Alexandra Cuesta Named John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow

Alexandra Cuesta, a filmmaker and recent guest of the Global Mobility Project at The Ohio State University, has been named a Guggenheim Fellow. Alexandra’s work combines experimental film and documentary practices to capture how people move through public spaces. Her work examines social structures, instances of displacement, and cultural diasporas. As a Guggenheim Fellow, she will continue to work on a project titled Desde Aquí (From Here). According to the Guggenheim website the project is:

…an experimental documentary that explores the life of the inhabitants of Susudel, a small community in the Andes mountains in southern Ecuador. The film addresses the complicated post-colonial legacy of land ownership, labor, and migrations, particular to the region, while simultaneously constructing a portrait of place, which permeates between the exterior landscape and the private/ intimate scape.

The New York Film Festival, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Viennale International Film Festival, Centre Pompidou, Palacio Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, FIDMarseille, Bienal de Cuenca, Habana Film Festival, and BFI Film Festival, London number among venues at which Alexandra’s work has been screened. Alexandra received her MFA in Film and Video from the California Institute of the Arts and her BFA in Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design.

On February 12, Alexandra visited OSU to show three short films and to join Prof. Vera Brunner-Sung of the Global Mobility Project and the Department of Theatre for a discussion on their subject matter. The three films screened were Despedida, Piensa En Mi, Recordando El Ayer. These films depict movement, moments of waiting, separation and life in two distinct places: Los Angeles (Despedida and Piensa En Mi) and Jackson Heights in New York City (Recordando El Ayer). After showing her short films, Alexandra reflected on making films in marginalized spaces populated mainly by migrants.

Alexandra and Prof. Brunner-Sung discuss the filmmaking process, global mobility and migration, and the significance of Alexandra’s work in the podcast below. Alexandra explains how art can avoid the pitfall of existing outside the migrant experience, a notion she has observed in some academic research. Alexandra says, “What the arts can do in this regard is to look at this subject from another perspective and that means to me a more emotional perspective.”

She then recalls a showing of her film Recordando El Ayer at a church in Jackson Heights, where many of the film’s subjects were able to watch the film and subsequently participate in a Q & A session. Through this rare opportunity she was able to see firsthand how, “Art, again, can provide these open conversations, dialogues, and discussions in a more human and direct way.”

Speaking from her perspective as a filmmaker and as immigrant originally from Ecuador, Alexandra creates films that convey the feeling of leaving home and assimilating into a new culture. Central to her work are identities and a sense of belonging. She wonders, “Can anyone belong to a place? Is this even possible in the world today?”

A Talk with Alexandra Cuesta Podcast:

Research Update: Jewish Refugees, China, Australia: Finding Security After the Second World War

By Sara Halpern, PhD Candidate, Department of History

With the support of a Global Mobility grant, I spent five months in Australia studying its histories of foreign policy, Second World War experiences, immigration, and Jewish community.  This trip contributes to one of many facets of my dissertation, which examines the postwar lives and migrations of German and Austrian Jewish refugees who were stranded in Shanghai during the Second World War. They had escaped Nazism between 1938 and 1941 to Shanghai, one of the few places in the world that did not require a visa. After the Japanese occupation and the world war ended, the refugees preferred to resettle in Australia and the United States.  By examining the Australian path through archives and personal conversations in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, the emerging narrative from my research differed from those refugees who departed for the United States. Between Sino-Australian diplomatic relations and the Jewish refugees’ thought processes, Australia, China and the Jews shared a desire in the post-Second World War moment: security. The Australians propagandized a population crisis for national defense; the Chinese sought to expel foreigners who occupied its lands since 1842 and economic rehabilitation; the Jewish refugees desired freedom from persecution.

In the National Archives of Australia and the National Library in Australia’s capital of Canberra, I dove headfirst into documents connected to the newly-established Ministry of Immigration, part of the Department of External Affairs, and Australian Legation in Shanghai.  After terrifying four years of Japanese invasion in Asia-Pacific including its northwest city of Darwin and growing separation from its mother country, Great Britain, Australia desperately needed to build national security.  It was felt that the population must grow—exponentially.  A Ministry of Immigration was then formed in June 1945 by Arthur A. Calwell, who served as its minister until 1949.   During these years, Australia embarked on a contradictory campaign: “Populate or Perish!” On one hand, it aimed to see the population grow from 7 million in 1945 to 20-25 million by the 1960s.  On the other hand, the government and the population, which was 97% white British, wished to maintain the “White Australian Policy”.  Since Australia became a federation in 1901, the immigration policy highly restricted entry of non-British migrants including Chinese.  This policy effectively led to Australia “being more British than Britain”.  The personal papers reveal tensions that Calwell faced in the anti-Communist Australian Parliament and with the anti-Chinese diplomats in Shanghai, the nativist public, and his influential friends in Chinese and Jewish communities in Melbourne. The papers from the Australian Legation chronicled the transformation of its approach to immigration, from cooperation to suspicion, as the staff changed between 1946 and 1949 and conditions in Shanghai worsened, especially for foreigners.

