is "taking pictures", with 37%, and "dancing" with 32,5%. This last manifestation was the most prominent among the activities that have to do with music, and people carry out directly. Then there are: singing, with 19,9%; and play a musical instrument, with 12,5%.
Next, we ask what is the preferred artistic manifestation, regardless of whether they practice it or not. Only one answer could be given here. And it was then that the mastery of musical taste presented itself.
Music is the preferred one, with 35%. They followed him in cinema with 21% and literature with 18,3%. The lack of favoritism for the plastic arts is striking, and this information is complemented by the result of the following question, which referred to the last time people attended a museum.
40% responded that the last time they visited a museum was “more than 5 years ago”. 30% say it was between 2 and 5 years ago. Only 13,5% say it was in the last year and 3,5% that it was in the last month. Of course, we must take into account here that we are in a pandemic and the mobility restrictions in the last year have been extraordinary.
Precisely, thinking about the current pandemic situation, we wanted to complement our digital survey with an approach to the means of cultural consumption that do not imply mobility, to see which is the dominant one. We ask people how often they listen to music, watch movies, read books, and watch television.
Regarding the daily frequency, the first place is taken by music: 52,7% affirm that they listen to music every day. Then came television, with 38,6% saying they watch it daily.
The case of movies and books is different. Here the largest piece corresponds to the answer "from time to time", with 37% in the case of cinema and 36% in the case of reading. Our survey serves to confirm the "musical" character of our cultural habits. Even when it turns out that by our own hand we spend more time on other creative activities, such as writing and taking photos, when we look at taste and preference, the music keeps breaking. However, it would be very good if the study carried out in 2015 by the Ministry of Culture was repeated to see how much our relationship with culture has changed in the last 6 years, with the vertiginous advance of the internet and the impact of the pandemic. @angelgonzalezvn