My Cultural Quest

Applying the incisive tool of Semiotics to get a deeper understanding of the changing socio-cultural context.

Culture is the fabric of meanings, in terms of which people interpret their experience, and guide their action.

My quest to discover beneath the complex surface, an elegantly simple concept, to explain why things are the way they are. I revel in taking the world we know, and turning it around so we view it from an enlightened angle.

Decoding the Collective Unconscious

Unlike the personal unconscious composed of long-forgotten memories and experiences, the collective unconscious represents an inherited set of beliefs and common understanding. Culture links land of origin with lineage, where the culturally encoded DNA is the carrier of the collective unconscious.

This helped me understand the identity crisis of the ABCD – American Born Confused Desi. Living in the US cultural context, subconsciously the ABCD kid is imbibing the American way of life. However, his Indian-coded-DNA and family context makes him live by his Indian cultural norms and language. The outer cultural coding of Where-I-am-Now Vs the inner cultural coding of Where-I-come-from creates the conflict and confusion around identity.

India’s Daughter, decoding the Indian gender-bias

The semiotic decoding of the complete text of the documentary film- India’s Daughter, by Leslee Udwin, brings out the underlying cultural construct of the Indian mindset, perpetuating gender-inequalities.

India’s Daughter  not about the voice-of-one-individual  BUT throws light on the ‘Collective Unconscious of our society.

Auroville: Decoding 50 Years of Multi-cultural Experiment

Imagine 50 cultures living together to build a Future City  called Auroville, envisioned by The Mother. Auroville, an international township ( Tamil Nadu, India), where men and women of all countries, live in peace and progressive harmony, aspiring for Human Unity. I was inspired to decode the over-arching culture of Auroville, transcending multiculturalism.

The multicultural cross-pollination in the Life-Lab of Auroville, is an ongoing live experiment, towards creating  new cultural paradigm for the future. Auroville has demonstrated a paradigm shift in the cultural codes of business, work and money…opening a futuristic path. I am sharing the Auroville cultural codes, relevant to the global business context. 

The core of all Art and Culture lies in creating, discerningand negotiating Meaning 

 Art speaks the Soul of the Culture. The semiotics paper, decoding the artist’s trajectory, brings out the unconscious universe of hidden meanings in the artwork to surface.  It articulates the Artist’s unique language, cultural influences, that dictate his art practise. 

Desmond Lazaro’s Art is an expression of his exploring, navigating around the cultural tensions, pushing boundaries, and transcending Origin. Being an Immigrant across 3 generations, the Artist delves deeper into the construct of Home, Belonging and Identity. His Cultural Blueprint is anchored in the cultural dichotomies of our times – East-West, Mind-Spirit, Tradition-Contemporary, Moving-Rooted, and he searches for resolution through his art.

The Social Dilemma, decoding the unwritten codes of the Social Media Culture

 Recently I encountered a new documentary – The Social Dilemma. It opened my eyes, it shook me to the invisible, all pervasive context, we all live and breath in. Our world, our virtual culture – The Social Media. Something I was totally oblivious to, unconscious about how it all works. And how it makes us work to its tune…

Applying the Semiotics Lens, I transcribed the entire text of the documentary, to decode the ‘Invisible Culture’ of the Social Media context, we are all so invested in.

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