In Sydney and Melbourne, I sifted through folders from Jewish Board of Deputies, an overseeing political body of the Jewish community with branches in each state, and somewhat of a liaison between Shanghai’s Jewish community and the Australian government. As the port of entry for many ships from Shanghai, Sydney welcomed over 1,500 Jewish refugees between 1945 and 1955.  I walked from the Overseas Terminal in Circular Quay to streets in Central Business District (“CBD”) where the local relief society placed them in hotels.  From there, refugees chose to either stay in Sydney’s Double Bay, King’s Cross, and Bondi suburbs or take a long train ride to Melbourne. As part of “populate or perish” campaign, Calwell determined that a “family reunification” scheme needed to be created and many Jews in Australia seized the opportunity, especially in the wake of the Holocaust through the Jewish Board of Deputies, and later local Jewish relief organizations.  The scheme allowed only relatives to apply for “landing permits” (entry visas) and thus, Shanghai’s Jewish refugees came through relatives living in Sydney or Melbourne who arrived in the late 1930s. These relatives permitted Shanghai’s Jewish refugees to quickly escape threats of persecution as Europeans from the anti-imperialist Chinese authorities and public.  Thousands of other Jewish refugees had to wait for other visas.

As I began to listen to video testimonies and read memoirs at the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne, the “family reunification” scheme resulted in advantaging Austrian and German Jews with birthplace in post-1919 Poland. Unlike the United States at the time, Australia did not impose national quotas.  Jews with birth places in Austria or former German territories in post-WWI Poland found planning for surviving family members to meet in Australia easier than anywhere else. A number of families did not “finish” reuniting until the 1950s owing to factors beyond their control, particularly transportation availability in the Pacific in the 1940s.

Photo Source: Migration Heritage Center of Powerhouse Museum, New South Wales

Meanwhile, I searched for surviving refugees and their families through Google and personal contacts.  I found Peter Nash and Ilse Charny, volunteers at the Sydney Jewish Museum.  Peter invited me to join his weekly tour where he took a small group of Jewish and non-Jewish Australians around.  When we entered the newly renovated Holocaust exhibit, he began to weave his family story of survival into the general narrative.  He showed us his personal contributions to the collection—a letter of eviction from the family’s landlord in Berlin in 1938 and photos of two children in his extended family who perished in the Holocaust in the beautiful Children’s Memorial. Peter’s devotion to his family history and the story of the Holocaust made him an inspiring guide and person.  Although still a teenager in the postwar period, Peter did not hesitate to interview with me at his home in North Sydney.  He showed me the beautiful vases, representing friendship, from his father’s Chinese employee (pictured). Unfortunately, Ilse Charny and I ran out of time before I had to depart for Melbourne but she kindly showed me her memoir that she donated to the Museum’s library which I read.

In Melbourne, I spent one Sunday afternoon with a group of Austrian and German Jewish refugees and their families.  In the photo, the woman in the far left, Ilse Sherwin (age 91), the man in front of me, Horst Eisfelder (age 93) and the man on the far right, Heinz Wolff (age 84) all escaped Europe for Shanghai with their parents.

