Silk Roads: An Ecosystem of Ideas and Imagination

Author: Michael Stetson, Miyazaki International College, Japan
Published: April 2012

Citation: Stetson, M. (2012). Silk Roads: An Ecosystem of Ideas and Imagination. IAFOR Journal of Literature & Librarianship, 1(1).


One of the many modern definitions of “globalization” is as a step in world history that develops trade networks that span continents, supersedes cultural allegiance and embraces the exotic in both commodities and ideas. However, there is much about our modern initiative that is merely an attempt to replicate what has been transpiring for thousands of years. Nowhere is this more apparent than the Silk Roads, ancient arteries of movement and exchange of not only tradable goods but also cultures. In today’s era of trendy cross-cultural interaction, there is much we can learn by observing the peoples of the Silk Roads, with an eye to finding our human similarities among the specific cultural and ethnic differences that this photo essay documents.


cultural diversity, ethnic diversity, ethnic identity, photojournalism, Silk Road, visual media