Presentation on theme: "“Media and Globalization” Firstly, what is globalization? Secondly, how have the questions of media, culture or visual representation been understood within."— Presentation transcript:
“Media and Globalization” Firstly, what is globalization? Secondly, how have the questions of media, culture or visual representation been understood within the discussion of globalization? Thirdly, what are some of the important movements represented by global or regional media that suggest other “optics” or other visions, other circuits, or even something we might call a “new media order”? And what are some the future possibilities for global media and visual culture?
Globalization Globalization describes the late twentieth-century condition of encounter and interdependence across cultures, societies, nations, and regions precipitated by an unprecedented expansion of capitalism on a global scale; changes in world political structure after World War II (post-1945) that included: the rise of the United States and decolonization of the formerly colonized world a shift from the concept of the nation-state as bounded and independent toward a range of economic, social and political connections across nations; and an acceleration in the scale, mode, and volume of exchange and relationship in nearly all spheres of human activity.
Media within globalization has been understood in several ways: The cultural imperialism argument emphasizes the information technology divide within which dominant cultures impose information, products, values on those of less dominant ones. The hybridization thesis stresses that globalization of economy, trade, and migration has created cultures that are hybridized, mixed, syncretic and composite. Globalization creates combinations of sameness and difference: center to periphery, periphery to center, creolization, and regional media productions. A new media order, beyond sameness and difference suggests that cultural exchanges are more complicated than similarity and difference: polycentrism, indigenization, overlapping ‘scapes’ – create alternative approaches to media and visual cultures.
Cultural imperialism MacBride and Roach observe that media communications networks are unevenly distributed across the globe in ways that conform to the uneven wealth and development of countries. Rapid development of communications media in the postwar years was dominated by multinational elites based in the most powerful nations, subjecting the newly independent postcolonial nations, developing countries to cultural imperialism. The 1980 UNESCO Commission headed by Sean MacBride reported that the major news agencies of the U.S. (AP, UPI), the U.K. (Reuters), and France (Agence France-Presse) had a monopoly over flow of news to and from developing countries. They asserted need for African reporting on Africa, Indian perspectives on South Asia, as well as a “South-South” dialogue, circumventing transmission through the dominant countries.
Third Cinema: A Militant Response to Cultural Imperialism “The cinema known as documentary, with all the vastness that the concept has today, from educational films to the reconstruction of a fact or a historical event, is perhaps the main basis of revolutionary filmmaking. Every image that documents, bears witness to, refutes or deepens the truth of a situation is something more than a film image or purely artistic fact; it becomes something which the System finds indigestible.” “This cinema of the masses, which is prevented from reaching beyond the sectors representing the masses, provokes with each showing, as in a revolutionary military incursion, a liberated space, a decolonised territory. The showing can be turned into a kind of political event, which, according to Fanon, could be 'a liturgical act, a privileged occasion for human beings to hear and be heard.'” – Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino, “Towards A Third Cinema”
Battle of Algiers (1966) Gillo Pontecorvo Reconstructed events during the 1954-62 Algerian war of independence against French colonial rule (rule lasting 1830- 1962) The film shows the brutal apartheid that separated the French quarter from the Algerian district of the Casbah The film includes precise illustrations of the tactics of both the F.L.N. insurgency and the French military counter-insurgency And it reflexively comments on Third Cinema’s struggles over media representation
Black Girl (La noire de…), Ousmane Sembene,1966 (Senegal) Critique of post-colonial relations Story of a servant who goes to work with her employers when they return to France. Inverts centrality of European characters/African. Shows the contradictions of former colonial subjects who seek the promises of the colonial motherland. Clip: opening, endingopeningending
LA HORA DE LOS HORNOS (The Hour of the Furnaces), Fernando Solanas, 1968 One of the most influential films of Third Cinema. Designed to be stopped and discussed as it was projected. Clips: Intro, Dependence, CheIntroDependenceChe
Touki Bouki, Djibril Diop Mambety, 1973 (Senegal) Synthesis of European cinema and elements from West African images narrative structures. Mambety’s films juxtapose pastoral scenes with urban capitalism, poverty and decadence, tradition and modernity. Some would argue Mambety has been influenced as much by oral tradition as by avant-garde cinematic conventions. The cinematic form is itself a meta-commentary upon the role of postcolonial media within globalization.
CNN coverage of the Tienanmen Square Massacre, 1989: Exemplifies the historical division of international news media that MacBride and Roach term “cultural imperialism.” Monopolistic controls of media continues to determine the kinds of news that is broadcast and distributed.
