Art Equals Politics: Vignettes of Culture, Decolonization, and Black and Brown Liberation

Time:  Monday July 20th, 2020. 9PM-11PM China Time, 9AM-11AM US Time

Zoom ID: 344-318-9585

DESCRIPTION

The recent nationwide protests against the police killing of African American man George Floyd has brought again to the fore the urgent political question of America’s long history of racism. Such racism effects African Americans in Particular, but also Indigenous Nations, Latinos, and Asians and hinders the path to a peaceful, egalitarian, and decolonized world.

Helping us to explore such issues and others on a global scale through a series of musical performances, discussions, and reflections, are the Afro Yaqui Music Collective, an award-winning group of artists, who are also scholars and participants in movements for social justice.

THE AFRO YAQUI MUSIC COLLECTIVE

is an award-winning group of Pittsburgh-based Jazz musicians. Their style is rooted in an expansive vision of Jazz, mixing musical styles, languages, and instrumentation from American Jazz and Hip-Hop, as well as Chinese, Indigenous, Caribbean, and African traditions. Their music explicitly communicates themes of decolonization, and band members, young and old, have been active participants in movements, from the Black Power Movement (1960s) to the contemporary Movement for Black Lives. The Afro Yaqui Music Collective has won multiple awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). They have performed globally at social movement spaces, such as at the US-Mexican border and the Mesopotamian Water Forum in Iraq, and have also performed at significant US venues as the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Center, as well as the venerable Red Rooster in Harlem. The Collective is committed to education and innovative pedagogies, mixing musical and visual art along with history.

Meet the artists

Nejma Nefertiti is a Hip Hop artist, sound designer, streetwear architect, and creator of natural perfumes. Her revolutionary matriarchal legacy is to create awareness, inspiration, and social change throughout the entire world, for all oppressed peoples, through Hip Hop culture and art. In addition to Afro Yaqui Music Collective, she collaborates with artists from La Bruja, to Napoleon Da Legend, to several international artists.
Gizelxanath Rodriguez is a singer, cellist, urban farmer and activist at the intersection of Indigenous rights, ecosocialism and migrant justice. An award-winning soprano, in the past six years Rodriguez has been integrating her Indigenous advocacy and Yaqui ancestry into her musical work. In October of 2018, she helped produce a new work, Mirror Buttefly: Migrant Liberation Movement Suite, which included text in Yoeme-Yaqui and narrated a sacred butterfly currently facing extinction amongst the Yaqui people.
Charlotte Hill O’Neal aka Mama C is an internationally known writer/poet/visual artist, musician, performance artist, filmmaker of nearly three decades of experience. As an artist she is a practitioner of the Nyatiti, Obokano, Kamalen Ngoni, and frequently collaborates with Hip-Hop artists in Tanzania and across the world. She is a longtime community activist, former member of the Kansas City Chapter of the Black Panther Party, and Director of the United African Alliance Community Center (UAACC) based in Tanzania, and is also a Cultural Warrior and Egungun Priest. She was born in Kansas City, KS in 1951 and has lived in Africa with her husband Pete O’Neal since 1970.
Ben Barson is an ASCAP award-winning composer and protégé of the late baritone saxophonist and composer, Fred Ho. He has been unrelenting is his commitment to making music to overthrow colonialism, capitalism, and prepares us for climate change. His work has been called “utterly compelling” (I Care if You Listen), “fully orchestrated and magnificently realized” (Vermont Standard) and “pushing boundaries in a well-conceived way.” (Midwest Review).
Peggy Myo-Young Choy is a dancer, choreographer, and founder of The Ki Project, Inc., supporting creative thinking and intercultural performance for future generations. A master of Korean and Javanese dance forms, certified in Chinese Dayan Qigong, and creator of Ki-Flow™ dance technique, Choy is Associate Professor of Dance & Asian American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she teaches Asian American Movement and Afro-Asian Improv: From Hip-Hop to Martial Arts Fusion.
Peggy Choy Dance forges a fresh Afro-Asian dance fusion that gives voice to women’s stories, and calls for environmental and social justice through revolutionary transformation. Choy’s New York premieres include “Seung Hwa: Rape/Race/Rage/Revolution”, “THE GREATEST! Hip Dance Homage to Muhammad Ali”, “THIRST” and “FLIGHT”.
Website: www.peggychoy.com
Facebook: Peggy Choy Dance
Photo by JP Yim

This event is co-sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Division, the Freedom Lab, and the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

Third Space Lab Event Report on “International Education: Can Intercultural Journey Have a Transformative Role in Life?”