Photo Source: Author (standing in the back)

  Ilse Sherwin belonged to a social group, which their Australian children called “Schrei Abend” (screaming evening) that met biweekly since 1950. As the group grew smaller due to old age, other refugees and their descendants were invited to join. Ilse remains the only living member of the original group of 25 people.  Throughout that Sunday afternoon, conversations revolved around personal health, Australian and U.S. politics, and, of course, Shanghai. The two grown Australia-born children who came—Peter Kohn and Alan Wolff— also shared stories they inherited from their parents. It could not be completed without plenty of food, including sweet cheese strudel.  Classic Viennese.  I soon discovered how surprisingly and unsurprisingly small world of Shanghai’s Jewish refugees was in Melbourne.1

Security eventually came for Australia, China, and the Jewish refugees. Australia and China eventually enjoy tremendous trade partnership however politically ambivalent with one another.  The Australian government collapsed under pressure to gradually dismantle the “White Australian Policy” to allow Asians and other immigrants to enter in the 1950s and 1960s. The Chinese government embraced a positivist view of Jewish refugees’ lives in Shanghai during the Holocaust.  For the Jewish refugees from Shanghai, they found security in Australia even if they were forbade to speak German in public in their first years due to antisemitism, anti-immigration, and cultural intolerance. Many have returned to Shanghai to visit in recent years; possibly  more likely to do so than returning to Germany and Austria where they experienced greatest persecution.

1 For more on Schrei Abend and its members, see Antonia Finanne, Far From Where? Jewish Journeys from Shanghai to Australia (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1999.

Movable Memories

By Randall Rowe, PhD Student, Department of Slavic and Eastern European Languages and Cultures

 On Monday, March 19th the Global Mobility Project hosted two exciting events with South Korean artist Do-Ho Suh. There was a great turnout for his talk at the Knowlton School of Architecture, where he elaborated on his creative process. His work questions the concept of home and how a person transports home across time and space. Do-Ho has created fabric homes by measuring the dimensions of his former living spaces and then sewing together representations of these spaces. He has also engaged with his former homes in other ways. For example, he has used a technique called rubbing to create traced representations of these spaces. He wraps the subjects of his installments (his former homes) in white paper and carefully rubs the surfaces with a pencil to reveal the intricate designs and details of the living spaces. This very delicate and physical practice (measuring, sewing, rubbing, etc.) reinforces Do-Ho’s deep connection to the spaces. Consequently his memory of home becomes a portable manifestation of an abstract concept that may be carried with him in a suitcase everywhere he goes.

Do-Ho talked about how his fabric structures are developed from the memories of his former dwellings. They change meaning as they grow to include the various places he encounters in his work and life, he says. His presentation started with his original installation, Seoul Home, which debuted in Los Angeles at the L.A. Korean Culture Center (1991). His installation grew to incorporate his other former homes and began to move from exhibit space to exhibit space. Reflecting the transient nature of his work and the migration experience, Do-Ho’s Seoul Home became Seoul Home/L.A. Home/New York Home/Baltimore Home/London Home/Seattle Home… (1999).

Later in the day, we hosted a screening at the Wexner Center for the Arts of Fallen Star: Finding Home (2016), a film that was directed by our very own Prof. Vera Brunner-Sung and Valerie Stadler. This film documents the Fallen Star art installation (2012), which was a collaboration led by Do-Ho Suh at the Stuart Collection of the University California, San Diego. Fallen Star was an ambitious project that culminated in placing a small house, inspired by a cottage on the East coast of the U.S., on the 7th floor roof of a building in Southern California. Again, Do-Ho engages with the idea of home, but this time on a college campus where many arrive from other cities, states and countries. After the film, the audience was treated to a rare opportunity to ask questions of both the creator of the project and one of the directors of the films.

In our Q & A session, both Do-Ho and Prof. Brunner-Sung stressed the collaborative nature of their work. Fallen Star was made possible by the expertise of many people in a variety of fields. Do-Ho Suh envisioned the project, but conceded that he, alone was unable to execute such a large scale work. The Stuart Collection, together with local engineers and contractors constructed and raised the house, and the process was documented by Brunner-Sung and Stadler. The film not only shows the process of erecting the project, but also captures the process of change within those who helped carry out the project. A project of this scale was dismissed as too frivolous or nonsensical by skeptical observers, but the team stood by the mission. During a poignant moment in the film, the superintendent of the job, Don Franken, concludes that perhaps art can be difficult to understand because it is experienced by every person in a different way. This captures the transformative nature of Fallen Star and Do-Ho’s work in general. Those who view his art are invited to question otherwise stable and personal concepts such as home or belonging. Do-Ho’s work is particularly powerful, because it delicately reminds the viewer that one’s home is not always constant. In fact, it is often ever-changing, and every person uniquely relates to an idea of home.

Thank you to Do-Ho Suh for visiting us at The Ohio State University, and thank you to all who helped make both events happen. Thank you especially to our co-sponsors: Office of International AffairsAsian American Studies, Ohio State UniversityOSU Department of ArtKnowlton School of Architecture, and the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering!

