18 February 2013

Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism

To the filmmaking community, Trinh T. Minh-ha is best known as the Vietnamese-born director of a number of experimental documentary films: 'Reassemblage,' 'Naked Spaces-Living Is Round,' and 'Surname Viet, Given Name Nam.' Visually stunning, poetic, and highly idiosyncratic, these works radically question and reopen ethnographic and documentary film languages. Her films represent one part of a much larger project, loosely organized around the 'problem' of how to represent a Third World, female Other. As well as making films, Trinh studied ethnomusicology and West African vernacular architecture, composes music, and has written a number of books. Many of these trends in her work are represented in the 1989 book, Woman, Native, Other.

10 February 2013

American Public Diplomacy in the Mideast

At the height of its military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and concurrent with its ongoing 'war on terror,' the US government launched a public diplomacy campaign in the Arab world. It was ostensibly intended to project a cooler, kinder, and gentler image of the USA, even as American policies continued to wreak havoc in the region. Utilizing a variety of media, including news and entertainment in audio, video, and print, the efforts were linked by what appeared to be a common goal of attempting to win the hearts and minds of Arab youth.