The advances in communication media, migratory processes, the displacement of populations because of conflicts in their countries or even the rise in tourism, locates human beings from different cultures in the situation of having to increasingly inter-relate. You could suppose that this makes differences between some cultures and others manifest, but at the same time it leads us to discover “something common” which makes us equal, something not as easy to describe as the differences, but easier to recognise as something profound and powerful that trivialises simple appearances.
Some sectors prefer to highlight factual differences, and although they could contemplate this from an aspect of diversity, of variety, of multiplicity that enriches… they emphasise what is “different” more as something threatening, invading and usurping. Of course, they could ask themselves how their own culture has collaborated or collaborates in the subjugation and ransacking of those populations whose own destination is today denied them.
But the recognition of “different people” makes the recognition of the same pain, the same suffering, the same joy, the same yearnings and hopes emerge in “oneself” … essentially, contact with others favours contact with oneself, permitting every human being to go back and ask themselves the fundamental questions about who they are and where they’re going.
This is extremely important in times in which the world is being increasingly dehumanised, in which people stop feeling their essence and increasingly feel like an object, a number, a cog in the system… Suddenly, the encounter and dialogue with other cultures allows us to rediscover ourselves as human beings.
In this working group we will cover the subject of interculturality as one of the signs of these times that will most help us to see progress as a universal value.
José Antonio Díaz
Presenters and moderators:
Clara Gómez-Plácito, Íñigo Gómez-Plácito
Convergence of Cultures, Madrid