Thursday, April 06, 2006

El final de la diversidad cultural.

You don't see this in the UK except, and if you're lucky, in a large city bookshop; but it's sold all over Spain. It's a magazine produced in English-Spanish, English-French and English-Italian combinations; and a very pleasant way to pick up some vocabulary. This is the COLORS site, but you only get a flavour there (though you can subscribe).

It's bilingual throughout with powerful writing, strong design and fantastic pictures. In this issue dedicated to Travel, for instance, there's a piece on the effects of travel on cultural diversity:
"See the world while it lasts. Technology is infectious. Every time an antenna is raised in a remote village, another local culture becomes extinct. No society is equipped to withstand the onslaught. Every satellite launched, every cable laid, and the death of every elder, hastens the end of cultural diversity. If you are 25, it will disappear during your lifetime. Forget about stopping it; you can't. Instead savor every chance you get to absorb a passing world, to experience as much as you can before it fades into a big version of anyplace."

"Hay que ver el mundo antes de que desaparezca del mapa. La tecnología es contagiosa. Cada nueva antena que se levanta en una aldea remota significa el final de una cultura. Ninguna sociedad tiene los medios para defenderse. Cada vez que se pone en órbita un satélite, cada vez que se entierra un cable de televisíon, cada vez que muere un anciano, se acerca el final de la diversidad cultural. Si hoy tienes 25 años desaparecerá antes de que te mueras. Ni si te ocurra tratar de impedirlo: es imposible. Lo mejor es aprovechar todas las posibilidades que se presenten de saborear el mundo que se desvanece, ver y aprender todo lo que puedas antes de que el mundo se convierta en un lugar donde todos y todo se parece."
(If you're thinking that gives you plenty of time -
the issue quoted was published in 1995.)

COLORS magazine spread showing used Coke cans from America, Poland, Zimbabwe, Australia, Japan, Finland, Nepal.

So they recommend:

"Go now. Go for the people, not for the weather. Go to learn. Pass along to your friends and later, your kids, the things you learned, wherever you went. Use the technology you have to record what you find. Take pictures, tape music and stories, make videos. And leave nothing behind. When you go back home, take things away in your head, not in your suitcase.

If you want a souvenir, bring back a used can of Coke."

"Viaja, pero que sea la gente, y no el clima del lugar, el objetivo de tu viaje. Viaja y aprende. Así podrás enseñar a tus amigos y, después, a tus hijos todo lo que has aprendido en tus viajes. Aprovecha la tecnología para grabar cuanto encuentres. Saca fotos, graba música e historias y graba videos. No dejes nada olvidado: a volver a tu país, llévatelo todo en la cabeza, no en la maleta.

Si quieres un souvenir, llévate una lata vacía de Coca Cola."

Los mios

Dalí's thoughts:
"Thanks to IBM machines, social classes are going to disappear, and the whole universe will be cuckolded."
From Alain Bosquet's Conversations with Dali (1969).


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