International Conference Global Culture and Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism
Between November 8th and 11th, Brazilian and foreign researchers gathered in São Paulo for the International Conference on Global Culture and Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism.
The conference was organized by the research group Cosmopolitismos Juvenis no Brasil – Cosmocult – in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Communication of France, the Gemass of the Université de Paris, ESPM and Sesc, with the support of the Consulate General of Israel in São Paulo
The purpose of the event was to discuss the meanings of cultural globalization, its mechanical effects and hybridization, and its cosmopolitan consequences, from the perspective of global culture and its injunctions in social practices.
There was also an unprecedented presentation of the results achieved so far in each locality by the global survey “Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism and Global Culture”, which aims to understand how young people in Brazil, France, and Israel consume global culture and build their representations of the Other.
The program began with a pre-conference on November 8th and 9th. The workshop “Cultural Policy and Consumption” was conducted by the researchers Sylvie Octobre (Ministry of Culture and Communication of France) and Tally Katz-Gerro (University of Manchester, UK), who brought a discussion on cultural policy and the different forms of cultural consumption in the global context.
Katz-Gerro focused her speech on the financial aspect of cultural policies, and affirmed that in most of the countries that invest most in the area, they focus on high culture, elitist, or cultural manifestations that have the greatest connection to national identity. Cultural policies began with the aim of democratizing a limited concept of culture, went through a decentralization of government funding, a tension between tradition and novelty in the cultural hierarchy, and currently live the expansion of creative industries such as advertising, architecture, design and audiovisual, for example . Workers in these industries are the new focus of governments on cultural policies: the goal is to attract those who bring money to cities, states and countries through an “efficient” and profitable culture.
Octobre has addressed the difference between the effect of age and the generational effect on cultural transformations, and the impact of media on consumption forms. The researcher says that the internet does not affect the number of people who read or go to the theater in some generations, for example, but it impacts on other changes: times dedicated to work, leisure and culture are mixed, and we do not know anymore when we are doing what. “In the ancient world there was a beginning and the end. Today, if you watch a series like Game of Thrones, for example, it might be good to know the beginning, but there is no problem if you do not know it, because production pays off with narrative tricks, “she says. Octobre comments that gender also plays an important role in the preferences and uses of culture, and that cultural policies need to adapt to these variables.
On the 9th, the workshop “Global Culture – music and vinyl records” took place with Ian Woodward (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark) and Dominik Bartmanski (Technische University of Berlin, Germany). The researchers addressed the consumption of music and material culture, focusing on the consumption of vinyl and its insertion in the contemporary digital and global context. Bartmanski states that the decline in production in the 1990s and 2000s was a deliberate decision by the industry because CDs were cheaper to produce (but sold for the same price), and the medium change guaranteed sales growth for quite a long time.
Sound quality, one of the arguments for abandoning vinyl, is something relative to the fans of this format: the sound is not necessarily of good quality but is understood to be less “cold” than that of CDs or digital files, and more faithful to the intention of the artist in his production. And there is certainly an element of distinction in this consumption: “Downloading 3,000 music files to your computer is not the same as having 3,000 records in your collection,” says Bartmanski.
Woodward reminded us of the visual power that vinyl has to materialize music: “the covers bring heroes, villains, people who take pop culture forward,” he said. The tactile relation with the record also brings an experience that digital or streaming are not able to reproduce. And the defects, either on the cover or even the sound quality, are acceptable (or even desirable). As consumption becomes virtual, vinyl also becomes a way to share music socially, says the researcher.
In the afternoon, the conference participants were able to experience the methodological tools developed by the research group Youth Cosmopolitanism in Brazil for the application of the international research with young people in the local context.
Researchers at ESPM-SP Viviane Riegel, Renato Mader, Wilson Bekesas, Joana Pellerano and Matheus Passaro coordinated sessions of: card and digital games, cartography of global cultural elements, dynamics of global consumption, and images of immigration experimentation.
On November 10th, the official opening of the International Conference on Global Culture and Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism took place at Sesc Vila Mariana, with speeches from Danilo Santos de Miranda, Regional Director of Sesc São Paulo, and Marcos Amatucci, Research´s Pro-Rector of ESPM.
This was the first time results of the international research on Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism with young people in France, Brazil and Israel were presented.
Vicenzo Cicchelli (from Gemass, University of Paris, France) and Sylvie Octobre (Ministry of Culture and Communication of France) spoke about the main conceptual discussions of the research: culture, youth, cosmopolitanism and belonging. For the researchers, the imaginary of young people is open to the world in a very affective way, in different social classes, mainly base on an aesthetic cultural consumption. The pair also presented the research methodology carried out in France, with questionnaires and interviews.
Viviane Riegel (ESPM, Brazil) then presented the results of the Brazilian research, which included specific discussions on mediatization and global knowledge, and methodologies that were necessary in the field, also discussed in the previous day’s workshop.
