What might we mean by monoculture? What is the impetus for ‘identitarian’ or nationalistic monoculture movements who do not see, or wish, their society to be pluralistic, not just in the context of Europe but globally? Might we locate positive or even emancipatory aspirations of monoculture? Might a culturally homogeneous society also be inclusive and transformational? What lies at the fringes of monoculture, and what does it not tolerate? What may be the position of the arts within the context of monocultural ideology? Or alternatively, how might the arts look under monocultural ideology when taken to its logical conclusion?


Image000105 scan: (c) M HKA
Encounter (Vol. 1, no. 2, November 1953), 1953
ink, paper

Encounter was the most successful magazine, published by the Congress of Cultural Freedom. It was founded in the United Kingdom in 1953 by English poet Stephen Spender and American journalist Irving Kristol, who is often described as the'godfather of neo-conservatism'.  A monthly journal of literature, arts and politics, Encounter published the works of a wide range of international writers, poets, critics, philosophers and journalists from both sides of the Iron curtain. The column on politics, however, had a distinctive anti-communist and anti-neutralist sentiment, as well as general support of American foreign policy and the U.S geopolitical interests.