On the misuses of commemorating the war in Vietnam, 40 years on
Undoubtedly, you've seen news coverage this week of the 40th anniversary of the end of the war in Vietnam. The Seattle Times and KCTS-TV screened Last Days in Vietnam earlier this week and the UW School of Law will host former Ambassador Michael Michalak next week. We encourage you to take a deeper dive with Professor Christoph Giebel's op-ed published in the Seattle Times in which he offers a corrective to historical inaccuracies in Last Days and argues that this anniversary "should give rise to somber and earnest reflection that acknowledges and respects, rather than vilifies, former enemies."
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Indonesian Festival: Keraton
Saturday, May 2, 3:00-9:00 pmUW, Red Square
Hosted by the Indonesian Students Association, Keraton is an annual event that attracts hundreds of guests from around the Puget Sound. Watch incredible Indonesian dance and music performances, also participate in traditional Indonesian games. And of course, eat some very delicious Indonesian food. All these highlights are thoroughly selected to showcase the indigenous Indonesian culture. It will most definitely be an evening to remember.
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Film Screening: Cambodian Son
Saturday, May 2, 7:00-9:00 pmAMC 11 Pacific Place (downtown)
A film screening with director Kosal Khiev
Cambodian Son documents the life of deported poet, Kosal Khiev after receiving the most important performance invitation of his career—to represent the Kingdom of Cambodia at the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Kosal would travel to London having only taken two flights prior; first, as a 1-year-old refugee child whose family fled Cambodia and, then as a 32-year-old criminal “alien” forcibly returned to Cambodia in 2011. Armed only with memorized verses, he must face the challenges of being a deportee while navigating his new fame as Phnom Penh’s premiere poet. After the performances end and the London stage becomes a faint memory, Kosal is once again left alone to answer the central question in his life: “How do you survive when you belong nowhere?”
Purchase tickets ($7; students get in free with ID)
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Watch the trailer
Vietnam: A Country, Not a War
Monday, May 4, 3:30-5:00 pmUW William H. Gates Hall, Room 447
A presentation by Michael Michalak, Former U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam
Vietnam has come a long way from the Doi Moi (reform and opening) policies of the 1980’s. Hear how Vietnam is integrating into the 21 Century global economy and preparing to be a leader in South East Asia. At the same time there are domestic and Foreign Policy Challenges which Hanoi must work on if it is to realize it full future potential within ASEAN and Global Society.
Ambassador Michalak retired from the Foreign Service at the end of 2011 after over 30 years of service. A career Foreign Service Officer with extensive knowledge and experience in Asia, was sworn in as the United States Ambassador to Vietnam on August 10, 2007 and served there until March of 2011 when he took on the position of Special Advisor to the Private Sector Host committee for APEC 2011 USA.
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Sponsored by the UW School of Law
Film Screening: Balikbayan #1 (Kidlat Tahimik)
Tuesday, May 5, 7:00-10:00 pmNorthwest Film Forum
A film screening with director Kidlat Tahimik
The latest piece by acclaimed Filipino filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik (The Perfumed Nightmare) is a filmic voyage spanning 35 years.
Winner of the Caligari Prize at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival, Balikbayan #1 tells the story of Enrique, Magellan’s slave (arguably a Filipino) who inadvertently became the first person to ever circumnavigate the globe. “In the film, Enrique (played by the director himself) does not appear as the object of European exploitation, but rather as a kind of shrewd cosmopolitan from the Global South.
Kidlat Tahimik began working on his film about Enrique in 1979, but for personal reasons never completed it. Not until more than three decades later has he now been able to finish it, almost without a budget - partly thanks to new developments in media technology ("some of the new footage was shot with an iPhone" -Tilman Baumgartel). Giovanni Marchini Camia stated in Filmmaker: “A sui generis historical epic, the film freely mixes genres, integrates a variety of formats and features a carousel of actors spanning three generations – it may very well be Tahimik’s magnum opus.”
Sponsored by the Northwest Film Forum
Thailand: The Failure of Democracy - From Field Marshall Sarit Thanarat to General Prayut Chan-ocha
Wednesday, May 20, 3:30-5:00 pmUW Thomson Hall, Room 317
A presentation by UW Professor Emeritus Charles Keyes, who writes:
In December 2014 and early January 2015 my wife, Jane, and I were in Thailand once again – perhaps concluding over a half-century of deep involvement with the country. That Thailand was once again under military rule as it had been when we first arrived in Thailand in August 1962 was distressing and saddening. The political history of Thailand from the late 1950s until today can be summarized as being from Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat, the military dictator from 1958 to 1963, to General Prayut Chan-ocha, the head of the military junta that seized power in May 2014. Both based their domination of the political order on the assumption that only military rule could ensure order and protect the institution of the monarchy. Thai society is not, however, the same in 2014-15 as it was in 1958-73 when Sarit and his chosen successors ruled the country. In this talk I reflect on why there has to date been a failure of democracy in Thailand and then examine the contemporary conditions that may finally make military dictatorship untenable, but perhaps also lead to more political turmoil in the kingdom of no longer smiling Thai.
Sponsored by the Southeast Asia Center
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The Politics of Distant War: 1917, 1941, 1964
Thursday, May 21, 7:30-8:30 pmUW Kane Hall, Room 200
A presentation by Mary L. Dudziak, Ph.D, J.D., a leading U.S. legal historian
Most Americans are insulated from the consequences of war, as wars are fought at a distance and military service is not a requirement of citizenship. This lecture by leading U.S. historian Mary L. Dudziak takes up the way distance has affected public engagement and presidential war power, arguing that distance mattered not only in the Vietnam War and after, but also during World Wars I and II.
Mary L. Dudziak is a leading U.S. legal historian. Her research is at the intersection of domestic law and U.S. international affairs, with a focus on war and political accountability in American history. Professor Dudziak is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and in fall 2015 she will be the Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance at the Library of Congress. She received her J.D. and Ph.D. from Yale University.
Sponsored by the Jackson School of International Studies and the Center for Global Studies
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