Edition: 2010
Pages: 238
Series: PL
ISBN: 9788842094739
Subject area: Antropologia

Oceania. Islands of cultural creativity

Adriano Favole



"Oceania is neither West nor East: it is west-east. Setting out from Europe, it is possible to fly or sail to Oceania approaching from either direction. Oceania is the west-east not only in geographic or cartographic terms, but also because it is often represented in two powerful and contrasting stereotypes. On the one hand, there is the orientalising and exotic image of a primitive land inhabited by Australian aborigines with their ancient legends, from the Papuans of New Guinea who practice cannibalism to beautiful Polynesian women; on the other hand, there is the opposing image of a world by now believed to be completely westernized: a vast assemblage of islands that appear to have irremediably lost their cultural and environmental wealth."

This is not how things stand according to Adriano Favole, who spent long periods of time researching in Oceania, socializing with the natives and witnessing their cultural and artistic fervour, the result not only of their deep attachment to tradition but above of their openness to 'others'. For this reason the author devotes a lot of attention to the issue of 'cultural creativity', a sphere of human activity which, like Oceania itself, has often been considered marginal.

"Part ethnographic account, part epistemological inquiry, this essay aims to explore and make converge two 'invisible continents', Oceania on one side, and the creativity of human cultures on the other."

The author

Adriano Favole

Adriano Favole is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Turin and Visiting Professor at the University of New Caledonia. He has taught at the University of La Réunion (Indian Ocean) and the University of French Polynesia. He founded and directs the ‘Arcipelago Europa’ Laboratory at the Department of Culture, Politics and Society at the University of Turin. He has published numerous scientific papers and is involved in the communication of anthropology and the social sciences. He contributes to ‘la Lettura’ of the ‘Corriere della Sera’ and is a consultant to the Dialoghi Festival in Pistoia.

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