Magazine article ReVista (Cambridge)

Questions and Answers (Sort Of)

Magazine article ReVista (Cambridge)

Questions and Answers (Sort Of)

Article excerpt

I'm about to go out to lunch with some friends from Washington (yes, the Venezuelan place again). I just know they wil ask me what the next issue of ReVista is. My friends and colleagues are used to hearing about offbeat themes: garbage, sports, the Internet, the sky above and the earth below, natural disasters.

Sometimes I get asked how I get my ideas. I tell them about my long list. Some ideas come from things I read; some come from talks or news events; some come from readers; some come from colleagues and professors.

My colleagues and friends often inquire how we manage to get the great visual images for issue after issue when we don't pay our collaborators or photographers. I tell them ReVista is aimed at building community, that it's a collective exploration of many different topics, and besides, it provides a great item for a portfolio.

And now I can tell them about our first ever "Best of ReVista" photo contest that provides a cash award to the winners in professional and emerging photographers categories (see p. 46 for this year's winners and honorable mentions).

The questions always bring the conversation back to the topic of the next ReVista. But when I tell my friends and colleagues this issue is on the biology of culture, there is inevitably a pause. A long one.

I can't quite remember when I first heard the term "biology of culture." It may have been when Brian Farrell, now the director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, gave a talk on "Why We Animals Sing. …

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