The Sound of our Times

Candido Mendes, Brazil

Rector of the Universidade Candido Mendes and Secretary General of the Académie de la Latinité.

(Submitted by the author)

The search for the sound – the 'musical note' – of our times, has become a matter of the utmost urgency, due to the impact of a series of changes worldwide and mankind’s attitude towards change itself. The pervasive syndrome of global fear in recent times, after the fall of the Twin Towers, means that the world’s cultures can no longer continue to co-exist.

At the same time, the foundations of our all-embracing modernity are collapsing, as is the Promethean moulding, through technology, of our frame of reference: one which was constructed purely for man’s self-fulfillment.

Taking as the premise that Western culture has now become ‘the’ universal civilisation, we are, in fact, having to face the expropriation - in all their vital collective identity - of what have become merely ‘peripheral’ cultures as a result.

A new and very specific 21st century terrorism reflects the emergence of the real ‘altericide’ – the abolition of the sense of ‘otherness’ – as the final effect of hegemony, an altericide that extends far beyond the classic recurring patterns of domination and imperialism.

Within this framework, the need to reclaim our cultural diversity is, in fact, essential if the world is to retain its symphony, and so that we may be spared from a silent or monotone fate.

Just as innovation became the benchmark for the modern age, so cultural diversity should be the imperative for the future, one that is as global as it is intrinsically pluralistic.

Image credit: Charlene Zatloukal:



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