The unity in diversity

In many ways the XX century has been the century of diversity. Interculturalism, relativism, self-determination have been powerful watchwords behind vital and long awaited revolutions, that somehow were still more “imagined” rather than realized.

Undisputed post-modernity totem, diversity has been the subject of great debates and thoughts for decades, but on closer examination it is only during the last decades, in this troubled beginning of the third millennium, that interculturalism has become a reality, a tangible fact: not an ideal or a theory.

Yet nowadays, in the field of art and culture in general, we are witnessing a sort of “return to universality”. No longer accused for conservatism or reactionary tendencies, the idea of cultural fundamentals goes back to being discussed and translated into language, which is becoming the new means to search for lines of continuity between contexts and realities never “so near, so far”.

That is done, for instance, by Jimmy Nelson, photographer of tribal communities at risk of disappearing, who during his journey finds unexpected constant features of human behaviour. And that is done also by Mazen Jannoun, among the finalists of the Blumm Prize Future Frames, with his project “1×1” effectively containing extreme diversities within a unique symbolic space. Two examples of the way art can help finding that miraculous balance between unity and diversity that leads, perhaps, to the essence of the human being, to immutable values, beyond time, history, identities.

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