Globalisation and Identity

In the early 1990’s, two major changes were taking place in Croatia: political and territorial independence from ex Yugoslavia and the first wave of economic globalisation. As you may know, globalisation is the economic model that, after the break up of European socialist countries, with the help of the new technologies (the Internet, mobile networks etc.), created new ways of making profit. Two opposite social processes were the consequence of that: degradation of national economies and proliferation of particular cultural identities.

During 1990’s, the countries of Middle and south-east Europe were in search of their position on the new map of Europe and thus found themselves in a paradox situation of parallel decentralization of economy and nationalization of culture. The more cultural practice seemed traditional and particular, the more it represented self-identification model for newly formed countries. Although impossible for the global application, the model of so-called traditional culture became the pattern applicable to national culture through various local and group identities. The expansion of local media, equality of dialects, World Music and lifestyle culture are only few of the phenomena that could not exist without tension between global and national.

The 2009 programme of the Gallery Galzenica casts light on questions such as what the difference between Europe of nations and Europe of regions is. Are these countries, once “behind the iron curtain”, and their great national stories anachronism or last, though unrepresentative evidence that modernism is an open-end process (Habermas)?

Furthermore, is the issue of individual, local or national identity rather an interest of marketing and profit making than the process of personal and social development? Does globalisation actually encourage fundamentalism, chauvinism and xenophobia? If yes, what are possible reasons for multiculturalism? Where has the idea of cosmopolitanism disappeared? Is the only choice we have the one between bad and worse?

We invite you to send your proposal for participation to by 15 June 2008.

Klaudio Stefancic, a curator and a director of the Gallery Galzenica, and Ivana Hanacek, a curator assistant, will carefully review all the proposals. All submitters will be informed about their application by 1 July 2008.

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