IA Participation

Event: Sustained Dialogue and IA Scholars: Exploring our Identities in a Global Context (JEDI)

Where: Zoom Link

When: Monday, September 21, 2020

I attended the virtual meeting of Sustained Dialogue partnered with International Affairs. This event discussed self-identifying factors we consider the most important for ourselves, and that how that influences how we look at the world and interact with others. It really connects to my Rural Sociology course, since we are currently discussing the self-identifying factors that create diversity in a society, as well as the socially constructed identifiers and how that influences interactions. The event definitely allowed me to think more deeply about the self-identifiers that are most important to me and how I interact with the people around me. It also allowed me to look outside myself and upon discussing with other people, I could think about how my most important self-identifiers may not be the same as the self-identifiers that others value most. I think this event really made me think about how to better connect with people I meet – especially when they come from different backgrounds than me. It helped me learn how simple ideas can help me relate to people who at first glance seem very different than me. The event made me realize how easy it is to get stuck in your own head without considering how other people view the world or what they value most.

The Farewell

Zoom Link/Facebook Events

Thursday April 30, 2020

I attended the zoom event which screened the film “The Farewell” directed and written by Lulu Wang. The movie depicts how one family returns to their home country under false pretenses to see their dying grandmother – who doesn’t know she is dying. They come up with an extravagant wedding to hide the real reason they have returned to China, in order to protect their elderly loved one. The actrice Awkwafina is in the film, which took place before her roles in “Ocean’s 8” or “Crazy Rich Asians” which was very exciting because I think she is funny and very talented, and I love the life she brings to her projects. The story was very heartwarming, and although it was very culture based, it definitely resonated with all viewers in some way. I did not have any real questions during the streaming. It related to international affairs since it is an international film, and does give a drastic insight into Chinese culture which was very interesting. Lulu Wang did an amazing job with this personal piece. It did make me reflect on family dynamic when it comes to death and grief, especially the influence culture has on that dynamic. All cultures seem to handle the subject a little differently and deal with it a bit differently as well, which is fascinating to think about. It reminded me of a paper I once wrote on the funeral and grief process in Madagascar. How they celebrate their dead and repeat that celebration of life every year. Overall I really enjoyed the movie and I am excited to continue exploring international films.

Preforming Afghanistan

Preforming Afghanistan (professional development)

Tuesday, October 7, 2019 (7;00 pm – 8:30 pm)

Wexner Center for Arts

The part of the event that was most interesting to me was the photography presentation and guest speaker Joël van Houdt that took place at 7:00 pm. He was joined by his wife on stage as they shared their experience working as a journalist and photographer in Afghanistan with locals hoping to flee or Afghan refugees from all over the country. The exhibition of his photos were centered in Cabo, and told the story of where these refugees flee and how far across the globe they spread. He followed their struggles after the U.S. pulled out of Afghanistan and the panic and instability that ensued. I think this was an extremely moving presentation and showcased what a huge impact every country can have on another and the aid or trouble they can cause for individuals. It depicted the hardships the refugees have to face as they desperately attempt to travel through Asia into Europe in hopes of a more stable and safe existence. Joël also mentioned how he participated in such a monumental task to show those still in Afghanistan what their fellow countrymen were going through. This relates to IA through the different countries involved, the refugees and their struggles while trying to seek asylum, as well as the discussion of transnational impact that we all have on each other. Unfortunately we ran out of time, but I was very curious to see the kind of struggles van Houdt and his wife might’ve faced trying to showcase these stories apart from strange reactions or weird stares. This event definitely reinforced my perception of refugees and deepened my empathy toward their troubles. It also was very eye opening to see the negative impact American withdrawal had on the country, as usually we are not portrayed as the unhelpful in our own country. This event mostly intersected with my professional and personal goals. I love learning about cultures and people’s stories or behaviors or thought processes because of those cultures, as well as the fact that I hope to one day be an advocate for refugees or help however possible.