From this week’s readings, Shanti Kumar’s argument about the challenges of overcoming the urge to compare cultures was the one that mostly inspired my thoughts. Is There Anything Called Global Television Studies?, Kumar’s circuitous essay, evokes standard myths that follow – and obfuscates – the concept of globalization. One of his conclusions is that no study of global television would be complete without the “subaltern studies”. The concern towards cultural comparison, combined with the solution through interdisciplinarity, leads to the idea of Orientalism, developed by Edward Said in 1978. When thinking contemporary history and postmodern culture, Said’s notion of cultural representation needs to be taken into consideration. The main argument that supports this present discussion is the thought towards the identification of the self when representing the other. The Orient is no longer a geographical mark, but rather the foreign culture, the outsider.
Sense8 is an example of fictional globalization that translates this actual tendency. Even considering all of its problematic characterizations, the show fits as an interesting illustration to this discussion. Portraying the lives of people all over the globe, connected by psychic powers, the show brings to light particularities of certain culture in a way to connect them to one another.
Within the strategies found by foreign (non-English) productions, one specifically stands out to me. It seems that local productions have been redoing conventions typical of Western productions, in a way to create a product that is appealing to the general audience. Instead of focusing exclusively on local particularities, these products of media have been developing a trajectory that goes from micro (as a start point) to macro (as conclusion), reaching aspects that would share meaning with the dominant western culture. I would argue that this case is more a strategy to broad the spectrum of audience than a movement towards disappropriation of cultural particularities.
Here is the trailer of Sense8, for those who haven't seen it yet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9c_KSZ6zMk