Thursday, February 22, 2007

A world without strangers (French version below)

On my way back to koshiwon, I came across one of these bags from a Giordano store (Giordano is a Hong Kongese brand, kind of the local Asian Gap, when it comes to marketing and packaging. Their commercial campaigns are so yummy. Starring Chang Dong Gun or Kwan Sang Woo. One of their jeans –skinny cut- suits me perfectly. Damned so tempting. I am looking forward to buying it, maybe, if I go to HK in April…)
Their slogan: a world without strangers.
I cannot help but feeling so weird, disturbed by their motto. The cosmopolitan that I’m supposed to be should shout houra and applaud. Referring to a post Europeanist perspective when frontiers would not exist anymore and so on. That also means shelving an important issue: how much Asian states are attached to the concept of sovereignty. Even though there would be cohesion at a grass-root level (a feeling of togetherness/belonging/shared beliefs, according to the in-depth interviews I’m currently reading for my article...), politicians seem to be deeply entrenched in their respective State-sovereignty approach.
The Asian Political Community to be –if wished- would then be a bottom-up process contrary to what happened in Europe (top-down process). Hence the interest of current pop culture flows (he he, sounds like my PhD-to-be thesis…) in the building of an epistemic community (a community of meaning, to make things clear, less verbiose. My comrades from European studies seminar would certainly recognize there the fourth chapter of our seminar on political and budgetary policies in the EU, by S. Collignon. Hehe. So Courtesy S. Collignon 2004 for the idea), which would support the possible birth of an Asian public opinion. However, following these few political flights of fancy, I cannot help but sticking these thoughts to the Korean context –like, actually, the Japanese context- i.e. particularly homogeneous context, just starting to face multicultural issues. In this case, wouldn’t this mention to a world without strangers a latent desire to leave the Korean society as it is, a care about cultural preservation, yet obsolete in this globalized world, on which Korea capitalises though…

Creatives and marketing directors should then learn to churn out less polemical commercial slogans.

This slogan was thus my visual slap of the day (I spent my whole day struggling with in-depth interviews, and confronting these with excel data. My eyes did not really like it…). Also made me recall and think about who I am here. Am I still a foreigner? I’m not that sure. Somehow, I start to fit in the landscape. Looks in the subway seems less inquisitive, more tender, sometimes (or did my paranoia fade water down?). Some people ask their way in the neighbourhood, sometimes. It usually ends up with my ‘murrayoo’ (dunno) and an embarrassed smile, but somehow it makes my day.

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