Sunday, October 3, 2010
“I took off my clothes for a principle.”
--Nihad Alaeddin, once one of the great sirens of Syrian cinema who, working under the stage name Igraa, or Seduction, embodied the openness and liberalism that reigned in the Arab world during the 1960s and ’70s, performing the region’s first cinematic nude scene; image from article
Panel Discussion On Navigating The U.S. Media, Oct. 4. Hosted By GW’s Institute For Public Diplomacy And Global Communication & CSIS Transatlantic Media Network. A panel of media experts and foreign journalists will candidly discuss and relate expertise and experiences on U.S. media bias, the role of ideology in news outlets and the impact of new technology in American media. P.J. Crowley, assistant secretary of state for public affairs, will deliver the keynote address on the successes and pitfalls of navigating media in the United States. GW’s Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication and the Center for Strategic and International Studies Transatlantic Media Network will host the discussion.
SITE OF INTEREST
Poliopotics. The Story of Polioptics is a 10-part Web narrative based on a multi-media presentation – POLIOPTICS: Political Influence Through Imagery, From George Washington to Barack Obama — that debuted on college campuses in 2009.
The Polioptics Lecture has been updated, expanded and serialized for Polioptics.com. Via LB. Image from site
NEW BOOKS BY FORMER USIA (UNITED STATES INFORMATION AGENCY, 1953-1999) EMPLOYEES
Swing High, Sweet Chariot: The Gospel of Jake Daniels by David L. Arnett. Via PS
Forty Wolves by Mark Jacobs, Via BC
[Singapore's Nanyang Technological University] marks the 20th anniversary of Singapore-China ties with three initiatives today [NTU] - Wandering China: "To discern the depth of China-Singapore relations, here is a glimpse of the training Chinese leaders receive when in Singapore. Not-so-subtle public diplomacy from Singapore’s end; one couched in education, and arguably engrained in shaping favorable (maybe even preferential) worldview and paradigms. After ‘capitalist roader’
Deng’s 1992 remarks to Chinese officials to ’learn from the world and, especially Singapore, and do better than Singapore', thousands of Chinese officials, and mayors-in-training started flooding the island city-state for trips and university degree programmes in administration at the NTU." Image from
Documentary on Afghan diaspora in India released - IANS: "Afghan students in India and popular Afghan restaurants in south Delhi - these are only few examples of the thriving diaspora from the war-ravaged country, who have made a second home in the South Asian giant. These were part of a film showcasing the common links between the two countries, 'Humsaye - Two Nations, Two Neighbours' which premiered here Saturday night. The 25-minute film, directed by Aparna Srivastava Reddy, had been commissioned by the ministry of external affairs' public diplomacy division."
Mike Clark Tour Of Russia Set To Begin, As Carnival Of Soul Earns Raves In Jazziz, Jazztimes - Bill Milkowski, Music Industry News Network: “'One of the Most Versatile Drummers in Jazz' ... has confirmed plans for a tour of Russia in October, to promote cultural diplomacy and to introduce audiences in Moscow, Siberia, St. Petersburg and elsewhere to his acclaimed music.
Clark’s Russia tour, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, will consist of the Mike Clark Organ Trio featuring Rob Dixon on tenor saxophone and Jerry Z on organ. Oct 1 – Sochi; Oct 2- Novorossiysk; Oct 3 – Krasnodar; Oct 5 - Spaso House; Oct 6-13 (Jazz Province Festival); Oct 14 - The Moscow House of Music; Oct 16 – Khantymansiysk; Oct 17 – Surgut; Oct 19- Tumen; Oct 22- Novosibirsk; Oct 24 - St Petersburg." Image from
Hirshhorn Bubble Could Inflate For First Time In October 2012 - Aaron Morrissey, dcist.com: "The large, temporary, inflatable bubble which the Hirshhorn Museum is planning on erecting for special events has taken another step forward. Speaking at a conference yesterday, Richard Koshalek, the Museum's director, said that the bubble will be pumped up inside the Museum's central plaza by October 2012 . ... Koshalek also provided some new information on what exactly the temporary event space would be used for: The bubble
that will inflate up out of the central plaza and over the top of the building will provide a 'seasonal pavilion' from May to October, and provide space for an 'educational, cultural and research forum.' Four programs are in the works, including the first on international cultural diplomacy (to be produced with the Council on Foreign Relations) . ... Koshalek argued that these fora need to be 'interdisciplinary because that’s how the Museum can reach a broader audience.'” Image from article
The Johnny Cash Project: September 30, 2010 - Joshua Fouts, theimaginationage.net: "Cultural collaboration takes many forms. Optimally, it takes forms that are free and unfettered by agenda, forms that are authentic and meaningful, forms that embody music and art. The Johnny Cash Project is all of these: People around the world collaborating in a shared love for the music and meaning of Johnny Cash. Thanks to the Internet people from diverse cultures, countries, and values can convene around shared points of interest.
