No More Westerns – on the theme

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The 24th edition of Impakt Festival will take place from 24-28 October 2012. This year’s theme No More Westerns will have its scope aimed at the cultural consequences of the profound geopolitical and economical changes that  we are confronted with. The American media culture is dominant and has a strong influence on the cultural production in other parts of the world. This is a generally accepted notion and most of our thinking is based on it. For good reasons, under the influence of Hollywood generations on all continents think and communicate in images and archetypes that are created by the American media industry. Also the internet, the platform that by now has become more influential than the film industry, is dominated by companies from the US. We are used to seeing the ‘western’ media industry as the most important domination factor in our visual culture and in the arts and in alternative culture we are focused on counterbalancing its mainstream tendencies. The Japanese media industry was of little importance 50 years ago and it had no influence outside of Japan. But, following the rise of Japan as an economic power also the Japanese media industry slowly grew and its influence outside Japan grew. In the beginning this only manifested itself on a cult level e.g. Godzilla and Anime but now it has an influence on mainstream culture outside Japan and it is exporting TV formats, Game shows, etc, not only to America and Europe but also to China and Latin America. The cultural influence grew as a consequence of Japan’s development into an economic super power Rapidly growing super powers like China, India and Brazil claim their positions on the world stage and since the 2008 crisis the news is dominated by reports on the decline of the western economies, the EU is in crisis and the USA fell of its triple-A grace. Maybe most of us are already getting used to the idea that Europe’s and America’s economies will play a secondary role in the future but few of us realize the cultural changes our world will undergo as a result of this. The entertainment industries of the new economies will have a strong influence on our media landscape. Where we are used to the dominant position of the western media industry and concerned with offering alternatives to it’s mainstream tendencies, we will soon be confronted with a media landscape that no longer can be called ‘western’ and will bear strong and significant influences from the new economic super powers. What will this new global media landscape look like ? How will it influence culture in our future world ? What position will art have in this development ? Can art keep providing alternatives and promote pluriformity ? How can it survive in the new economic power balance ? With NO MORE WESTERNS Impakt Festival 2012 will focus on the new media landscapes in various world cultures under the influence geopolitical developments have on them and the way art can respond to these developments. With bold extrapolations, historical analysis, harmonic ideals, dystopian visions and contributions from correspondents and experts from all over the globe Impakt will offer opinions and analysis that might not always be scientifically accurate but for sure are thought provoking and inspiring.

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  1. [...] Depending on the response of the potential candidates, Impakt may choose to work with an overall proposal of one curator or a team of curators, or to bring several curators together and compile a combination of different proposals. For more details about the No More Westerns theme, we refer you to the text on our website. [...]