People tend to look upwards: they build skyscrapers, climb the highest peaks, fly into space. But what is going on under the earth? This issue of KULTURAUSTAUSCH probes everything that happens beneath the surface of our planet: venturing into caves, bunkers, tunnels, and natural phenomena within the earth itself.
The British sculptor Antony Gormley explains the sensation of looking at ancient cave art: "You feel the presence of the past, you feel the cave as the artists felt it 25,000 years ago." The author Shumona Sinha, on the other hand, takes us into modern caves, dwellings beneath an Indian metropolis, inhabited by those who cannot afford anything above ground. And Luthando Mampintsha from South Africa reports on his work toiling in the deepest mine in the world. Beneath our feet it is dark and also eerie. Things happen there that are not visible from above and yet continue to affect us. The American writer Will Hunt calls this world a "lost continent" in his introductory essay, in which he descends into the depths of life. Beyond our main topic, we also report from life on the earth's surface: In "The Document", we present a report by the Dutch Culture Institute that seeks fairer international cooperation, among other things in language policy. And we focus on Taiwan, but not at its critical relationship with China, but at the small artists' quarter Treasure Hill, where foreign and Taiwanese artists live side by side.
Enjoy this issue - and have a happy, healthy new year!