In the above case, the music of Johnny Cash." Entry includes video. Image from
Taiwan - President Ma meets participants in International Youth Ambassador Exchange Program - ISRIA: "President Ma Ying-jeou attended an event on the morning of September 29 where participants in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' International Youth Ambassador Exchange Program shared their experiences in the program. In addition to presenting certificates to the students, the president applauded the program's results and the enthusiasm and creativity of the youth taking part. Besides promoting cultural diplomacy, the president remarked that these individuals represent Taiwan's soft power, extending friendship and compassion to the nation's allies."
Pratibha presents Sangeet Natak Akademi fellowships, awards - The Hindu: "Veteran actor Shreeram Lagoo, danseuse Yamini Krishnamurti and classical music exponent Kishori Amonkar were among a host of artists honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi fellowships and awards for the year 2009 by President Pratibha Patil on Tuesday. Six eminent personalities were conferred Akademi Fellowships for 2009 and 33 artists received the Akademi awards. Giving away the awards, Ms. Patil said, 'cultural diplomacy is a potent instrument in our foreign policy. Cultural exchanges, I believe, are important to promote understanding between peoples and must be encouraged.' 'In today's globalised and integrated world, there are cross-cultural currents and, at the same time, advances in technology are providing newer variants of art and music,' she added."
Image from article: President Pratibha Patil presenting the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship to Lalgudi G. Jayaraman at a function in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty. See also.
New Indian Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar to present letter of credence to Swedish King - Frontier India: "India’s newly appointed Ambassador, Ashok Sajjanhar, will present his letter of credence to the Swedish King. ... A keen proponent of Indian culture, he was the Director of Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre in Moscow where he was instrumental in ushering in a new paradigm in cultural diplomacy."
Galleon replica en route to Manila for festival - Karen Flores, abs-cbnNEWS.com: "Galleon Trade, the center of which is the Philippines [,] ... involved 250-year-old ships called galleons, which were built by expert Filipino seafarers out of Philippine hardwood. ... A galleon named Andalucia is said to be the first vessel to have successfully gone around the world. Two hundred and fifty years later, a replica of the galleon sets sail for the Philippines in an effort to highlight the country's role in global trade and cultural exchange. The new ship, built by the Fundacion Nao Victoria in Spain, will be docked at Pier 13 in Manila from October 5 to 9, 2010. ... Dia del Galeon festival
director Cecile Guidote Alvarez noted that Filipinos have already expressed 'much excitement and interest' over Andalucia's arrival, and is hoping that more people will take part in the events they have lined up this year. ... Maria Molina, representative of the Spanish Embassy of the Philippines, said Andalucia serves as a 'tool of cultural diplomacy' and 'marvelous way to celebrate our past.'"