Regional Media Production While the “cultural imperialism” approach may explain the international division of media access, it is limited as a description of local, regional, and independent media; in order to make the important argument about imperialism and inequality, it grossly underestimates the vital, ongoing existing media and visual culture that exists worldwide. It tends to exemplify a static functionalism that reduces culture to a mere passive reflection of political economy, a mere reflection of western domination. One key example: India is the largest film-producing country in the world, and films made in India, particularly “Bollywood” as the Bombay or Mumbai industry is known, are films extremely popular not only India, but also in the rest of South Asia, in countries such as Pakistan, the Middle East, the Caribbean, parts of Africa, parts of Southeast Asia, and among the South Asian diaspora worldwide. Other examples include the rise of Brazil’s TV Globo, the 4th largest Television network in the world, and it’s successful export of Telenovelas beginning in the mid-1960s.
Whether or Not There is a Tomorrow, dir. Nikhil Advani, 2003
Hybridization thesis Through global encounters and exchanges, cultures have hybridized, mixed, become syncretic and composite. In one version, hybridization suggests that globalization brings the ‘center to the periphery,’ spreading western-style modernity, introducing Hollywood genres and liberal values, ideas, and tastes to the non-west. Another version emphasizes that media representations emanate from regional centers in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and that goods, styles, ideas and tastes from the ‘periphery’ are also imported to the ‘center,’ e.g., Bollywood, the Korean Wave, and the Chinese Fifth Generation are examples of important regional media that produce another “optic,” which appeal to and circulate among other spectators and audiences. Globalization creates a tension between cultural difference and cultural sameness; globalization differentiates, as well as equalizes, levels, or unifies. The apparent spread of western cultural media actually produces conditions that give rise to local particularisms to distinguish themselves and comment on hybridization as a global process.
Amrit and Rabindra Singh, London born twin sisters Amrit and Rabindra are artists who have exhibited widely in the UK and abroad. Whilst drawing essentially on the Indian miniature tradition, their paintings combine elements from Western and Eastern aesthetics to create a unique genre in British Art practice which asserts the value of traditional and non European art forms, describing their work as “past- modern” (as opposed to post-modern).
Obama’s image taken up as an icon internationally: Barack O’Bollywood Barack O’Bollywood clip A New Media Order: Beyond Sameness and Difference
Arjun Appadurai, “Disjunction and Difference” creating a new set of “imagined worlds” ethnoscapes: the landscape of persons who are part of the shifting world in which we live, cultural groupings that do not conform to nations. In an ethnoscape, states are not major actors; rather multinational, diasporic communities, tourists, immigrants, refugees, exiles, guest workers, and other groups and individuals constitute the world. technoscapes: the global configuration of technology, both high and low, both mechanical and informational, that now moves at high speeds across various boundaries: e.g., shifting consolidations of engineers, tech, and infrastructure. financescapes: the rapid disposition of global capital, as currency markets, national stock exchanges, and commodity speculations move through national venues at great speed. Includes the global mobility of capital and the people who staff finance operations, financial management, marketing, and mixed production, e.g., Nike’s commodity chain. mediascapes: the distribution of the electronic capabilities to produce and disseminate information, images, newspapers, magazines, television, video and film– now available to an increasing number of private and public interests throughout the world; documentary or entertainment, electronic or pre-electronic, their audiences may be local, national, or transnational. ideoscapes: images and discourses, often directly political, whether those of the state or counter to the state.
Arjun Appadurai These configurations overlap and articulate together: Both an ethnoscape and a mediascape, the Korean Wave is the name for the recent explosion of popular culture, television, movies coming out of Seoul in the last five years (replaces media from Japan.) Extremely popular not only in South Korea, but in Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, and even in Latin America and the Middle East. This is also illustrated by the crossover successes of particular genres or schools imported around the world, e.g., Hong Kong martial arts films, cinematic schools like the “Fifth Generation” of Chinese directors( Zhang Yimou).
“Korean Wave,” Hallyu “Jewel In the Palace,” Dae Jang geum 대장금 (2003)
A convergence of new mediascapes and financescapes The recent film Babel (2006) is a collaboration by Paramount Studios, Zeta Films, Mexican director Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, and high profile Hollywood actors like Brad Pitt.
To study media within globalization is to understand information and visual culture as neither merely commodified, nor as simply the inert effect or function of transnational capitalism. Rather, contemporary global media and visual culture expresses, comments upon, and mediates the “structure of feeling” of globalization. Not exclusively an expression of the “center” influencing the “periphery,” global media includes: –The “Third Cinema” critique of cultural imperialism (“Battle of Algiers”) –Hybridization of western and non-western cultural forms (“Touki Bouki”) –Indigenization of western themes (Singh Twins) –Ethnoscapes and mediascapes sustained by regional industries (Bollywood,Telenovelas, Korean Wave) –Crossover imports or collaborations from former “periphery” to the “center” (“Hero,” “Babel”)