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Eastern Culture

Cambodia 1974, Dith Pran. Dith Pran/NYTimes.com
Cambodia, 1974, photo by Dith Pran. Dith Pran/New York Times.

If you haven’t see the film “The Killing Fields” since it came out in the eighties, perhaps now would be an appropriate time. Dith Pran, the photojournalist and war prisoner who’s story is told by the film has passed away March 31st from cancer just as the Cambodian War Crime Tribunal gears up for a heart wrenching search for truth and justice. 5 top war criminals are being tried in the Khmer Rouge “Year Zero” genocide were an estimated 1.7 million people were killed.

After watching the DVD with bonus material I learned about the rather ironic death of Haing S. Ngor, the actor who played Dith Pran in “The Killing Fields”. Haing S. Ngor, who was a prisoner of war himself and found it difficult to reenact some of the scenes, eventually made a new life for himself in the US but in 1996 was shot to death in an attempted robbery. He escaped the grasp of the Khamer Rouge only to die in a country who still believes that we should be allowed to bear arms.

Sydney H. Schanberg, his partner is still alive.

New York Times article has many more photos of and by Dith Pran and a very recent interview at his bedside. “Dith Pran, Photojournalist and Survivor of the Killing Fields, Dies at 65″ by Douglas Martin, March 21, 2008

Dith Pran NYTimes article.

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Upsetting fact of living in the U.S.A.: If you attend a college in Utah you can now carry a concealed weapon, with the proper license of course. In 2006 Utah Supreme court allowed guns on college campuses. The opinion is guns in the hands of law abiding citizens can save lives. The CNN report Right to Bear Arms on Campus?

Hasekura Tsunenaga
Detail of Hasekura’s portrait during his mission in Rome in 1615, by Claude Deruet, Coll. Borghese, Rome, from wikipedia.

On January 25, in 1614, almost 400 years ago, samurai Hasekura Tsunenaga was the first official Japanese Embassador to set foot on the Americas. First stop? Acapulco Mexico of course!

What’s left of him today? A few statues on the outskirts of Acapulco, a replica of San Juan Bautista, his Japanese-built galleon docked in the harbor of a theme park in Ishinomaki Japan, and Gisaku (2005), a Spanish animated film based loosely on Hasekura’s travels.

From Wikipedia’s featured article for today. If you care to read more, the article lives here: Hasekura Tsunenaga (支倉六右衛門常長)

Events for all 5 senses! Food tasting in Chinatown this weekend! Ear and eye-full October 19th: new work by Bjorn Copeland (Black Dice) + live music by Lansing-Dreiden at Hiro. Do you and your cardiovascular self a favor, don’t miss the explosive duo Matt & Kim October 27th at the experimental studio/project space 3rd Ward in Brooklyn!!

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Tuesday October 17th
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Performing History: Critical Autobiographies
Artists Speak: Conversations on Contemporary Art with Glenn D. Lowry
Tuesday, October 17, 6:30 p.m. MoMa, Founders Room.
An-My Lê and Allison Smith discuss the role of history in their work. Inspired by personal histories, historical reenactments, war, and performance, these artists confront the present by investigating constructions of the past. MoMa Adult and Academic Programs calendar.

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Wednesday October 18th
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Lovely Daze Issue 3 : When I am Alone, Everything is So Surreal
Book Launch and Reception w/Special Performances
Wednesday, October 18th, 2006, 6:00 to 9:30 pm
Whitney Museum at Altria
Lovely Daze website

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Thursday October 19th
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Bjorn Copeland

Bjorn Copeland, Sets
D’Amelio Terras, 525 West 22nd Street, 6-8

L-D Section II LIVE
(Lansing-Dreiden)
Thursday October 19, 2006
Hiro Ballroom @ The Maritime Hotel
363 W 16th St. NY, NY. $8 advance/$14 day of show/9PM Doors/21 & over.
9pm-10 L-D DJ set / 10pm-Sahra Motalebi / 11pm L-D

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Friday October 20th
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What Was Once One, new work by Lansing-Drieden
Opening October 20, 7-9pm, Rivington Arms
Show runs from October 20 – November 22, 2006
Lansing-Dreiden.com

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Saturday October 21st
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Taste of Chinatown

Fifth Taste of China
October 21, 2006. 1:00pm – 6:00pm (rain or shine)
The Fifth Taste of Chinatown! (New York)
Over the course of two years and four events, Taste of Chinatown has become one of the most anticipated attractions in New York City, drawing food fans from around the world. Grab a tasting map (on the day of the event at the Chinatown Partnership tent on Mott Street or at the Explore Chinatown Info Kiosk on Canal Street at Baxter) and stroll along the streets closed to traffic. Sample $1 and $2 tasting plates from over 50 restaurants, tea houses, bakeries and specialty food shops serving Chinese, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai, Singaporean, Japanese and Asian Fusion cuisines. more info: Taste of Chinatown, Fifth Annual.

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Friday October 27th
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Matt & Kim

Matt & Kim record release party w/Japanther
Brought to you once again by Todd P! Friday, October 27th 8pm @ 3RD WARD
Matt & Kim’s CD is in heavy rotation at petiteMort, this dou has the more energy than an entire high school marching band. Catch them at the 3RD Ward, a newish experimental studio and project space in Williamsburg. Click to watch their video for 5K by Colin Moore, like the video their shows do have a reputation for getting a bit messy…

Matt & Kim- 5k3RD WARD – 195 Morgan Ave @ Stagg, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(L train to Morgan ,$tba, all ages)
More info: Matt & Kim, Matt & Kim Myspace, toddpnyc, 3rdwardbrooklyn.org

Shoalin Reality

The ancient Shaolin Temple in Henan Province, China, is to have its own television show called “Chinese Kung Fu Star Search” that will invite viewers to vote for their favorite martial arts masters, the BBC reported. Continue reading…