Worlds of (in)difference : a visual essay on globalisation and sustainability
The ubiquitously used term ‘globalisation’ seems inadequate to designate a group of interrelated but often conflicting processes of interconnectedness of such an unseen complexity and magnitude. Unsurprisingly scholars, as well as political actors, and communities are at odds with respect to gauging the nature and impact of globalisation and its effects on national and ethnic cultures and on humanity as a whole. Closely connected to the problematic of the global is the equally overwhelming concept of sustainability. Both phenomena can be visualised in numerous ways: through documenting current problematic situations or processes, by depicting possible solutions or promising developments. Alternatively – or in addition – these potential threats or encouraging signs can be expressed in a more metaphorical manner. Photography may help to empirically investigate and lay bare the presumed homogenisation, hybridisation or differentiation of space as a result of cultural, political, economic and technologically spurred forms of globalisation. Photography may help to detect the local articulations of both globalisation and sustainability. The photographic part of this visual essay is a personal account of some of the challenges of globalisation and sustainability as observed (and projected) in the everyday of cities around the globe as inspired by current debates and theorisations of this phenomenon. The paired photographs address only a few of the many distinct but often interrelated domains of globalisation and aspects of sustainable development that merit our attention. They almost all hint at the more problematic aspects of events and situations that seem to contradict rather than support the widely acclaimed strive towards a more balanced contemporary and future society.
Source (journal)
Visual studies. - Basingstoke, 2002, currens
Basingstoke : 2019
1472-586X [print]
1472-5878 [online]
34 :1 (2019) , p. 79-92
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
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Research group
Project info
Cultural Displays and Encounters in Globalizing Urban Areas. A Study of Visual Expressions of Ethnic/National Identity Versus the Emergence of a Transnational Attitude in the European Public Realm.
BOF Sabbatical Leave 2018-2019 Prof. Luc Pauwels.
Publication type
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Creation 05.08.2019
Last edited 15.11.2022
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