The Cultures of the Great South: Resisting Stereotypes and Folklorization, lecture by Abel Prieto, President of Casa de las Américas

Addis Ababa, May 17, 2024.- The University of Addis Ababa and the South Cooperation Organization (OSC) co-sponsored a public lecture on "The Cultures of the Great South: Resisting Stereotypes and Folklorization" by Abel Prieto Jiménez, President of Casa de Las Américas and Former Minister of Culture of Cuba.

The conference marking OSC Day 2024 further aimed to explore ways to help communities maintain control over their cultural values, beliefs and practices and ensure cultural self-determination and freedom from the threat of cultural contempt and neglect.

Within the broader framework of cultural homogenization, the conference shed light on folklorization as a hegemonic pressure that culminates in the alienation, fossilization, homogenization, commodification, and standardization of cultures and cultural practices. Commodification means that the cultures of the Global South can be denaturalized, trivialized, sanitized, idealized, and commercially exploited. The reinforcement of stereotypes and the perpetuation of misconceptions place the cultures of the southern states at greater risk of loss of integrity.

The conference delved further into ways to form a common front and collective resistance against cultural homogenization and loss of identity that can affect communities in southern states through cultural mutilation and destruction. Mobilizing united cultural resistance and cultural self-preservation were seen as important strategies in the Great South states to resist the growing influence of cultural homogenization technologies and the temptations of neoliberalism.

(EMBACUBA ETIOPÍA)

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