The Other

Issue Nr.2 2014

The term ‘other’ has many meanings in everyday language, only a few of them with a positive connotation. ‘Other’ refers to the different, the unfamiliar, the unknown; it refers to what we often consider as disruptive, threatening, and inaccessible. The society and the culture in which we live condition what we perceive as the Other and how we deal with it. Otherness is thus a construct that is subject to constant change. People and cultures, individuals or groups, languages, religions or moralities, aesthetic or political systems, bodies, animals and plants, the natural and the social environment – they all can appear different and strange to us, challenge our own beliefs and perceptions. Can we cope with this? Do we have the courage? Are we able to not only analyse but also encounter and even appreciate the Other? And can we gain something from our encounters with, but also from our challenges to, the Other? Thirty authors and artists have sought to answer these questions and give us their unique perspective on otherness.

To magazine extracts