What is a book? Once we could proffer answers with the clearest certainty. Today, it is difficult to do so. In this vein, I am keen to explore what can be termed the “fragility of meaning,” under which heading I can rightly argue that a book is now without precise definition, and has formed the subject of a contested terrain. It is a fashionable contest, which in this decade will probably remain unending. Already there are numerous examples of how interesting this ongoing dialogue is, but as I am keenly interested in what definition the book has assumed for today’s Africa, I will shelve the less urgent appeal of what the global book is, and ask pointed questions.
On September 20, I attended a lecture by former UK Prime Minster Gordon Brown at The New School University. As he paced the stage, Brown outlined the themes of his new book, Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalization.
Quite a title! I am sure we could come up with a globalization crisis that precedes the contemporary one he speaks of, but that's not the point of this post.
Ashwin Parulkar completed an MFA in creative writing and an MA in international relations at Syracuse University. He currently writes on India, Nepal, and Bhutan, for Freedom House's Freedom in the World report.
Valentine "Sphinx" Eben is a leading African media-maker. Sphinx has a long history of activism, media work, and organizing, including three "convergence and training" houses at the World Social Forum. The latest such house was completed in 2010 in Dakar in collaboration with May First/People Link.
Carol-Ann Gleason is a development specialist with a multidisciplinary expertiseonAfrican politics and international political dynamics. Her work focuses on contemporary political frameworks, the variables of globalization and social mobility, the character of civil society in a digitized world, and the impact digital technologies and new medias have in amplifying the voice of ordinary citizens. She holds a B.A.
As the organ burst into a solemn anthem, and the choirmaster accompanied it with her crystal voice, all the chandeliers and candelabra sconces suddenly lit up simultaneously, like torches of golden fire – the mass began. In a second, the Catholic cathedral in Guangzhou, the largest city in southern China, was flooded with streams of flaming light and dancing gem-like colors projected on the walls from the stained glass windows.
Nikki Froneman is a South African arts producer and occasional theatre director. She holds an Honours degree in Drama from the University of Cape Town and a Marketing and Business Management Diploma from Damelin College. Nikki has been living in Latin America since April 2006 and currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
by Piotr Zalewski. Originally published by our partner site, World Policy Blog.