The Image of BRICS and the Global South Othered Creativity

The Image of BRICS and the Global South Othered Creativity

Diana Sfetlana Stoica
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9821-3.ch016
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This chapter is an invitation to look over some creative products of media representations and communication, especially present in African country commercials, and analyze them from a potential BRICS ideology's dissemination point of view. The aim of this research is to finally conclude that there are very few differences between the North and the South, speaking about creativity, along with realizing a frame of paradigms on the global character of this concept. However, perceptions are subdued to the translation of creativity movements and the summing up of images created by these perceptions are paving the way to the conceptualization of Othered creativity. The Othered creativity is a concept proposed to frame the representations of an Otherness, subject to images that have been displaced from one cultural environment and re-proposed in another one.
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Looking over some creative products of the media, especially present in the tourism commercials of African countries, there are many things to discover. From a potential BRICS ideology’s dissemination point of view, there are many things to learn. The reference is made to the term of Jim O’ Neill, BRICS, used for the group formed by Brazil (B), Russia (R), India (I) and China (C), four emerging economies that he placed in neat concurrence with the most developed western economies(USA, Germany, Canada, Japan, France), which group was completed later with South Africa (S), as a strategic regional leader.

The first thing to discover would be if the story of a destination in different parts of the African continent, preserves the image of a powerful block of states trying to manifest its influence in the region. The name of such block could be BRICS, but limitations are not effective neither desired. Any group of states that could shape a source of power coming from the so called Global South, over a global audience, could be regarded, as a matter of fact. In this respect, it would be also useful to define if the audience could be divided, in a northern and a southern one. Thirdly, to note, in tourism video commercials of some randomly chosen African countries, that were uploaded on YouTube so made visible to a larger audience, the differences in the creative work between the Global North and the Global South. Once noted, such variances between the so-called North and South, could find their application in the distinctness of creativity. The creativity could be, therefore, categorized, more than defined, on the basis of the various paradigms on the global character of this concept.

The criticism is applied to commercials of Tanzania, Angola, Rwanda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, more visible on YouTube when creating a simple research on google with the following keywords: tourism commercial Africa, tourism in Africa, Africa tourism, official Tanzania/ Angola/Rwanda/Kenya/Zimbabwe/Nigeria commercial. The audience of the commercials seems very large due to virtual presence, but demographical context of the research is reduced. Based on the request-offer paradigm, only those interested in a destination, prior to viewing its representations and imaginaries on YouTube, are potential audiences. Otherwise, visibility is left to hazard. However, in the context of the paper, the qualitative analyze is holistic, with limitations of qualitative data that serves as support for the critic premises on the potentiality and type of creativity.

The choice to extend the analyze on more African countries is linked to the idea that more context explored in a comparison structure would allow creativity features of the Global South be identified sooner. Although randomly chosen in the first instance, the criticism applied to different chosen countries would differ based on the elements identified as leading to the context of power relations expressed and to the existence or not, of an other-ed creativity or a process of othering that should be in act. In fact, the countries chosen have different colonial memories (due to the origins of the colonizers) but contextual possible identical archetypical knowledge.

The construction of links between a group of new powers on the political stage of the globe, as BRICS depicts itself, and the creativity produced in certain regions that are vulnerable to the presence of such new powers, due to their imagined marginalization, is rooted in the deep interdependency of terms like creativity and the Self.The attention is now on the image of African creativity and the relative Self. From a pragmatic point of view, the Self is captured in creativity, as also the political discourse on Afrocentrism underlined in 1998 already, through words of the South African President Mbeki, who considered discovering of the soul would have been made available through the creativity (Butler, 2016, p. 66).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Colonial: which is related to the colony and the relations of power; colonialism – the reference to a certain type of order that replicates in time the relations between humans, between regions or nations, between subjects of a research or their objects.

Othered Creativity: a creativity of those who have to define themselves in regions where they have to adapt, assimilating values of other cultures.

Global South: the symbolic region of the globe, created by former colonies or other states contesting the way of thinking or hegemonic behavior of western powers, but also competing for the recognition of the self –reliance and reliability on a global market.

BRICS: Brasil-Russia-India-China-South Africa.

Representation: an image of the object that seems the closest to the reality that was validated a-priori by the subject, due to the mind-sets he fostered, the culture he lived in or was adopted by.

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