AmalgaNations: How Globalisation is Good
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It’s globalised culture – but not as we know it.
Fuelled by curiosity and wanderlust, reporter Doug Hendrie travels to the edges of our world to find the most unexpected – and bizarre – examples of cultural mash-ups, from the StarCraft videogame superstars of South Korea to the Clash-loving punks of Indonesia.
A whirlwind world tour through surprising subcultures told with subtle humour, AmalgaNations picks up where Louis Theroux leaves off.
‘We’re used to carting our travel discoveries home, but as Doug Hendrie proves it’s a two-way trade. Particularly when high tech, sex and style make the most unexpected converts.’ Tony Wheeler
‘Travelling isn’t just about where you go but what you do when you get there: where you look, what you see, who you meet and the questions you ask. Hendrie gets all this right and more in a book which doesn’t just take us places but into what feels like the future - a future that is here, now.’ Sophie Cunningham
‘Hendrie challenges stereotypes, celebrates differences and shows that, at base, what makes us all human is our ability to creatively adapt to and engage with our increasingly interconnected world.’ Damien Kingsbury
‘Doug Hendrie’s personal and insightful account of the connections between the West and other cultures exposes hidden truths about our global village.’ Jacqueline Kent
‘From Ghana’s sorcery, scams and soft- porn film industry to gay power in the Philippines ... Welcome to Doug Hendrie’s world tour of rebirthed cultures.’ Christopher Kremmer
night, police in plain clothes would come in and shout at them. For four days, the punks languished in their cells. And then came Serawak Camp, the State Police School. Their heads were shaved as the local and international media watched. The local media came out in strong support of the deputy mayor’s move. The international media condemned it. The punks were bathed forcibly and their clothes taken. ‘Why do you have to shave our heads?’ Yudi demanded. ‘You think it will change us?’ The police
teenage boy trudges past, weighed down by a large school bag and books. He sees us and bows awkwardly. ‘That’s Baby,’ says Kim: We picked him in the draft three years ago, when he was twelve years old. He is very popular in Korea because he was such a genius in elementary school, beating professional players. Because of his youth, Baby still studies part-time. And, perhaps, by the time he’s ready for a full career in pro-gaming, the path will no longer be either gaming or education. There’s
is married. He has children. He’s living a normal life. If they can do that then it can be done. What the Church says is that the moment you commit the sin, it’s a sin. And the RH bill – why is the Catholic Church so opposed to it? He answers methodically: We oppose the idea of reducing population using means that are objectionable. The logic is that we are overpopulated, and therefore we have to decelerate our growth, as that is the cause of our poverty. But we object to that. True, we are
dozen of his movies. That’s a fraction of his output: Ashangbor has made sixty-three movies, thirty-three of his own and thirty for other companies. The first was The Bitter Results, a morality tale. Its lovingly framed poster shows a pixelated woman impaled on a sword. Morality underpins most of his work. When I watch Bomkasa, his 2008 film, I find a classic compeuppance story of two bumbling con men who want to milk a wealthy young woman of her money. The script is full of rich Ghanaian
a woman poses topless. I flick through it and notice interviews with Ghanaian actresses resident in Nigeria. The journalist asks insistently – what is your love life like? What do you like in a man? Socrate snorts. ‘See! Sex here is controversial. You have to tone it down because people go to church and pray about how you can release such a film.’ Socrate is silent for a few seconds. Then he sighs: The plain truth is that we pretend to be very, very moral in this society. But we all know what