Culture is future »

11.20.2012

"Culture : the only reason to hope ? ", by Axel Dauchez

We come from a world given by the border where our identity was mainly built by our country or our people; where diversity and confrontation of nations create (for better and for worse) the evolution of civilizations. In this old world, culture could reflect the sedimentation of the past or a social divide. Anyway, it had to impose itself in order to go from luxury to necessity.

We are plunging into a world whose main evolution is a inevitable globalization of economies, populations and behaviors. Our identity principles are laid down again (particularly in the old European countries). Beyond, the concept of diversity, Darwinian essential condition for our evolution, has to be reinvented in order to survive without choking.

Then, the cultural issue becomes crucial.

Either culture just reproduces the borders of the past and our future will alternate with communitarianism and uniformity.

Or culture becomes imagining and we will be able to recreate on our land pacified identity spaces, c’est-à-dire not only national or communitarian. Well beyond, the cultural concurrence can initiate a new innovation model compatible with our closed world.

Let us build fast those tolerance spaces.

How to act?

The emergency of today is to preserve the diversity potential of culture, not by focusing exclusively on the protection of creation, but by making sure that a plurality of cultural distribution is possible.

Music, cinema, publishing houses, … all those cultural expressions are today subject to the risk of the globalization of distribution. To turn towards the right direction, we must be careful in order for the structures of “cultural distribution” to find a balance between the new global distributors (iTunes, Google, …) and the old local distributors (Fnac, Gaumont, HMV, …). This is a crucial and political issue.

To turn durably towards the right direction, there is also an issue of cultural education. We really have to keep a national cultural education without regarding it as sacred – nothing is possible without that first step. We also have to develop on this identity basis a culture interested in cultural diversity without restricting it to a cultural ethnology.

Music illustrates this issue at its own level.

Today’s musical behaviors reflect the current market structure : an arbitration between local music (i.e. national) and global music (i.e. US).

Yet, the globalization of music distribution is underway and the local uses will soon be determined not only by the structures of local markets.

Either we remain passive and the uniformity of “world” music could gain acceptance through this evolution, even if it paradoxically drives communitarian withdrawals.

Or we are talented and, while maintaining local networks of distribution, each country can become the melting-pot of its local music, of global music but also of music from its diasporas. Following the example of jazz at its time, African, Arab, Latino American, Asian … music can become wonderful factors of exchange, integration, and beyond of radical creations.