Comment 42168

By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted June 18, 2010 at 11:14:59

When identities collide...

Immigration brings local, national and international identities into sharp focus – resulting in unsettling feelings and hyper awareness of norms and practices.

Some view the resulting collision of identities from immigration, as an event that will take away the 'familiar' from their static environment.

Others view this collision as an opportunity to create new colours, texture, tone and dynamism in a static environment.

A global city is one that has successfully managed to harness the energies released from such collision of identities, by facilitating convergence of ideas.

The built form of a global city is rarely the starting point to begin understanding its dynamism. For its genius lies buried deep within its transnational identity which is born from convergence.

Cities that fail at such convergence, continue to struggle with their identity and only manage to remain 'familiar' [unchanged], while suffering economic and cultural stagnation.

Acute awareness of the need to harness the energies from this collision of identities – has resulted in the emergence of a new profession of cultural mediators.

Hamilton will need these new professionals very soon – to navigate through its transition to a global city.

There exists a tremendous opportunity for our existing base of artists, social workers and educated unemployed to grow into this new role of cultural mediators.

A real opportunity is posed here to create from ground up an education facility in our downtown core, to train Hamilton's cultural mediators who are grounded in arts, sociology and urban anthropology.

Our new front guards – the cultural mediators, will facilitate convergence far more confidently than our many costly organizations, to usher in that warm fuzzy feeling one gets, on visiting global cities like New York, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Toronto..., where the energies from collision of identities have coalesced into co-existence and co-creation of an economy based on true diversity, interconnectedness, and grassroots innovation.

Cosmopolitans and locals engaged in a world culture – is something very distinct from the scripted [self-conscious] creative class engaged in creative cities.

Mahesh P. Butani

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2010-06-18 10:18:46

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