“Greek literature adapted for Chinese children of the European Community.”
“Fake Swiss watches in Paraguay sold by camels in the Mexican neighborhood of Los Angeles.”
“African zebras and Australian kangaroos at the London Zoo.”
“Canadian prefab houses made with Columbian wood.”
“Japanese multinationals set up companies in Hong Kong and produce with Brazilian raw material to compete in the American market.”
“Iraqi children fleeing the war do not get a visa at the American consulate of Egypt to enter Disneyland.”
The quotes above are song lyrics from Titãs’ song Disneylândia. These lyrics have been translated from their original Portuguese. Titãs are a rock band from São Paulo, Brazil and have been playing together and writing since 1981. Disneylândia is the third track on the band’s seventh album, Titanomaquia, which was released in 1993. The song was written to give rise to the analysis of consuming and production relations in the world by listeners. The song is comprised of examples and illustrations of globalization all over the world and can be linked to Hesmondhalgh’s ideas on cultural internationalization of business and texts.
In his book, The Cultural Industries, Hesmondhalgh prefers to use the term “internationalization” rather than “globalization” for a couple of reasons: he believes that the term globalization has its foundation in US dominance and cultural imperialism and because there are counterflows of content and texts to Western countries from the East.
Hesmondhalgh writes, “Cultural texts originated in one country are increasingly seen, heard, and so on in other countries. Because of this increasing flow of cultural texts, audiences, and symbol creators can, in many places, draw on texts from many other different places. Texts, genres and even technologies will be often reinterpreted and adapted by symbol creators in other contexts” (Hesmondhalgh 2002). We can see examples of this today, mainly in the television and international film industries and in popular music. Hesmondhalgh’s middle way (cultural internationalization) is exemplified by global TV formats. Hollywood has dominated the international film market in recent years, placing films produced in other areas of the world in the shadows. While the majority of popular music is sung in English, but there are many other countries whose influential music has spread throughout the world (Brazil, Latin America, Central and West Africa).
Disneylândia shows us cases of global counterflows that are all around us, exhibiting that media internationalization isn’t just a case of cultural imperialism and draws people to engage in thinking, examining, and analyzing the role of local media in the contemporary world.
AllMusic, 2017. Titãs Titanomaquia Review by Eduardo Rivadavia. [online]. Available at: http://www.allmusic.com/album/titanomaquia-mw0001362912.
Antunes, A., Britto, S., Mello, B., Miklos, P., Reis, N., Gavin, C., Belloto, T., Fromer, M., Endino, J., 1993. Disneylândia. Warner Music Group.
Hesmondhalgh, D., 2002. The Cultural Industries. London: SAGE Publications.
Lyrically, N/A. Jorge Drexler: Disneyland Lyrics. [online]. Available at: http://lyrics.wikia.com/wiki/Jorge_Drexler:Disneylandia.