When exploring the current mediascape (A. Appadurai, 2010) one could argue that the worlds media, music, film and television navigate centrally from a single media capital, the United States of America. Media capitals central focal points where different cultures interact, and content is hybridised. A counter-argument could be that indeed, whilst the US is a key player in the flow of culture to the rest of the world, new media capitals are emerging from the depths of Hong Kong, Asia and Bombay. Now epicentres for the “finance, production, and distribution of television programs” (Curtin 2003, p.203) these emerging media capitals are the central midpoint of the scapes discussed in my previous posts and house some of the worlds newest trends such as K-Pop, J-Pop and CantoPop.
This notion of emerging media capitals can be further discussed in synergy with Samuel Huntington’s novel A Clash of Civilisations (1996) where he predicted that the future problems of the world would arise and be caused by cultural differences and disagreements. Huntington’s theory flows within the ideoscape and many have agreed with his suggestion, perhaps the ‘clash’ will be a direct cause, or somewhat related to Orientalism (E. Said, 1978), the perception and depiction of the East by Western society, this clash of cultural difference or perception has been developed and has evolved through the ideoscape post 9/11 into a separate entity – neo-orientalism. This concept was developed to define the attitudes, perceptions and stereotyping toward the global Islamic community.
The two key concepts of media capitals and the clash of civilisations indeed repell eachother. Media capitals encourages the hybridisation of cultures to be viewed by international audiences whereas the clash of civilisations could argue that this could lead to future conflict.
To bring this into a domestic context, Australian music artists have emerged into the international realm as some of the worlds leading pop artists with Australia female rapper Iggy Azalea becoming the first woman and only artist following the Beatles to hold the first and second rank on the Billboard Hot 100. Along with this Azalea became “…the third woman to rank at Nos. 1 and 2 concurrently… [and] additionally becomes only the fourth solo female rapper ever to top the Hot 100” (G. Trust, 2014). This example allows for the further depiction of how, although the US still has a significant influence upon the rest of the world, new media capitals are developing within the mediascape to make their mark in history.
Will this lead to a clash of civilisations?
Appadurai, A 2010, Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy, University of Minnesota press, Minnesota
Curtin, M. 2003, ‘Media capital’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 202-228
Huntington, S. 1996, Clash of Civilisations, Simon and Schuster, New York
Trust, G. 2014, Iggy Azalea Tops Hot 100 With ‘Fancy,’ Matches Beatles’ Historic Mark, Billboard, http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6099390/iggy-azalea-tops-hot-100-fancy-matches-beatles. Viewed 8 September 2014