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Category Archives: Migration Culture

Design and Cultural Identity – A Return to Fundamentalism?

David Report is an influential blog and online magazine that since 2006 writes about trends in the intersection of design, culture and business. Their readers share their interest and curiosity in everything from art, architecture, culture, design and fashion to food, innovation, music, sustainability and travel.

Their biannual in-depth reports offer cutting-edge critical thought. The reports are trying to make a difference by challenging the conventional mindset.

One of their reports treats the connection between design and culture and the new cultural strands re-appearing related with the idea of national design focused on authenticity and meaningful use of identity.

Design and Culture have always been closely interrelated, but in many instances design is flaunted as the true measure of culture, rather than belonging to part of cultural context of the society. Design has become the embodiment of a larger process of creative ‘culture-mongering’ that has become a means to capture ideation, innovation and enterprise and made to stand for cultural identity.

The comprehensive scale and the rapid growth of globalism has undermined independent cultural identities, due to the disparate nature of where design and production takes place, and lack of knowledge concerning the true origin of materials and products. This is further confused by a combination of diverse sourcing, and unsustainable methods of labour and manufacture.

In addition, the world financial crisis of the last three years has seriously undermined the traditional sense of culture in the West, giving rise to a myriad of niche sub-cultures. Niches that are primarily sourced and transacted digitally over the Internet, and whose origin and sourcing are both hybrid and the result of fusion. These products are largely concealed in processing and fabrication techniques, and are non-brands that are camouflaged.

However, there are signs that despite this confusion and fusion of cultural identities, new cultural strands are being revived and are re-appearing. Some are intended and strategically driven, and some indirect reactions to the desire to reclaim a more long lasting cultural integrity. There has been a return to a type of ’Cultural Fundamentalism’ which has been prompted by a reconsideration of the roots of national design in Europe, led by Dutch Design, and more  recently by Flemish and Scandinavian Design. With new Swedish Design in furniture and product leading areas of sustainability, use of materials and relating to areas of cultural nostalgia and design anthropology.

You will find full version of David Report’s article here:

Yael Bartana – “And Europe Will Be Stunned”

And Europe Will Be Stunned (2011) is the compelling trilogy of films made by Israeli artist Yael Bartana, which premiered at the 54th Venice Biennale last year, making Bartana the first non-national to exhibit in the Polish Pavilion. Revolving around the activities of the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland, a group that calls for the return of three million Jews to Poland, Bartana’s films traverse a landscape scarred by the histories of competing nationalisms and nightmares across Europe and the Middle East.

Bartana expertly mixes imagery reminiscent of the historical past with the present, and raises questions of identity and belonging, leaving us to pause and question our own concepts of home and homeland.  In raising these questions regarding the complexities of cultural integration, interwoven with reality and fiction, her films challenge us to question our own understanding and acceptance of historical events.

Her film trilogy – Mary Koszmary (Nightmares) (2007), Mur i wieża (Wall and Tower) (2009), Zamach (Assassination) (2011) –  is on view from 24th of March until 26th of August 2012 in Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven – The Netherlands.

Visiting address:
Bilderdijklaan 10
5611 NH Eindhoven
The Netherlands

You can also attend the upcoming symposium on 18th of May at the Whitechapel Gallery in London – ‘And Will Europe Be Stunned?’ – which opens up the debates sparked by these highly ambitious and contentious films: beginning with a keynote paper from Gil Hochberg, Professor of Comparative Literature at UCLA, there will then follow a Q&A with the artist and a panel discussion with Joanna Mytkowska, Director of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, and Jacqueline Rose, Professor at Queen Mary University.

22 May – 1 July 2012
Hornsey Town Hall
Crouch End, London

This event has been organised with the support of the Polish Cultural Institute. Tickets are available from the Whitechapel Box Office.

For those who are interested in the full version of the interview with Yael Bartana for Louisiana Museum we attach the link:


101 Diasporas: Artists of Chinese Descent in Britain

101 Diasporas is the title of a project, incorporating an imminent publication and an online gallery and database, which has been undertaken by Sajid Rizvi with financial assistance from Arts Council England. The project is conceived

, designed, authored and curated by Sajid Rizvi, Publisher and Founding Editor of Eastern Art Report and Eastern Art Report Online.

101 Diasporas explores, examines and highlights the work of several generations of the artists of Chinese descent who are or have been resident in the United Kingdom. The project supplements the pioneering work already undertaken by EAR in the field.

Not only has each artist an almost unique story to tell of his/her artistic career–as no doubt can be expected–but also that each has a singular sense of belonging or not belonging, or what it means to be in diaspora.

Most remarkably, artists who have been born and brought up in Britain also feel that they are in a state of diaspora. Why? The purpose of the project is to bring together their stories, to publish them and to bring to global attention the work of these practitioners of art.

Are you a 101 Diasporas artist?

If you are a practicing artist based in Britain or have spent significant amounts of time in Britain and would like your work to be included in the project, please send an e-mail to Sajid Rizvi, or write to him at:
For more information write to:
Eastern Art Report Online
EAPGROUP International Media
P O Box 13666
London SW14 8WF
United Kingdom

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