Musician Visit with Ezé Wendtoin

Ezé Wendtoin, a prominent West African musician will visit OSU Campus March 19-27. He has dedicated his work as a musician to increase understanding of different cultures in Germany. As a solo artist and together with the Dresden musician collective “Banda Internationale” he has stood against racism and xenophobia through music in concerts, theater, social projects, and in his work as an educator and scholar of German Second Language Acquisition. At the Ohio State, he will offer concerts, conversations and lectures to engage with our local students, artists and community.

Find below the events open to the public which we encourage you to attend.

March 19:

12am: Public Lunch with graduate students, Research Commons 352, 18th Ave Library

1-2pm: Pop-Up Performances on the Oval

4-5.30pm: Lecture “Music in Foreign Language Education: Learning German through Music in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso“, Arps 388, RSVP HERE

March 20:

12.45am-2.10 pm: “Studying Abroad: Sharing Experiences”, CLLC Lunch Discussion with music with Foreign Language Students students, Hagerty Hall courtyard/ Crane Café, lunch snacks will be provided, RSVP HERE

2.30-4.30pm: “Bringing Different Worlds Together Through Music”, student workshops in German and French, SIGN UP HERE

5-6.30pm: “Being African in Trump’s America“, Roundtable Discussion and Concert, Frank Hale Cultural Center, 153 W 12th Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43210

March 21:

2-3.30pm: Lunch with graduate students, Jennings Hall 050

4-5pm: Pop-Up Performances on the Oval

March 22:

3-3.30pm: Pop-Up Performances on the Oval

3.30-5pm: Musical Discussion with the Migration Studies Working Group, Research Commons, 350A, 18th Ave Library, RSVP by emailing migrationstudiesworkinggroup@gmail.com

March 27:

6pm: “Ezé Wendtoin” Collaborative Concert at the Global Gallery Café in Clintonville

More information can be found on www.u.osu.edu/ezewendtoin OR www.go.osu.edu/eze

More information about Student Workshops in German and French:

Bringing Different Worlds Together Through Music

In this workshop, Ezé uses music invites students of German and French to develop ways to think about and bring together different understandings of culture and living. He will incorporate your perspectives to encourage a learning environment in which you are able to learn with and from each other.

Ezé will talk about his work with different non-profit organizations and collectives (Atticus e.V., Lauter Leise in Sachsen, Banda Internationale). He will also present his visits to local schools in Germany, during which he talked with students about issues of racism, prejudice, and clichés, telling the students about how he has made his way to Germany, and what role music played for his journey. He will talk about Burkina Faso by presenting different photographic materials.

The workshop is open to students of German and French.

Workshop 1 (French): 3/20, 2.45-3.30pm

Workshop 2 (German): 3/20, 3.40- 4.25pm

SIGN UP HERE

There is no minimum proficiency level required. Students of different proficiency-levels are encouraged to participate. Each workshop holds 20 students.

Event Page

Co-sponsored by the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures (GLL), the Center for Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (CLLC), the Department of African American and African Studies (AAAS), the Migration Studies Working Group, the Department of Music and the Global Mobility Project.

Plenary Panel: “Borders, Barriers, and Belonging: A Spotlight on Global Migration.”

Join us for the plenary panel that will open the Midwest Slavic Conference on Saturday, March 24, 8:30-10:30am. The plenary panel is free and open to the public.

Borders, Barriers, and Belonging: A Spotlight on Global Migration,” will host five interdisciplinary migration scholars to engage in a discussion that weaves together regional and global perspectives in historical and contemporary human mobility.

The panelists include Jeffrey Cohen (Ohio State), Steven Lee (UC Berkeley), Eleanor Paynter (Ohio State), Johanna Sellman (Ohio State), and Sunnie Rucker-Chang (University of Cincinnati). Tara Zahra will serve as the panel discussant.

The panel is organized by the Center for Slavic and East European Studies and co-sponsored by the Center for African Studies, the Center for Latin American Studies, East Asian Studies Center, and the Middle East Studies Center.

Understanding the Mediterranean: complex dimensions of the “migration crisis” and representation.

by Natalia Zotova, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, The Ohio State University.

On 22 February Dr. Maurizio Albahari, an associate professor at the University of Notre Dame, gave a lecture “Rethreading the Mediterranean: Disquieting Art and Migrant Democracy” at Mershon Center for International Security Studies. The lecture was co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, the Department of French & Italian, and the Global Mobility Project.