By Anisha Joshi

Class of 2022

Click [HERE] to watch the recording

On June 29th, 2020, the Third Space Lab hosted guest researcher Dr. Joana Almeida, who discussed the importance of intercultural competence and the different ways students can foster this invaluable skill in a rapidly globalizing world. With a research focus in the internationalisation of higher education, Dr. Almeida has worked in Portugal, the US, and the UK, and plans in the near future to assume a position in Spain. Her talk to the DKU community around a question pertinent to the journeys of DKU students: can intercultural competence have a transformative role in life?

During her undergraduate studies at the University of Aveiro in Portugal, she studied abroad for a year in the UK through the Erasmus program, a student exchange initiative built to encourage student mobility and pan-European cultural exchange in the EU. She describes this first time in a new culture as the most challenging time. Thrust into a new language environment while also learning and teaching languages, she faced many obstacles- challenges that DKU students have all probably faced at one point or another. But after recognizing these challenges, Dr. Almeida labored to design strategies to overcome them, and these soon found their way into her work. Continue reading “Third Space Lab Event Report on “International Education: Can Intercultural Journey Have a Transformative Role in Life?””

DKU Health Humanities Laboratory Request for Proposals: Health Humanities Projects

Health Humanities Lab Information Session

On July 8th at 10am (China Time) the Health Humanities Lab will host an information session via Zoom to give an overview of health humanities, the types of projects students and faculty might consider proposing, and guidance on the proposal development process.

Date and Time: July 8, 2020 at 10am (China Time)

Zoom Meeting Link: https://duke.zoom.us/j/97454113970

Click [Here] to watch the recording

The Health Humanities Laboratory seeks to support DKU’s mission to provide project opportunities for its highly diverse community to evaluate contemporary global issues by fostering a space for studying the interdisciplinary areas of Health Humanities. Especially in our era of rapid globalization and interdependence, the sociocultural aspects of daily life create an important context for how we view and manage health among people and societies. A clear example: The recent COVID-19 outbreak has raised many questions that cannot be addressed with science alone. To these ends, the Health Humanities Laboratory invites students and faculty of DKU to submit project proposals to address an important health question that incorporates a humanities perspective. Proposals may examine this humanities-oriented question using methodologies from different disciplines.

Potential topics for proposals should concern aspects of individual or population health. Students who would like to submit proposals are required to find at least one DKU faculty member to mentor the project or the research. Having more than one faculty member from different disciplines is encouraged but not required. Faculty who submit a proposal must incorporate at least one student role as part of the project team and teams featuring multiple student roles are encouraged. Proposals related to the COVID-19 outbreak are welcome, but project proposals covering other topics within the health humanities are also encouraged.

Funding Amount

Max funding per project is 10,000 RMB. The project budget should adequately fit the scope of work being proposed and be well justified. The proposal review committee may request a budget revision or additional justification if deemed necessary. Continue reading “DKU Health Humanities Laboratory Request for Proposals: Health Humanities Projects”

Freedom Lab Event Report on “The Utopianism called Decolonization: Thinking with Tagore”

By Yue Qiu

Class of 2022

On June 11, 2020, The Freedom Lab invited Professor Sandeep Banerjee from McGill University to lead a discussion on “The Utopianism called Decolonization: Thinking with Tagore“. The Freedom Lab co-directors, Professors Jesse Olsavsky and Selina Lai-Henderson hosted the lecture. Professor Titas Chakraborty and around 20 students attended the conference.

Professor Chakraborty introduced the guest speaker. Professor Banerjee is a literary theorist, cultural critic, and historian who studies the literatures and histories of decolonization, particularly in India. Besides writing on colonialism and liberation, he also writes on a wide range of topics such as travel narrative and photography. He published the book Utopia and Indian Decolonization: Literary Pre-figurations of the Postcolony last year. Continue reading “Freedom Lab Event Report on “The Utopianism called Decolonization: Thinking with Tagore””

Third Space Lab Initiative – Portraits of Third Spaces: Your DKU/Kunshan Story

Portraits of Third Spaces: Your DKU/Kunshan Story is a community project to create a unique story that captures the intercultural transformation of the people of the DKU and Kunshan communities

The transformation that many students, faculty, staff, and members of the Kunshan community have experienced in the past two years is a result of other experiences: altered spaces, new environments with different languages and cultures, intercultural interactions, celebrations, frustrations, loss, and so much more that cannot be possibly contained in a list. 

Portraits of Third Spaces: Your DKU/Kunshan Story will capture a snapshot of the DKU and Kunshan communities, creating a collective narrative that will reflect transformations resulting from intercultural encounters. TSL’s Portraits of Third Spaces: Your DKU/Kunshan Story campaign endeavors to catalog the uniqueness of individuals and contexts resulting from the interface of multiple cultures, in order to reflect the transformation of individuals and of spaces. TSL hopes that our campaign will encourage moments of reflection as our communities continue to move forward. 

