I remember reading a book about faith and religion that offered a very interesting insight to me about the scriptures – both oral and written, of most belief systems. The author suggested that these sacred texts have something in them for everyone, regardless of their level of education, breeding or intellectual development. Another pop psychology book approached the same idea from a different angle, opening up discussion about the different levels of mental health that folks from various classes in societies use to engage with their views on religion and spiritual matters.
Is it possible that this way of looking at things could also apply to broader matters pertaining to culture? When “World Music” enthusiasts of the WOMAD variety engage with performance work from African subcultures, they might have different expectations from those who identify with contemporary Afrobeats. At the heart of both genres, artists can be found, aiming to connect with audiences who can keep them going while they produce their work. The styles might be different, but the essence of the communication is more or less the same.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if the focus could shift away from the relatively superficial preoccupation with style, towards examining the content of the work? If creating artistic work is about communicating with symbols, surely the meaning of the work should be of paramount importance to everyone involved in that process?
If it is agreed that all of us have something to contribute to the consciousness of what it means to be human, then perhaps we all need to reflect on the ways we relate to each other. What is of value to our fellow men, women and children that each of us can offer?
Is the time fast approaching when the commoditised ethos of dream factories will fade into oblivion?