A CLOSER LOOK INTO NORTH KOREA

north korea posterWednesday, April 10, 2013, 3PM – 4:30PM

Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library

‘Nukes, missiles, satellites, prison camps…You’ve heard about North Korea in the media, interested in hearing the truth?

The Brandeis International Journal, in collaboration with the Korean Economic Institute of America, is proud to present to you an expert panel discussion on North Korea.  Speakers will include the former German Ambassador to North Korea who has spent several years living in Pyongyang, and has personally met Kim Jong-Il himself!

Come hear the real story about the nation across the world that is threatening to attack the United States.

Featuring:
Friedrich Löhr
Former German Ambassador to North Korea, Former German Deputy Chief of Mission to China, Former German Consul General of New England
Nicholas Hamisevicz
Director of Research and Academic Affairs at the Korean Economic Institute of America
Sue Mi Terry
Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University Weatherhead East Asia Institute, Former National Intelligence Fellow at CFR, Former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council

SOLI SORABJEE LECTURE: BUREAUCRACY AND MASCULINITY IN INDIA AFTER INDEPENDENCE

grewal-sorabjee2013Soli Sorabjee Lecture with Dr. Inderpal Grewal, Yale University 

Thursday Feb. 28th at 5:00PM

Shapiro Admissions Center, Presentation Room

The Spring 2013 Soli Sorabjee lecture, entitled Bureaucracy and Masculinity in India after Independence will feature Prof. Inderpal Grewal from the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at Yale University. This talk will analyze four memoirs written by administrative officials in India who moved from the British Indian Civil Service into the Indian Administrative Service after Independence.

Dr. Grewal’s research interests include transnational feminist theory; gender and globalization, human rights; NGO’s and theories of civil society; theories of travel and mobility; South Asian cultural studies, and postcolonial feminism.  She is the author of Home and Harem: Nation, Gender, Empire and the Cultures of Travel (Duke University Press, 1996) and Transnational America: Feminisms, Diasporas, Neoliberalisms (Duke University Press, 2005). Currently she is working on a book length project on the relation between feminist practices and security discourses.

This event is sponsored by the South Asian Studies Program and the Brandeis-India Initiative. Refreshments will be served.

INTERVIEW WITH SARAH G. KIM, ORGANIZER OF THE ‘DEIS IMPACT EVENT – GULAG NATION: NORTH KOREA AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

Seoul-train-film-posterSarah G. Kim is a Brandeis University Senior majoring in Sociology and minoring in International and Global Studies. As part of ‘Deis Impact! 2013, she is organizing a screening of the award-winning documentary, Seoul Train (2004), about the lives and deaths of North Koreans as they try to escape their homeland. The film will be followed by a discussion with Dr. Sung-Yoon Lee from Tufts University .

Gulag Nation: North Korea and Crimes Against Humanity
Thursday, February 7th, 12 – 2 pm
Levin Ballroom

What inspired you to organize this event?

This event is part of the second annual social justice festival called ‘Deis Impact! 2013 Exploring Social Justice on Campus, in Waltham and Around the World. Early on, when I first found out about all these insane human rights violations in North Korea, they stuck with me partly because of my own cultural and ethnic ties to where my parents were from. Also, I don’t understand how people can just continue going about their lives when they are exposed to this kind of information. So since high school, I started to bring awareness to people around me and that’s what I was hoping to do with this event as well because not many people know about the atrocities happening in North Korea and I figured that the best way to easily present these issues was through a film. With just words, I think for a lot of students here, it tends to go in through one ear and come out the other because there is so much information on our campus. So with this documentary film I hope to show them that this stuff is actually happening no matter how bad or unrealistic it seems. For instance, there are gas chambers in North Korea and public executions that not a lot of people know about. I also invited a guest speaker, Dr. Sung-Yoon Lee who is Assistant Professor of Korean Studies at Tufts University. I met him over the summer when I was looking to see if there were any Korean studies programs in the area. I realized that he also speaks a lot on broadcast news such as BBC, CNN and NPR so I thought if we had someone like him come to our school, all the information and knowledge he could share would help inspire us and also see what we can actually do to help these people.

