Cultural Awareness and Artists

Recently, I’ve started rewatching episodes of one of my all-time favorite shows, Parts Unknown by Anthony Bourdain. For those who aren’t familiar with Bourdain’s work, Parts Unknown is a travel and food show where he goes to lesser-known places and explores cultures through their food.

Throughout the program, Bourdain has multiple guests throughout the show that share stories of their country, city, or neighborhood. In his brilliant Hong Kong episode for example, his guests include a cinematographer, a movie director, a photographer, a chef, and a musician.

The draw of this show for me is its varied guests. Despite the differences between them, they share certain qualities: they are artists and well-informed on cultural matters. I think these two things go together. Artistry necessitates being culturally savvy - one must draw inspiration from the immediate environment and thoughtfully question the status quo to make art.

March 6, 2023

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