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Fall 2010 World Policy Journal -The Global Canon

"The Creative Canon"

World Policy Journal -- Fall 2010 Issue

World Policy Journal's fall issue, "The Creative Canon," discovers an emerging Global Canon by examining the various forms of human creativity worldwide. 

For the first time in its quarter century of publication, World Policy Journal features music, painting, poetry, Internet art, Nigerian film and Peruvian theater...the entire gamut of human creativity to explore the emerging Global Canon. Acclaimed film director Steven Soderbergh discusses the future of cinema, Eric Hoyt examines the world through the lens of reality television, and the most interesting artists from all corners of the globe showcase and discuss their work. Horace Engdahl, a Swedish literary historian and critic who sits on and for many years chaired the Nobel Prize for Literature selection committee, writes that "every nation seems to have its own idea of world literature," and examines how this affects the Nobel selection process. Joel Whitney, poet and founding editor of Guernica, scrutinizes the waning influence of the Western Canon, while a range of experts, artists and academics debate the very existence of a global standard of creativity.
Beyond the Canon, the Journal presents the winners of its first ever essay contest, conducted in partnership with Africa Rural Connect and the National Peace Corps Association, addressing food security in Africa. Thomas Lee, a photojournalist, embeds with Ghana's illegal gold miners and returns with a remarkable portfolio; Jonathan Ewing probes the war for Ethiopia's oil; and Editor David A. Andelman addresses censorship's threat to democracy.


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Emerging Artists and their Art

Showcasing the vast scope of the Global Canon, the editors of World Policy Journal selected artists, composers, filmmakers and photographers to look at how their work is shaped by the world, including Dominican photographer Polibio Diaz, Israeli folk singer Asaf Avidan, Zambian-Italian filmmaker Franco Sacchi, Dutch internet artist Rafael Rosendaal, Peruvian playwright Gonzalo Rodriguez Risco, Japanese digital artist Ryoji Ikeda and Maya Barranza, a painter from El Salvador.

Conversation: Steven Soderbergh

Director Steven Soderbergh ("Che," the "Ocean's 11" franchise) discusses the future of the film industry and the growing importance of non-Western/Hollywood films in worldwide cinema. "It's hard for me to talk about where cinema is going to be in 25 years," Soderbergh says, "because I'm not convinced that it's going to be relevant."

A Nobel Sensibility

Swedish literary historian, critic and longtime chairman of the body that selects the Nobel Prize for Literature, Horace Engdahl traces the history of the prize and the development of literary “canons.” These systems of literature, he concludes, are far from unified and, in fact, are highly localized. “World literature,” he writes, “shifts from a descriptive term to something of a performative phrase.”

A Mongrel Canon

Joel Whitney, founding editor of Guernica: A Magazine of Art and Politics, scrutinizes the idea of a Western Canon centered on writers who are applauded, he argues, not just for their greatness, but for the availability of their works in English. However, Whitney predicts that as Western influence wanes, the Canon will evolve to keep up with the linguistic and cultural diversity of the world's great creative thinkers.

Keeping It Real: Watching the World Watch TV

Is reality television really nothing more than a vast cultural wasteland? Film expert Eric Hoyt doesn't think so. He shows how reality TV is a truly global culture, why millions of viewers who love watching their countrymen fall in slow motion and, perhaps most importantly, why Ukraine takes reality television so seriously.

--Professors Dr. David Palumbo-Liu and Dr. Paulo Lemos Horta discuss teaching the Canon to increasingly global students.
--In Anatomy of a Music Video, director Philip Andelman guides us through the complex creation of a 3 minute film.
--MapRoom transports us to the shelves of the world's largest libraries, which collectively hold at least 1.5 billion items in digital and print format.

PORTFOLIO: Deadly Gold

Once known as Africa's Gold Coast, Ghana remains a key producer of this precious ore.

Thomas Lee's photographic exposé takes a searing look at Ghana's illegal mining industry.

Contest: Food Security in Africa

World Policy Journal, in partnership with Africa Rural Connect, a program of the National Peace Corps Association, conducted the first essay contest in the 27-year history of our magazine, asking followers to submit their ideas for solving food security in Africa. The contest winners include former Peace Corps volunteer J.T. Simms, who argues for the use of highly nutritious foods such as moringa and PlumpyNut, and former Peace Corps volunteer Michael Norton, who examines the benefits of microinsurance.

REPORTAGE: An Ugly Exploration

Oil exploration in eastern Ethiopia has brought many multinationals to this contested land. Jonathan Ewing probes the precarious, at times deadly, standoff between the government of Ethiopia, the separatist rebels and the petroleum industry as he uncovers a raft of government-sanctioned human rights violations, with the oil companies complicit in the atrocities.  

The Balkans' Underbelly

Since declaring independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008, Kosovo has struggled to gain international recognition as a sovereign state. But this is the least of its worries. David L. Phillips, Director of the Program on Peacebuilding and Rights at Columbia University and former senior advisor to the U.S. State Department on Southeast Europe, takes a hard look at the culture of corruption and criminality that plagues Kosovo's young government.

The Roots of Hate

Hungary, long a beacon of social and economic hope in the post-communist eastern bloc, has become a hotbed for right-wing extremism. Michael J. Jordan reports on the socio-economic factors that are turning an alarming number of Hungarians to Jobbik, the most dynamic new far right party in all of Europe.

CODA: Censorship: Might vs. Right

What role does a free press play in democratic society? Moreover, what can we learn about a country whose government practices censorship? In his regular column, Editor David A. Andelman writes about how a free and unfettered Fourth Estate is crucial to a nation's healthy democratic future.



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