ABOVE: People of the world . . . all kinds of people . . . on the move . . . no fuss . . . no fight.
The act of mundialization is when a city council officially declares itself a "world city" by voting an internationally recognized charter that declares the city's awareness of global problems--such as war, poverty, inadequate water supply, pollution, inadequate energy access and management, and the city's sense of shared responsibility in working to resolving those issues. Mundialized cities consider themselves involved in symbiosis with each other for their very survival and advancement, and they observe a tradition of linking with other mundialized communities that, although are located in geographically and politically distinct places, they are similar in demographic and other characteristics. This linking is also known as "town twining". Its intent is to cultivate civic contact, human contact and cultural links.
My hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada currently has nine officially twinned cities:
In addition, Hamilton's constituent community of Dundas was paired with Kaga, Japan in 1968. Are you a citizen of any of these places?
I'm very proud of my tough old Steeltown. It takes its licks but never quits. I believe in the resilience of its people, and that it has yet to come to see its auspicious destiny. I believe that as a world city, it truly can play a vital role in bringing about positive change for its diverse citizens and this planet at large. As with other local artists, I want to show this town off.
Since 2007, the city's Mundialization Committee has hosted Internet photography contests to celebrate the city's pairings with its twins and encourage ongoing friendship and understanding. In 2008, the committee held a competition to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the twinning with Shawinigan, and the 40th Anniversary of the twinning with Mangalore, and Kaga. This was an opportunity to show Hamilton off and help promote multiculturalism.
The categories/themes of the 2008 competition were "Images of Peace", "Hands Across the Border (Places and Spaces)" and "Special Bonds (People)". There was also a special category just about Kaga. Out of my submissions for the first three themes, I won two of the categories, taking first and second place prizes.
I express my deepest gratitude to the independent panel of judges for selecting me as the winner, and to the Hamilton Mundialization Committee for holding this fantastic contest. It is an honour to be so recognized for promoting the things that I have so much faith in.
I also congratulate my fellow citizens who won the other two categories.