Arts & International Affairs: Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2018 - Page 54

THE ARTS, PARTICIPATION, AND GLOBAL INTERESTS Day 7: The Global The Global speaks to our current moment in an ever-globalising world. Cosmopolitan understandings of human relations are in conflict with reactionary nationalist rhetoric and preferences. As a result, there is debate over how cultures are understood and how groups identify themselves. J.P. Singh reflects on the last deliberation day on The Global after the fellows attendance at Edinburgh Book Festival events with authors Tanya Landman and Andrew O’Hagan, and two performances: “Blak, Whyte and Gray” dance performance at the Lyceum, and the play “Adam” at the Traverse Theatre. The Fellows also heard a presentation from Edinburgh International Book Festival director Nick Barley. The Global Film by Guy Gotto (password: aia37) Gideon Wabvuta held before him a red chilli and spoke to anger and anxiety and its global manifestations. He narrated his own story in which his mother in Zimbabwe worries about him being in Los Angeles. Gideon also described ways in which his identity in the United States is often perceived through the lens of being African American. The Global group, last in a series of seven, used the language of spices to connect to earlier themes of the week. Using spices as a theme was the brainchild of Nik Shahrifulnizam Bin Che Rahim, a chef from Malaysia. Nik introduced his theme with Chinese cinnamon sticks to speak to empathy and humanisation. Puneeta Roy stood with a bowl of cardamom, with its multiple tastes, to signify highs and lows and the connection with the global. She outlined the need for new forms of inclusion and expansion for artists and consumers. Natalia Mallo had a bowl of small cloves and started to sing the Brazilian song that she translated as “My voice is my silence and it is not less than my song.” Natalia then related this song to the theme Voice and Silence discussed earlier during the week. Group exercises, ranging from getting to know one’s partner to singing together, emphasised developing trust and the role of the collective amidst disparate identities. 53