In his lecture Dr. Albahari disentangled representations of the “migrant crisis” unfolding in the Mediterranean. In the recent years hundreds of thousands refugees have embarked on a dangerous journey across the sea to flee war, persecution, and political and economic insecurity in their home countries. While many were able to land safely on the shores of the European countries, the sea claimed thousands of lives on the “world most dangerous border”. EU politicians, human rights activists, media and local population addressed complex dimensions of emergent humanitarian and political crisis. However, in the flurry of media representations, activism and even fake news, the asymmetries of power relationships mainly go under the radar of popular narrative and academic inquiry.

Dr. Albahari argued that the right to seek asylum in Europe had turned into a commodity, where migrants either pay with their lives or have to pay smugglers and other middlemen. While the Mediterranean today is at the conflux of trade, politics, ideology, border enforcement and unauthorized mobility, humans have the least power to move from the global south to the global north. In his recent book “Crimes of Peace” (2015) Dr. Albahari developed an ethnography of state power and indifference, which perpetuates the dynamics of the world’s deadliest border in the Mediterranean. Arguing for an overlooked asymmetry in the attitudes to commodities such as gas, oil and natural resources, and arriving migrants, the speaker discussed broader power inequalities between EU and countries of the global south. Dr. Albahari suggested conceptualizing the borders as “diffuse” rather than “open” or “closed”. European borders are permeable for conditional aid, military convoys, as well as holders of the EU passports traveling southward. And while diffuse borders welcome commodities; the people who seek safety and better life in Europe are turned away, repatriated and marginalized.

To illustrate his argument Dr. Albahari showed a political cartoon, created by refugees. That was an image of a solitary figure sitting on a large pipe going under a barber fence border. The caption read: “Oil goes through, we don’t”. Analytical attention to the agency of migrants and refugees was one of major arguments of the speaker. Dr. Albahari called for “disquieting art”, which could become a powerful engagement tool. Pieces of art developed by migrants and contemplated by public can create the space for empathy, understanding and healing. Celebrating the voice of refugees through artistic expression we could move away from dichotomies of victimization or blaming. In Dr. Albahari’s opinion, that is immensely important in order to treat political divisiveness and power asymmetries in both Europe and the world.            

by Francesco Piobbichi, 2016

What is the other side of hope?

By Randall Rowe, PhD Student, Department of Slavic and Eastern European Languages and Cultures

On January 19th, the Global Mobility project hosted a film screening at the Wexner Center for the Arts of The Other Side of Hope (dir. Aki Kaurismäki, 2017). This film depicts the experience of a Syrian refugee who has fled to Finland to apply for asylum. One of the protagonists, Khaled, has encountered carnage in his home city of Aleppo, was separated from his sister when fleeing across the Turkish border, and was assaulted by Polish neo-Nazis. Upon arriving in Finland via a shipping container, Khaled meets Wikström, a middle-aged man who has a recent windfall of cash from a successful poker game. Their first meeting occurs after Khaled has escaped a detention center (after being denied refuge and sentenced to deportation) and is apprehended and jumped by racist thugs of the “Finnish Liberation” movement. When Wikström encounters an injured Khaled outside of his restaurant, a fight between the two protagonists breaks out and comically ends rather quickly with Khaled working in Wikström’s restaurant. The unlikely gang of coworkers come to accept Khaled into their ranks, and they band together to help bring Khaled’s sister to Finland. After successfully arriving in Finland from Lithuania, Khaled’s sister seeks asylum at the police station just as Khaled had done. Indeed, many migrants leave their countries of origin with the hope that their situation will improve, but a migrant’s journey is often long and treacherous. The Other Side of Hope attempts to address the migration experience through Khaled’s story of uncertainty, disappointment, and – finally – reunion.

Khaled, in a somewhat typical situation for refugees, is subjected to long periods of waiting that often end in rejection. He seeks asylum through the official channels and is then assigned to a detention facility, where he waits for his fate to be handed to him by a court. Khaled flees the facility and ends up in Wikström’s restaurant because he is left with no other recourse after being denied asylum. The arrival of Khaled among the ranks of Wikström’s employees facilitates a change for the restaurant. Tired of waiting for customers to wander into the restaurant, Wikström and the others attempt (unsuccessfully) to change the menu and atmosphere in order to drum up business. It is as if both protagonists were waiting for one another to improve each other’s lives.