Third Space Lab invites you to submit your personal reflection of transformation from your experiences at DKU or in Kunshan in response to the following themes (Language/Culture, Identity, and Spaces). The sub-themes below each theme are merely examples, and you are free to discuss another topic that falls under the larger theme:

Language and/or Culture

  • How have your (intercultural) experiences at DKU or in Kunshan affected your language or your view of language (Mandarin Chinese, English, or another language)?
  • How has it affected how you view (your) culture(s) and other cultures?

Identity

nativeness vs. non-nativeness
dominance vs. marginalization
self vs. other
insider vs. outsider 

  • How has your experience defined or redefined how you conceptualize or challenge the above (often perceived) dichotomies?
  • How has your experience in the past year or two influenced how you see yourself and others? How so?
  • How has it influenced your relationships with others (family, friends back home, new encounters, etc.)?
  • How has it affected your interests (personal, academic, professional, etc.)?
  • How has it influenced how you perform your identity in front of different audiences (family, friends back home, new encounters, etc.)?

Spaces

public vs. private
online vs. in-person
physical vs. intellectual 

  • How have some of the consequences of the pandemic influenced your conceptualization of the spaces mentioned above? 
  • How has your new environment affected your awareness of how your identity is shaped by these spaces?

Initial selection for the event will not be based on mastery of a medium (e.g. selection will be made based on how well the submission depicts the themes, not how aesthetically “good” or “skilled” it is) and can include poetry, drawings, paintings, photographs, and other creative works (video of alternative dance, etc.). Your submission must be accompanied by an oral or written narrative expressing your unique reflection on how your submission captures your transformation. We welcome submissions in both English and Chinese, as well as bilingual submissions including English or Chinese and another language. 

Shortlisted submissions will be featured in an on-campus exhibition at Duke Kunshan University during the 2020-2021 academic year. 

The project is completely free and open to all ages, statuses, and abilities. Submissions are accepted from now until September 1st and will be evaluated on a rolling basis.

Share your artifacts and narratives with us at thirdspacelab@dukekunshan.edu.cn, and please specify which theme(s) and subthemes you would like to be considered for. 

The audience will vote for their 3 favorite student entries and the best 3 student submissions will receive a prize (more information will come at the end of the summer). 

由昆山杜克大学人文研究中心下设的第三空间研究室策划发起的《第三空间画像  :您的昆杜 /昆山故事》是一个社区项目,旨在创建一个记录昆杜人与昆山当地人的跨文化蜕变的独特群体故事。

《第三空间画像:您的昆杜 /昆山故事》将通过昆杜和昆山社区成员的个人经历,创建一个群体故事,以反映跨文化际遇所带来的转变。 第三空间研究室的《第三空间画像:您的昆杜 /昆山故事》征集活动希望对跨文化的个体和其独特背景进行归类,来反映个体和空间的转变。 第三空间研究室的愿景是我们的活动能鼓励人们进行反思,从而推动我们的社区继续前进。

第三空间研究室邀请您针对以下主题(语言/文化,身份,空间),根据您在昆山杜克大学或昆山社区的经历提交对转变(transformation)的个人反思。每个主题下的子主题仅是示例,您可以自由讨论属于该主题的其他未列出子主题:

  1. 语言和/或文化
  • 您在昆山杜克大学或昆山的(跨文化)经历怎样影响了您的语言或您对于语言的看法(包括中文,英语或其他语言)?
  • 您在昆山杜克大学或昆山的(跨文化)经历怎样影响了您看待(您的)文化和其他文化?
  1. 身份认同
    • 母语者与非母语者
    • 主流群体与边缘化群体
    • 自我与和他者
    • 内部群体与外部群体
  • 您的经历怎样定义或重新定义了您对于上述(通常意义上的)二分法的理解?
  • 在过去一两年,您的经历怎样影响了您对自己和他人的看法?原因是什么呢?
  • 在过去一两年,您的经历怎样影响了您与他人的关系(家庭,在家乡的朋友,结交的新朋友等)?
  • 在过去一两年,您的经历怎样影响了您的兴趣(个人,学术,专业等)?
  • 在过去一两年,您的经历怎样影响了您在不同的群体(家人,在家乡的朋友,结交的新朋友等)面前表现自己的身份?
  1. 空间
    • 公共空间与私人空间
    • 网络空间与面对面
    • 物理空间与思维空间
  • 此次疫情怎样重塑了您对上述空间的概念?
  • 您所处的新环境怎样影响了您对上述空间如何塑造您的身份的认识?

