Curtin’s Capital Collaboration

When discussing the term ‘Media Capital’, I immediately think about the United States of America. At this point in time, I am watching Suits, Breaking Bad, Workaholics, Blue Mountain State and Community. This leads to my inevitable assumption that the media is a one-way, dialogic flow from the U.S.

After this week’s lecture and reading, my vague opinion on this matter has changed dramatically.  A point that resonates with me is that: “media capitals are described as places where things come together and, consequently, where the generation and circulation of new mass culture forms become possible” (Curtin, 2003). With the impact of globalisation and hybridisation, media capitals have emerged, creating a central hub where different cultures interact to form the modern day media.

The clash of civilizations is an idea that was initially proposed by Samuel Huntington in 1993. He divided the world into seven different civilizations, which focused on boundaries and containers rather than complex patterns of flow. With the convergence of technology and the emergence of media capitals, this theory was somewhat dismissed.

The recent economic growth of China and India has led to the emergence of local media capitals. Sukhmani Khorana’s theory of ‘Communication Movement’ states that economic growth directly coincides with the purchase of televisions, resulting in the demand for new and original entertainment. This growth can be seen in relation to Hong Kong Television, which has seen the city become a media capital. This is as a result of the shift from film to Television and the emergence of Crime Dramas and Cantopop. Curtin states “the city’s fortune as a media capital rests not only on its centrality, but also on its marginality”. While Hong Kong television is very culturally specific, it also holds many features of Western Culture, which has resulted in an increased interest in international markets.

With Bollywood virtually doubling Hollywood’s film production rate and Nollywood continuously rising, it is clear that there is a major battle between India, Nigeria and China to nab America’s place as the world’s leading media capital. This could be a positive change in the continuing push to break the boundaries of the media, in order to disrupt the conventional structures of domination and result in new patterns of flow.

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