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The Joy of Globalization
Wednesday, 05 January 2011 02:42

Globalization has been getting a bad rap since the global financial crisis struck down our economies a couple of years ago.  To lift our spirits for the year 2011, we invited our friend Jean-Charles Edel to share a tale on the “joy of globalization”.  He brought us a story from Julia-Keiko Tsujii, a Paris-based artist, but who was born in Brazil of Japanese parents, and did her studies in Rio de Janeiro and Paris.  According to Jean-Charles, “globalization is great”.  That’s quite something, coming from a Frenchman!


Dear reader, why don’t you send us your own story of the joy of the globalization to give us all some hope and happiness for the New Year.



Thanks to globalization, we are all connected to each other more closely than ever before.  Close economic connections through trade, investment, finance and migration have been a source of immense prosperity.  But these close connections mean that we all share both the ups and downs of the world economy, like these never ending financial crises.


The close connections of globalization also mean that international friendships are now open to all of us.  Some people even talk of a global society.


And then, more and more of us, like Julia-Keiko, are microcosms of globalization ourselves.  It is perhaps not surprising in Julia-Keiko’s case.  Her family name of Tsujii means crossroads and well, both meeting places.


The influence of three continents, a variety of roots, and a childhood spent in the untamed nature shines through in her paintings.  In Brazil, forest and metropolis coexist, as well as primitive life and high technology, mosaics of peoples and cultures, lost memories, exuberance, conflicts, and melancholy.  All these elements nourish Julia-Keiko’s work.


In 2006, she travelled to the centre of Brazil – to meet the “Other Brazil”.  Chance would have it that she met the Xerentes, one of the indigenous peoples of the region.  In looking at the Xerentes children – lively, curious, laughing, enjoying everything and nothing, running barefooted as if the earth, trees and water are part of their body -- Julia-Keiko suddenly relived the games of her childhood.  She comes from the agricultural country in the south of Brazil.


The Xerentes and other indigenous peoples are the “Others”, strangers on their own land.  Their situation questions the certainties of our world : the fragility of life in this powerful game of dominoes, the madness of our production system, the homogenisation of the planet, the urgency to respect Mother Earth, the absurdity of the green desert and the paradox of misery in an orgy of opulence.  Julia-Keiko is convinced that these indigenous peoples, who are still very close to Nature, can teach is a lot.  The threats to their existence also threaten our existence.


By clicking on the link below, you can see Julia-Keiko’s paintings.  Since 2009, she has been painting on hanging canvass, held by pieces of wood found in forests.  The canvass is painted with popular images, animals, ancient gods, words, extracts from newspapers … images of affection and irony.  The paintings are also encrusted with bits and pieces of things found here and there.


The works are entitled “The Andes Road” and “Other World”.  The Andres Road is an allusion to the discovery of America in the 16th century.  In searching for the route to India, Europeans arrived in America.  It was the beginning of globalization, and the upheaval of the world for lots of indigenous peoples.


With “Other World”, she wanted to open her heart and mind to the cultural richness of the « Other ».


During her childhood, Julia-Keiko felt like a foreigner in her own country because her mother tongue is Japanese.  This is the source of her interest for the indigenous peoples of Brazil, who are also bicultural and foreigners in the country of their birth.


Today, we live in a « Mosaic World ».  We meet daily, “indigenous peoples » in the streets of Paris, in the metro, in our homes.  Discover their landscape, their Nature, their Memory.  The world of today becoming a world of mixtures and hybrids.  This is one of the joys of globalization. 





Original version of text in French, with Julia-Keiko Tsujii’s paintings





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