Globalization and Mumbai

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Understanding communication arts
7. Discuss how the communication arts (photography, illustration, graphic design) represent the effects of globalisation on TWO of the following cities: London, Amsterdam, New York, Istanbul, São Paulo, Mumbai, Shanghai, Tel Aviv, Jakarta, Beirut, Bogotá, Dakar, Cape Town, Cairo, Montréal, Reykjavík, Kinshasa, Buenos Aires. You should make reference to theories on globalisation and sense of place in your essay.

“Multiple identities can either be a source of richness or a source of conflict, or both”i (Massey). The number of different foreign identities in a city defines globalization. The four main categories of a globalized city are social, economical, political and cultural. Improved transport and technology makes it easier for people to communicate with each other, therefore there is a richer source of experience and information exchanged. Through this exchange a city can grow to meet the demands of an increasingly international population. This growth causes an increase in the number of jobs available and directly affects the number of people immigrating to a new city. When such a large number people enter a new city, many people believe this takes away the sense of ‘place’ it once held. For example, if in a certain city there is an increasing amount of Asian people immigrating to it, the chances of new Asian themed restaurants or shops opening is highly likely. Although there is a new variety of shops to experience, the area starts to loose its familiarity and space. This brings up the question of is it possible to have a global sense of place? Place gets directly affected by globalization and when people think of a globalized city, they think of lose of community and therefore place, but community and place do not necessarily go together. In a world of ever changing technological advances, the word ‘community’ has an increasingly stretched meaning. Through the Internet people can come together and share their interests from completely different parts of the globe, religion brings millions of people together and political values can also influence the community you share. Therefore, community does not directly affect place. So what makes a place ‘place’? “What gives a place its specificity is not some long internalized history but the fact that it is constructed out of a particular constellation of social relations, meetings and weaving together at a particular locus”ii (Massey, Space,Place and Gender). Place is not bound by boundaries, this immediately helps in defining a global sense of place. Without boundaries we can not have different nationalities, no ‘us’ and ‘them’. In this globalized sense of place there is an immense amount of opportunity for communication artists to take. Designers are not restricted to traditional and redundant forms of design. They can experience and test new forms of art in a multitude of different ways that were not available to them before. Through this globalized community, their work can travel across the world in only a few minutes. Making a statement becomes easier because there are so many different cultures and religions in one place. ‘The economic infrastructure of the art world is also changing as a result of technology and globalization. International collectors are helping fund an art boom, and the Internet is allowing artists to showcase their work to a broader audience.’iii (Tanneeru). This brings us to the topic of the question. For my two cities, I have chosen London and Mumbai. Having grown up in Mumbai I have seen the city get globalized more and more everyday. The rate at which it is changing still shocks me sometimes. Hardly 60 years ago Bombay (as it was know then) was just a small city occupied by farmers and fishermen. Now it is growing into one of the biggest cities in the world and is definitely the most globalized place in India. Only recently has design taken any notice in Mumbai, but it is quickly growing into one of the...
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