Can you tell us a little bit more about the film?

It is a documentary about North Korean citizens who are trying to either flee from North Korea or from China. A lot of them tend to escape to either Russia or China because the 38th parallel is very heavily guarded and it is almost impossible to escape by entering South Korea. It is a bunch of activists, many of them are either North Korean or Chinese citizens who act as double agents and they set up this route of safe houses for them to escape into. I thought this film was interesting also because it asks the Chinese government that is part of international law why they violate those laws by systematically arresting these people and sending them back to North Korea. It sheds light on why the Chinese government doesn’t view these people as refugees, which is a very important issue. It also questions why the United Nations hasn’t done anything to save these people. It shows live footage of these people planning their escape routes and it talks about what they were subject to when they were forced to live in prison camps.

Why is this event important and relevant for IGS students?  

I think this film is of interest to IGS students because they are studying a world that is becoming more and more globalized but a country like North Korea is still isolated despite all its neighboring countries that have been growing tremendously in the past few years. It is interesting to see how North Korea comes into play in affecting global trends especially if it were to be re-united with South Korea, or at least if the dictatorship ended what would it mean for countries like the US, South Korea, China or Japan. I think it is important to see all this in an international perspective. So stop by anytime during the event. I hope IGS students will have the heart to come and learn something new. Learn that North Korea is not just a country with nuclear missiles but there are people there that are suffering a tremendous amount.

For more information about the event, you can contact Sarah at sgk730@brandeis.edu.

AN IGS CONVERSATION – THE NEW GLOBAL CITIES: POVERTY, OPPORTUNITY AND IMPROVISED URBAN LIVES

Wednesday, Nov. 7th, 7PM (6:30 for pizza)
Mandel Center Reading Room, (3rd Floor)

Is the future of the world’s global cities being created on their margins? Are city dwellers creating new and spontaneously ordered social worlds? Can informal urban networks replace formal government?

Interested in these critical questions? Join our IGS Conversation on the New Global Cities!

Our featured guest speaker is Dr. Moises Lino e Silva, Postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.

Dr. Lino e Silva will also be an IGS Lecturer in Spring 2013 teaching IGS 170A Rise of Brazil and ANTH 129B Global, Transnational, and Diasporic Communities. He specializes in Brazilian urban life, favelas, the question of freedom in its relationship to wider topics such as poverty, sexuality, religion, violence, social justice and globalization. His most recent publication is entitled Formally Informal: Daily Life and the Shock of Order in a Brazilian Favela.

Our panel will also include two IGS Seniors – Shinhye Oh and Tripti Singh. Shinhye is writing her senior thesis on  the emerging nouveau riche and new forms of economic inequality in Beijing, China. Tripti has worked at a local NGO in Chandigarh, India integrating migrant slum dwellers, living on the periphery of the city, into new forms of urban employment.

IMPROVISATION AND CULTURE

Jesse Appell

The Hot Cat Club is a small bar/club hidden deep within a series of old “hutong(胡同)” alleyways not far from the Buddhist Lama Temple in Beijing. I went there to spend an hour or two at an improv workshop being held by Improv Beijing, and arrived 10 minutes before the start time to find the place deserted. I asked a tired-looking man nearby if there was a workshop tonight. “I don’t know, man,” he said. “I just came here to drink.” This inauspicious beginning to the evening proved to be a false indicator of the night to come, as Beijing time dictates that people come whenever they want to and never early. By the time eight o’clock rolled around, the tiny club was packed to the gills with improvers, mostly Chinese, and comedians of all sorts. Forty people packed into a tight circle for warmups and soon sounds were flying and bodies moving.
The energy of the improv scene in Beijing seems to me like a tsunami wave, growing stronger and broader, largely unseen, beneath seemingly still waters. When I left China last year, I knew of two troupes, an English language troupe and a bilingual one. Now, at one night’s meeting, I counted representatives from seven groups, which included all-Chinese language performance troupes, and an all female troupe. To me, the fact that new troupes are emerging, each exploring its own style of comedy, shows a real maturing of the comedy scene here. People are doing the type of improv they want to do, no longer bottlenecked by inability to access new styles or forms. The increasing diversity of the scene was summed up by a new friend I met named Zeng Cheng, who goes by the English name Caesar. “There are so many people here who want to do improv,” he said. “So there are new troupes being created all the time. We’re not all good, but we want to perform, and starting a troupe is free. This way, we all get to practice more, and we slowly get better.” [Read More…]

