I’m delighted to be leading this discussion, as this episode brings out many of the issues addressed in A344, Art and its Global Histories, a brand new art history course I contributed to, editing and co-authoring a unit on British India.
In this episode David Olusoga looks at what he refers to as the first age of globalisation, tracing key moments of the Europe’s encounter with Africa, Central America and Asia from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. This episode traces a shift from the time when relations between Europe and other parts of the world were relatively equal militarily and economically to when European traders turned conquerors, bringing vast territories under their control amassing great wealth. As Olusoga points out, whether victim or victor, the encounter left no society unchanged and created great works of art that speak of this history. Moreover, this was also a period of great exploration and scientific discovery, to which the visual arts contributed greatly.
Which brings us to the discussion I will be moderating live between 12-1pm on Friday, 6th April. Join in by posting a response in the Comments section below (select 'save' to send your comment).
This episode has introduced a great many amazing visual objects, and I would be interested to hear from you which ones struck a chord and why do you think it did make a particular impression on you? Was it because it showed a new aspect of a work of art or object you were already familiar with? Or maybe because you had never seen the object or work of art before and it took your breath away? And which visual object expresses the encounter between these cultures most strikingly in your view?