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Curatorial Statement

Marshall McLuhan’s often quoted phrase "global village" can lead us to think of two contradictory perspectives. With the advent of air travel and technology, we're now able to go anywhere at any time, access information and communicate globally with a few key strokes or via cellphone. And while the world has become much more accessible, it seems that people are tending to stick close to home.

The recent explosion of social networking websites is a prime example. The internet has provided an online community for us to reconnect with old friends, share experiences and exchange ideas. And yet, this connection has little geographical impact on our day-to-day living. We don’t have to leave home to connect with people halfway around the world. We can act big, but live small.

This summer, Harbourfront Centre explores the idea of "globalocal" (global to local and local to global). In spite of our "global village," nations are fragmenting into smaller culturally distinct regions; people are re-committing to the idea of "neighbourhoods" and field-to-table production; vast populations are in migration across the globe, taking with them their history and cultures; artists are exploring their identities and using traditional forms in contemporary ways; like-minded people are coming together and creating their own "tribes" around issues of concern.

The world is changing the way it communicates, and yet the essential questions are as rooted in tradition as ever: How do we connect? How does our world shrink and expand over time? What – if any – are the boundaries of our global village?

Melanie Fernandez
Director, Community and
Educational Programmes

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