A wide-ranging and sensitive exploration of local versus global, underlining the economic roots of cultural identity.
Cultural commentator Jeremy Seabrook looks at the threat to cultural diversity and integrity all around the globe, including in Western societies.
The hurtling speed of the global market knows no cultural boundaries. Languages, customs, rituals and myths – the building-blocks of local culture and identity – are swept aside with the global market's promise of security and prosperity.
Is this promise false? asks Seabrook. Is the survival of pockets of local culture true resistance, or does it mean that identity has been commoditized to the point that it is reduced to a backdrop of 'picturesque’ colour? Can communities reclaim the value of local cultural identity?
Harnessing moving personal testimonies of cultural loss and resistance, Seabrook embarks upon a wide-ranging and sensitive exploration of the battleground between local and global.
No British writer has thought more deeply or reported so sharply on globalised culture and its heavy costs than Seabrook. This wide-ranging package of essays slips between ground-level enquiries into tourism and trade in Africa and Asia, childhood memories and political meditations. It isn't about Western guilt-tripping but respect and responsibility - the virtues that his work practises as much as it preaches.