‘The Show Must Go On!’: Hustling through the Compounded Precarity of Covid-19 in the Creative Industries

Thilde Langevang*, Robin Steedman, Ana Alacovska, Rashida Resario, Rufai Haruna Kilu, Mohammed-Aminu Sanda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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The article offers a qualitative examination of compounded precarity in creative work during the Covid-19 pandemic. Drawing on repeated in-depth interviews with twelve creative workers operating in the creative industries in Ghana, we examine one of the most prevalent practices for navigating, coping with, and managing compounded precarity: that of hustling. We empirically identify and discuss three interrelated practices of hustling in creative work: digitalization, diversification, and social engagement. We present a new way of conceptualizing creative work in precarious geographies by theorizing hustling, and the associated worker resourcefulness, improvisation, savviness, hopefulness, and caring not merely as an individualized survival strategy, but rather as an agentic and ethical effort to turn the vicissitudes of life into situated advantages and opportunities, and even social change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-152
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Covid-19
  • Creative industries
  • Hustle
  • Precarity
  • Creative work
  • Ghana

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