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My Not-Quite Cultural Olympiad: Introduction

31 July, 2012

We’re well into Olympic season here in the UK – there’s just about nothing else on the BBC at the moment, or in the news. I have to admit, I’m enjoying the sport more than I anticipated I would – the sheer variety is lot more interesting than your average sporting event, and it’s great to see coverage of sports that don’t usually get a lot of attention, like archery and hockey.

Alongside the sport though, we’ve also had what’s been called a Cultural Olympiad. Another admission here: I personally feel that website is a bit woolly on exactly what the Cultural Olympiad is, and I haven’t seen a great deal of evidence of the events it mentions. Still, rather than be deterred, I thought I’d do my small bit to add to the overall celebration of culture – but rather than focus on the UK, I want to spread my net wider. For the next two or three weeks, I’m going to be choosing countries from around the world (who are competing in the Olympics), to share a single aspect of their art and culture that I love.

This is really picking single blades of grass out of a meadow, I realise – I can only cover a handful of countries, and I only have the space to talk about one thing (be it a film, band, author etc. etc.) for each. However, I want to only share art that I’m really passionate about and really love, hence narrowing the selection down so much. Rather than throwing a scattershot of bits and pieces out there, I want to home in on my absolute favourites and share them with my readers. Some will be new discoveries, and others will be things I’ve loved for years. Who knows, perhaps a little bit of my passion will rub off on someone else!

As of writing this, the Olympic medals rankings are really being dominated by China, with nine golds, so it seems only fair to start there in my next post. And after that… Well, I’d like to try to cover as many continents as possible, so it’s going to be something of a whistlestop tour!


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