JAI BHIM COMRADE

Film Screening – Jai Bhim Comrade
Q&A with Indian filmmaker Anand Patwardhan

4 October, 2012, 7pm, Shapiro Campus Center Theater

India’s Dalit (oppressed) castes were abhorred as “untouchables” denied education and treated as bonded labor. In 1997, a statue of Dalit leader, B.R. Ambedkar, was desecrated with footwear in Ramabhai colony in Mumbai. As angry residents gathered, police opened fire killing 10 people. Vilas Ghogre, a leftist poet hung himself in protest.

Compelled by this tragedy, Jai Bhim Comrade, shot over 14 years, follows the resistance poetry and music of Maharastra’s Dalits. In an age of increasing bigotry and superstition, it is both a record of recent history as well as eloquent testimony to a rationalist tradition that has survived amongst the subaltern for thousands of years.

About the Filmmaker

Anand Patwardhan is a renown, award-winning Indian filmamker and Brandeis Alum ’72 (BA in Sociology). Patwardhan has been making investigative documentaries in India for over four decades on controversial issues such as corruption, caste, slum dwellers, communalism and activism. His films have often faced state censorship and the wrath of religious fundamentalists.

Co-sponsored by: IGS, PAX, COEX, Brandeis India Initiative, Sociology, SJSP, South Asian Studies, Anthropology and Sarita Bhalotra

The Business of Media in India

Siddharth Joshi

As an ex IGS UDR who helped launch this blog, it is with great warmth and pride that I return to this evolved platform to give you my story. After graduating in May 2011, I completed my GMAT, did the whole ‘Europe on a shoestring budget’ and went through the arduous process of finding a job. I must say that Brandeis prepared me well for all three situations by refining my academic skills, teaching me how to survive with very little money and providing me with the personal as well as professional skills and qualifications to get a real job.

Life lesson: no matter how skilled or qualified you may be, it is not easy to get a job in a place you enjoy. I was fortunately helped by The Lady (Luck for those not familiar with Pratchett’s Discworld!) and my resume landed in the hands of Rajesh Kamath; a man who single handed, launched, and took a TV channel from anonymity to number one in its genre in India in two years time. He had just been hired as the Indian CEO of an international venture, and only had a CFO working with him at that point. I was the third to join this team, due to opportune circumstances and relevant internships that I had done. I joined, and currently work in the India office of C.A. Media. Continue reading “The Business of Media in India”

Snapshots from Abroad

Ben Rifkin, Madagascar 

A Malagasy man naps on top of a Taxi-Brousse in the capital, Antananarivo, before he embarks on a long journey across the country. I was about to embark on my own 24 hour non-stop cross-country journey in a similar Taxi-Brousse.

 

Jesse Appell, China

Da Shu Hua: A traditional festival I went to in Hebei Province, where a man hurls molten iron against a wall and it explodes as it falls back towards the ground. The festival is called “Da Shu Hua,” or, “To beat down the flowers from the trees.”

 

Madeline Stix, Bolivia

This photograph is taken during my village stay in the town of Tocoli (population 200), on the edge of Lake Titicaca, the lake with the second highest altitude in the world (at 14,000 feet). Two women from the village scuttling down the hill to prepare for our welcome “almuerzo” (lunch), which took place by the sacred waters of the lake.

 

Melissa Donze, India

“Smiles”: Sharing smiles at the community meeting on the Right to Food Campaign in Ullaluapanagar, Bangalore, India.