The Avant-garde Meets the People. How Cultural Hub WORM has become an Experimental Community Center
Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands, The
Quickly changing and gentrifying neighborhoods such as Rotterdam’s neighborhood Cool-Zuid and its associated ventures such as music venues, cafes and pubs can pose a serious challenges for the Dutch ambition to be an inclusive society. WORM, a center for Rotterdam’s music and performing arts, is attempting to redefine its role in the neighborhood and explore what meaning it can have for the diverse inner city area. To understand how the role of the cultural institution is changing, we study three of WORM’s initiatives to actively engage with the neighborhood: an audio book of a local barber, monthly dinners with elderly people that got extended with other activities, and series of light graffiti workshops for children. These projects are rather diverse in their target groups as well as the involved artists. However, they tell us a lot about the variety of roles artists can take up in engaging with local communities, how connections with the neighborhood are being formed and potentially sustained. Specifically, we are interested in dialogical relations and co-creation between artists and neighborhood residents and explore the possibilities thereof in a variety of project-constellations.
Fielding Cultural Resistance: Understanding the Making of Kurdish Publishing in Turkey
Boston University, USA
This paper aims to explore the making of Kurdish publishing in Turkey by asking how that field emerged and has been developed under the conditions inimical to the use and reproduction of Kurdish literary language. My exploratory journey into that terrain focuses on both the diachronic development of the conditions of possibilities underlying its emergence and the synchronic dynamics characterizing its conditions of existence. Drawing on both the secondary data collected through archival research and the qualitative data collected through ethnographic one, I argue that Kurdish publishing is situated not simply at the intersection of culture and economy, but rather at the intersection of culture and politics as a form of cultural resistance. Rather than taking this form of resistance as a monolithic one, I use Bourdieu's conception of the field to frame the complexity of the dynamics constituting that form of resistance, and I define two moments characterizing the making of that field: struggle and competition. While the former moment denotes the relations of antagonism between the Kurdish publishers and the state, the market imperative and the predominant public perceptions, the latter one stands for the relations of agonism among the publishers making that field.
Narrating Humiliation in Entertaining Way: The Convergence of Hedonism and Nationalism in Chinese Television Dramas
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong S.A.R. (China)
Television dramas in China have long served ideological cultivation, as cultural production is under close surveillance by the state. The dramas representing the Anti-Japanese Fascist War (1937-1945) and Civil War (1945-1949) in Chinese modern history, which are called “revolutionary dramas”, are the major symbolic resources for the ruling party to claim legitimacy and galvanize nationalism, therefore set with fixed narratives of TV and film representations to guarantee that the marketized production keeps consistent with the orthodox ideology. However, some subgenres emerge recently with innovative representations that transplant typical characteristics of other genres (e.g. crime, detective and Chinese martial arts) into the shell of nationalist narratives, as a result, entail online and offline fermented dispute about the narrating of history. Through analysis of the most discussed drama texts, the reception of the audience and the cultural policies, this study argues that the unorthodox representations are the unintended consequence of the state’s meticulous control of cultural production which constantly squeezes out a number of popular genres, while promotes the revolutionary one. The pooled-together elements of popular genres located in the revolutionary background serve as the entertaining stimulus, substituting nationalism originally signified by the genre. While some audiences insist on nationalism as the righteous way to narrate history, others anchor their sense of identities on divergent discourses mingled in the new representations, where there is ideological rupture inside. Consequently, the narrating of history is double shadowed by the officially encouraged nationalism and hedonism voiced out by the caged market.
Learning to Do Business: How Second-Generation Chinese Capitalists are Reproduced through Cultural Production
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China, People's Republic of
An ‘enclave model’ for family business succession is gaining popularity in China. It allows the second-generation enterprisers to on the one hand start their own business, thus engaging in cultural production that distinguishes them from their parents, and on the other hand succeeding their parents’ advantageous social positions. The dynamic process of cultural production thus has distinctive structural consequences. Moreover, cultural production contains not solo actions carried out by the second generation, but is deeply embedded in intergenerational relationships, as both generations constantly negotiate conflicts and make compromises during the succession of family business. This paper shows how the cultural production carried out by second-generation enterprisers reveals the agency of their cultural practices, and at the same time contributing to the reproduction of a capitalist class in the making. Cultural production is not the monopoly of the underprivileged class, but key to the social reproduction of economic elites in China.