Culture Counts: UNESCO poster competition

Competition Details

Mixing Cultures

by Pavle Terzic
Co-authors: Bojan Ceglar


The German philosopher Herder said there is nothing more indefinite than the meaning of the word ‘culture’ and nothing more misleading than its use that would hold true always, for all nations and in all periods of time.

With globalization some previous identities and cultures have been acquiring new elements borrowed from other previously separate cultures, incorporating them into their very essence of being. Even though each culture primarily draws life energy from its independence, it is concurrently being enriched by the diversity of other cultures. This is the reason why the mixing and rapproching of cultures can only be seen as a flowing process and never an end product.

The sink and the water symbolize the melting and mixing and rapproching of cultures in the globalized world. The design of the sink is archaic as are cultures that, nevertheless, today integrate a diversity of elements, be it past or present. Cultures were not born yesterday but have been present since the rise of man, and entail historical, aesthetical, and popular notes. They are present here and now, are exchanging, amalgamating, and constantly flowing and contributing to other cultures just like the continuous dripping of water drops.

The sink in connotation with water represents the flowing and mixing of different cultures while the water also symbolizes life, as there is no life without water, which is common to all of us, irrespective of our cultural background. The crystal clarity of the water is in turn a symbol of all positive elements that one culture can draw from another. There are a variety of cultures and shades of cultures, as shown by the two water taps, which also symbolize two ends of a continuum, constantly alimenting the pool of cultures, and all shades of colour lying between them that may lead to cultural harmony as the ultimate value and precondition for acceptance among cultures. Each culture, on the other hand, is characterized by its own palette of colour that it may exchange with other cultures. This is why the sink with water represents the continuous flowing, requestioning, verifying, and anticipating of the present and future of all world cultures.