These images are an interesting take on globalization.
In so many ways the technology we have is extraordinary. We can see and interact with people we would not have even known existed if it were not for modern technology. In this way the world is small, accessible, and we have the opportunity to learn so much from one another. We can all be deeply integrated anthropologists studying humanity, and the diversity of the human spirit from any where in the world.
But, we can also use this to creates “same-ness”. Exploiting one another and suppressing rather than celebrating differences. I was in southern China almost 10 years ago and as we were trekking through the foothills from village to village we learned just how many of the ancient cultures and traditions were being replace by TVs and DVD players.
The differences between the towns that had electricity and the villages that didn’t was astounding. Without any electrical currents in the hut people spoke to one another, they practiced ritual and communed nightly. This was such a beautiful, human practice. As we got closer to the big cities and the luxury of the huts started to rise, it seemed the humanity of the people just as rapidly declined. They didn’t communicate in the same way and the elders complained that there were no students interesting in learning the old languages, drawings, and rituals. And so, with the birth of Facebook, Google and Twitter we mourn the death of the Dongba Tribe, the Massai people and the Gauchos. I am so glad artists like Jimmy Nelson are taking the time to honor these cultures. So we can honestly say they may be gone, but will never be forgotten.