本次比赛的初筛不基于对媒介的掌握。我们的评选将基于提交内容与主题的相符程度,而不是基于其美学上的“良好”或“熟练”程度。作品形式可以有诗歌,绘画,摄影和其他创意作品(舞蹈视频等)。您提交的作品必须随附口头或书面叙述,以表达您的作品如何表现“转变”的独特思考。我们欢迎中英双语的作品和叙述,如果您以其他语言提交,请附中文或英文的翻译。

入围作品将在2020-2021学年期间在昆山杜克大学的校园展览中展出。该项目是完全免费的,并且开放给所有年龄段和不同身份的人们参与。即日起至2020年9月1日,我们将接收所有提交的内容,并将对其进行滚动评估。

请将您的作品发送到此邮箱(thirdspacelab@dukekunshan.edu.cn),并且请标明您作品的参赛类别。 观众将对他们最喜欢的3个作品进行投票,并且最受欢迎的3个作品的作者将获得奖品(更多信息将在夏末时提供)。

Report on Kunshan Digital City of Arts and Culture

By Anisha Joshi

Class of 2022

In the rush and uncertainty with which many of us vacated campus as COVID-19 was taking shape as an epidemic in China, few of us had anticipated how much we would miss Kunshan and beloved DKU. Some of us left, afraid but also hopeful that we could return to campus, or China, safely, hopeful that we would be able to resume at least part of the semester on campus.

And yet, here we are, most of us, five months later still pining for Kunshan, our shining campus with its pristine waters, the trees and lakes most of us have come to recognize as a home away from home. Luckily, students collaborating with the Humanities Research Center under the Kunshan Digital Humanities have been hard at work over last year, carefully archiving unique ways of experiencing this beautiful city.

While initially the student artworks were meant to be displayed in a curated exhibition on campus in spring semester, given the circumstances the projects were presented in an even more innovative way—students who worked on the projects gave Dean James Miller a virtual guide around Kunshan’s many attractions over the course of a day through the ArcGIS StoryMap interface, taking Dean Miller (and the audience) through each of the locations and what was special about them. The student artists’ exploration of Kunshan took place through a variety of mediums, ranging from photography and documentary film making to even performance art. Continue reading “Report on Kunshan Digital City of Arts and Culture”

Freedom in Quarantine

Message from Co-Directors of the Freedom Lab:

Would you like to learn more about the dramatic implications of the COVID-19 crisis for freedom? 

Incoming Arts and Humanities faculty member, Professor Zairong Xiang, has just published a short essay “Freedom in Quarantine” in the journal Critical Times, which explores this theme as well as many others, including xenophobia against Chinese nationals and people of Chinese origin, solidarity in our world, and environmental crisis. This illuminating essay can be read here:

The whole world is in lockdown. Or is it?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen some unprecedented measures imposed by governments across the world. These governments have closed down entire cities or even countries in order to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of the deadly virus, because, unlike us, the virus is free; it traverses social strata and national boundaries. We need to check its freedom by putting our own freedom to move and to gather in quarantine. This, historians have told us, is an ancient way of combating contagious diseases. We are also reminded, in different ways—some benevolent, some outright racist—that after all in liberal democracies “we are not like the Chinese,” who allegedly can only obey their government’s dictates. This Chinese exceptionalism obscures the fact that most of those who could afford to stay at home in China are not very different from those who are staying home in the “free world.” They are all in one way or another beneficiaries of an unequal distribution of freedom—the freedom to stay home. We do it because we care, we can, or we have to. But one thing is clear: this freedom to stay at home comes at a price. Continue reading “Freedom in Quarantine”

Report on Interdisciplinarity and the Future of Life

By Anisha Joshi

Class of 2022

In the fourth installment in the Interdisciplinarity series, Professor Ed Turner from Princeton University discussed astrobiology and interdisciplinarity in science. As an astrophysicist who has published a plethora of papers that also discuss astrobiology, in this conversation Professor Turner discussed the implications the interdisciplinary field of astrobiology has on life on earth, as well as what it means for society and culture.

From Galileo theorizing that the moon might have life on it to the boom of science fiction in the 50s that aroused public interest in astrobiology, Professor Turner stated it has had a long and interesting history. With his sustained interest in big questions, some of which gain their impetus from the more fundamental questions of humanity and existence, Professor Turner was lured into the area of astrobiology after participating in a 2000 NASA study of exoplanets. Finding himself with an increasing interest in exoplanets rather than just cosmology, he ventured into the highly interdisciplinary area of astrobiology. Continue reading “Report on Interdisciplinarity and the Future of Life”