The term Cultural Diffusion refers to a specific culture sharing its ideas to other territories. This is not a new concept. There has been cultural diffusion since the beginning of civilization. Greeks and Chinese spread their culture across the Mediterranean Sea and Asia respectively through trade. In some cases, a small part of the exchange results in a massive impact on the borrower. When Spanish brought potatoes for first time to Europe from the Andes region of Peru, growers found that potatoes were very cost efficient and were full of nutrients. The potato spread rapidly around Europe and became key in the population growth of entire countries during the 18th and 19th century.
With this example I wanted to illustrate how powerful cultural exchange has been and is becoming. In the past, all these exchanges happened slowly, but now through the Internet, we have access to content created on the other side of the planet almost instantly. This immediate cultural exchange makes nowadays society complex, sophisticated, and rich. And yet while having instant communication with people from the other side of the planet is a powerful tool, we often stay just in the surface in our understanding of other cultures. When we turn on our laptops and watch a Japanese cooking show on Youtube or listen to traditional Middle Eastern music, we unconsciously develop a vision of a foreign culture that could lead us in the wrong direction on trying to understand deep values of a particular group of people. Therefore, we must stay aware of our unconscious biases.
During my time living abroad, making these cultural connections reciprocal and being on a continuous learning state were the most valuable experiences in my career. Living in the Netherlands and China and being born in Spain have given me a broad perspective of the world from a general and an artistic point of view. I believe that as art managers, traveling and being in contact with diverse others are some of the most important investments in our careers because we have to be able to foresee future changes in cultural identity and behavior in societies that are more diverse than ever before.
After I graduate from the Bolz Center, my goal is leading arts organizations to untangle the complex environment of the digital era and globalized world. I want to help them thrive by collaborating with similar organizations around the globe and by opening organizations to more global and meaningful intercultural relationships.