Tally Katz-Gerro (University of Manchester, UK) brought the results of the research in Israel. The researcher found little difference in the responses of young people of different religions and ethnicities, contrary to what she expected: “Despite the social, economic and political differences, youth is youth,” she said.
In the afternoon, it was time to discuss aesthetic cosmopolitanism with Motti Regev (Open University of Israel). The researcher said that music is an example of cultural globalization: Brazilian artists such as Vanessa da Matta or Pitty make music recognized as pop worldwide, despite the linguistic difference. “Diversity has not disappeared, but it´s been reconfigured,” Regev said. What happens is the creation of a scenario conducive to more cultural coincidences, and to the circulation of foreign cultural objects that are integrated into the local culture. As there are different types and degrees of aesthetic cosmopolitanism, the researcher ended up reinforcing the importance of using the term in the plural form.
Then music returned as a subject at the conference. Martin Desjardins presented, on behalf of Serge Lacasse and Sophie Stévance (Université Laval, Canada), reflections on the singer Tanya Tagaq based on the concept of aesthetic cosmopolitanism. Antoinette Kuijlaars (Max Weber Center, France) spoke about the internationalization of the ‘batucada’ through workshops held in several European countries. Michael Spanu (University of Lorraine, France) presented the work developed with Jean-Marie Seca on music as a representation of authenticity and expression of social difference.
The day ended with a cocktail and the presentation of the book “Pluriel et commun, sociologie d’un monde cosmopolite”, by Vincenzo Cicchelli.
On November 11th, the session “Culture, openness and cosmopolitanism” began with Anne Krebs (director of the Studies and Research department of the Louvre Museum, France). Through videoconference, Krebs presented the case of the Louvre Abu Dhabi to discuss the notion of universality in the particular context of the creation of this museum´s facility.
Ian Woodward returned to discuss some of the ethical and social consequences of cosmopolitanism, especially when we think of the sensory aspect involved in relations with what is different.
Dominik Bartmanski has talked about architecture and how some iconic (and cosmopolitan) initiatives in the area can re-signify small towns and even turn them into touristic centers, which is known as the “Bilbao effect”.
The afternoon was dedicated to thematic working groups, with discussions on the meanings and effects of cultural globalization, cosmopolitanism and cultural consumption in Latin America. The reflection was developed in five thematic sessions, coordinated by ESPM-SP researchers: Hybrid Cultural Consumption (Wilson Bekesas and Renato Mader); Global Brands and Lifestyles (Viviane Riegel); Food and Consumption Practices (Joana Pellerano); Citizenship and Immigration (Denise Cogo); and Interculturality and Mobilities (Priscilla Oliveira).Participating in the session Hybrid Cultural Consumption, the researchers Rosario Radakovich (University of the Republic Uruguay); Antonio Hélio Junqueira (ESPM-SP); and Renato Mader and Wilson Bekesas (ESPM-SP). To discuss Global Brands and Lifestyles, Anderson Moraes Castro e Silva (INPI) and Cristina Nunes de Sant’Anna (UERJ); Gabriela Castro Castro (ESPM-SP); and Hanna Bakor (ESPM-SP). At the session on Food and consumption practices, papers were presented by Krisciê Pertile and Julia S. Guivant (UFSC); Paula Groehs Pfrimer Oliveira Stumpf (UFG); Raquel Hadler (ESPM-SP); Ricardo Ferreira Freitas, Cristina Nunes de Sant’Anna, Ana Clara Camardella Mello and Christiane Schwenk Lagun (UERJ); Talitha Ferreira (UNICAMP); and Adriano de Mendonça Joaquim, Marcelo de Rezendo Pinto, Marlon Dalmoro and Sérgio Silva Dantas (PUC-Minas). The group Interculturality and Mobilities counted on the presentations of Dayana Sabóia (UFPE); Gabriela Targat (ESPM-SP); Hadriel Geovani da Silva Theodoro (ESPM-SP) and Priscilla Oliveira (ESPM-SP). The session Citizenship and migrations brought together works by Denise Cogo (ESPM-SP); Liliane Dutra Brignol (UFSM); Mauricio Nihil Olivera (University of the Republic of Uruguay); and Sofia Cavalcanti Zanforlin (UCB).
According to Viviane Riegel, member of the international group and of the research project in Brazil, this was the first event on aesthetic cosmopolitanism in Latin America, and an opportunity to bring together Brazilian and foreign researchers involved in this research. “The meeting allowed the opening of a dialogue on the discussions of this theme, which now includes the specific issues of the Latin American context,” she adds.
Vincenzo Cicchelli, Gemass, Paris Sorbonne / CNRS, University of Paris Descartes
Sylvie Octobre, Ministère de la Communication et Culture de France
Viviane Riegel, ESPM, Sao Paulo
Ian Woodward, Griffith University Center for Cultural Research / University of Southern Denmark
Tally Katz-Gerro, University of Manchester
Angèle Christin, The New School for Social Research, Princeton University
David Inglis, University of Exeter
Joana Pellerano, Renato Mader, Wilson Bekesas