Creative Culture-Contrasting

April 15, 2009

Furthering my interest in global-local intersections I’ve been noting of late increasingly engaging cultural insights provided by the progressive use of media which explore and celebrate diversity.

Each of these examples champions diversity via contrasting local insights. Through creative comparison we are engaged and gain perspective on our own contexts. One can see why people are migrating in droves from watching mainstream television to embrace such formats, concepts and platforms which provide more meaning. And Godspeed to them!
 
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A comprehensive example is 1 Giant Leap’s What About Me? (must see: embedded trailer) in which music is used as the lens through which to delve into 50 locations and a vibrant range of personalities – covering topics spanning sex, death, God & money.

Rather than force feed their concept into a pre-determined rate-attracting reality-tv structure, various media formats have been cross-pollinated, supporting a strong central concept throughout with unfailing energy and dedication.
 
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A further stunning example utilising interview techniques and superb photography housed in an exceptionally well devised online platform is the New York Times’ 1 in 8 Million. The site’s understated motion graphics recalls subway people-watching yet elevates this notion to an insightful level. Through juxtaposition even the mundanest of stories become part of an exquisite potrait of urban diversity. As is claimed in the intro – New York is indeed a city of characters.
 

 
A more conventional yet still powerful example is the upcoming film Footplay by The Soccer Project which 2 young British soccer fanatics gave up their day jobs to make. They have travelled the world playing informal pick-up games taking in far flung destinations including favelas in Brazil, midnight summer matches in Iceland, games flanked by pyramids in Egypt and played with monks in Tibet. Once again the gloabl/local element is central – leaving many eagerly awaiting the film’s release in mid-2009, whether they are soccer-obsessed or just your average culture-vulture.

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