Romania - State Secretary Bogdan Aurescu on a visit to Republic of Hungary - ISRIA: "State Secretary Bogdan Aurescu had consultations with officials of the Republic of Hungary on matters of European affairs, bilateral relations, bilateral relations, social inclusions and national minorities, on Monday, September 27th, 2010. The consultations took place under the Romanian-Hungarian Strategic Partnership,
established in 2002, and in the context of the Republic of Hungary’s taking the EC Presidency in the first semester of 2011. The Romanian official had talks with [inter alia] ... Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' State Under Secretary for Bilateral Relations with the EU States and Cultural Diplomacy; Balog Zoltán." Image from
Obama's Afghan war strategy: End it Bob Woodward's new book sheds light on the president's intentions. He clearly wants out - Doyle McManus, latimes.com
'US ban on Iran's officials, a psy-war' - presstv.ir: An Iranian lawmaker has censured recent US efforts to impose "sanctions" on several Iranian officials, describing the move as a propaganda ploy and a war of nerves. Deputy Head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Iran's Parliament (Majlis)
Hossein Sobhani-Nia argued that the recent sanctions on eight Iranian officials were intended to serve as a psychological warfare before the global public opinion since the US-engineered UN sanctions against Iran proved futile and ineffective, ISNA reported on Saturday. Hossein Sobhani-Nia image from article
Muslim youths in Midlands targetted by Al Qaeda Facebook sites - Ben Goldby, Sunday Mercury: Al Qaeda fanatics are trying to recruit young Midland Muslims through jihadist social networking sites similar to Facebook and YouTube. Research into extremist Islamic websites has revealed that youths are watching videos of Taliban attacks, learning about violent fundamentalism and even being drawn into operations. Some sites have more than 10,000 members worldwide and are used for everything from discussing extreme beliefs to sharing militant tactics. Mohammed Ali Musawi, author of a Cheering for Osama report for anti-extremist think-tank Quilliam, believes websites that glorify Al Qaeda are one of the biggest challenges facing our counter-terrorism forces. The online discussion groups are an “essential hub for propaganda” and a key recruitment tool, according to Mr Musawi’s report.
Photos of heir apparent cause doubt among N. Koreans - Kim Young-jin, koreatimes.co.kr: Recently-released images of North Korean heir apparent Kim Jong-un, which reveal his boyish looks, may be raising doubt among citizens in the North over his ability to succeed his father, defectors here said Sunday. The North’s state media released last week the first verifiable images of an adult Kim, the youngest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, during a rare party meeting that elevated him to high posts, paving the way for his eventual succession. Believed to be 27 years old, the junior Kim appeared portly, with a youthful face.
Though the details of the succession process remain veiled, analysts expect a gradual shift of responsibility from father to son, with Kim Jong-il remaining in control until he dies. But a lack of popularity among the populace could prove to be a stumbling block for the process, said Brian Myers, an expert at Busan’s Dongseo University. “This (Jong-un’s appearance) is going to add to the propaganda apparatus’ main problem, which is countering the perception among North Koreans that Kim Jong-un was born with a silver spoon in his mouth,” he said. Image from article
EU bureaucrats move into luxury new London address: Europe House -- This week EU officials will move into their new luxury London home, complete with bomb proof windows and a landscaped roof terrace - Melissa Kite, telegraph.co.uk: Inside, the building's large foyer will be filled with "information" about the European Union where the public can learn about its work. Critics claim the move amounts to a ratcheting up of EU propaganda. Stephen Booth, of Open Europe, said: "The problem with the representations of the Commission and the European Parliament is that they tend to act more like lobbying groups defending the EU's every policy, rather than as information points or, heaven forbid, actually listening to the legitimate concerns of the majority of British citizens, who feel EU integration has gone too far."
Image from article
Valley arts embracing social media - Kerry Lengel, The Arizona Republic: Lorrie Thomas, CEO of Web Marketing Therapy, a California consulting firm: "Social media is a way to serve and to support. You may get some sales off it, but if you enter the social Web with the idea that you're going to push propaganda, you're going to fail. You use the social Web as a way to offer quality information. We live in an era of mass collaboration, and we're looking for things that are useful and relevant."
Hidden History: SS St. Louis tragedy resonates still - Robert Watson, sun-sentinel.com: By 1939, Nazi atrocities were such that many of Germany's Jews were convinced it was time to leave Europe. An opportunity arose when Jewish refugees were allowed to board the SS St. Louis. As the ship approached Cuba in late May, the ship's captain, Gustav Schroeder, was ordered not to dock but to drop anchor in Havana's harbor.
Captain Schroeder and the AJJDC sought safe harbor elsewhere in the Caribbean and the U.S., but their requests were denied. When the ship docked in Antwerp later in June, 228 refugees were accepted by Britain, 224 by France, 214 by Belgium and 181 by Holland. But they were not safe. Hitler invaded much of Europe and between 200 and 250 of the ship's refugees were recaptured and lost to the crematoria. For Hitler, the entire incident was a propaganda victory. History sometimes suggests that American ships fired warning shots at the St. Louis to keep it away from the Florida coast. While this is untrue, the fact that President Roosevelt's Cabinet debated but ultimately denied asylum to the refugees allowed Hitler to claim no country wanted Jews. Image from
--From Boing Boing