(Prof. Vera Brunner-Sung (left) and Prof. Johanna Sellman (right) discuss the film with the audience) 

After the film there was a lively Q & A session with Prof. Vera Brunner-Sung (Department of Theatre, the Global Mobility Project) and Prof. Johanna Sellman (Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures). One of the audience members remarked that the depiction of white Europeans in the film was mostly positive, with the exception of the militant nationalists and the apathetic bureaucrats of the court system. Prof. Brunner-Sung added to the conversation by asking if the film occupied a gray area between the tropes of the White Savior and White Helper. The Other Side of Hope seems to attempt to subvert the White Savior trope by omitting gratuitous scenes of victimization and by foregrounding Khaled’s self-determination.

The film, though tragic at times, is largely whimsical and funny. The editing, use of compact spaces, and the “cleanliness of the mise en scène,” in the words of Prof. Brunner-Sung, work together to communicate complex emotional aspects of the film to the viewer without language at all. Aki Kaurismäki moves the viewer from a comedy to a tragedy to a melodrama back to a comedy. Ultimately, this conveys instability to the viewer and creates a sense of exhaustion. By highlighting this chaos, Aki Kaurismäki attempts to communicate Khaled’s experience as a migrant seeking asylum.

The film also attempts to address questions about Finland’s “myth of homogeneity,” as pointed out by Prof. Sellman, and the wave of nationalism in Finland and around the globe. The police arrive at the restaurant for a routine inspection and the employees quickly hide Khaled in the bathroom. Instead of finding Khaled and inquiring about his national origins, the police officer asks a Finnish employee to produce his identification because the employee doesn’t “look Finnish” – an ironic moment that speaks to the ways that racism works to undermine the goals of law enforcement.

The film also depicts Finland’s linguistic heterogeneity, as well as the social functions that these languages can serve. The fluidity of language choice captures the negotiation of self that many refugees must go through when seeking asylum.

Indeed, much of this film reflects the reality of migrants’ lives. This is what makes the film grim viewing, in spite of its whimsy. Khaled has been forced to flee from his home in Aleppo, Syria because of violence. He loses contact with his sister because of violence and chaos at the Turkish border. He must secretly travel to Finland in a shipping container full of coal from Gdansk, Poland due to further threats of violence, and finally, it is violence that brings him to Wikström and his subsequent employment. The streak of violence in Khaled’s life does not end when he leaves Syria. Khaled’s experience, crafted brilliantly by Kaurismäki, raises the question: what is the other side of hope?

Upcoming Artist Talk and Roundtable Discussion (RSVP by Feb. 9th) with Photographer Susan Meiselas

OSU EVENT
Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 7:00pm
“Artist Talk with Photographer Susan Meiselas”
Location:
 Wexner Center for the Arts
OSU EVENT
Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 10:15am-12:00pm
“Roundtable Discussion with Photographer Susan Meiselas”
Location:
 Thompson Library Room 165
RSVP by February 6 to globalmobility@osu.edu
Event Page
OSU EVENT
Co-sponsors: Department of Art Living Culture Initiative and Visiting Artist Program, the Global Mobility Project and the Migration Studies Working Group.

OSU Event

Susan Meiselas, born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1948, received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and her MA in visual education from Harvard University. Her first major photographic essay focused on the lives of women doing striptease at New England country fairs, whom she photographed during three consecutive summers while teaching photography in New York public schools. Carnival Strippers was originally published in 1976 and a selection was installed at the Whitney Museum of Art in June 2000.

Meiselas joined Magnum Photos in 1976 and has worked as a freelance photographer since then. She is best known for her coverage of the insurrection in Nicaragua and her documentation of human rights issues in Latin America. She published her second monograph, Nicaragua, in 1981. Meiselas served as an editor and contributor to the book El Salvador: The Work of Thirty Photographers and edited Chile from Within featuring work by photographers living under the Pinochet regime. She has co-directed two films, Living at Risk: The Story of a Nicaraguan Family and Pictures from a Revolution with Richard P. Rogers and Alfred Guzzetti. In 1997, she completed a six-year project curating a hundred-year photographic history of Kurdistan, integrating her own work into the book Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History and developed akaKurdistan, an online site of exchange for collective memory in 1998.

Her monograph Pandora’s Box  explores a New York S & M club, has been exhibited both at home and abroad. Encounters with the Dani reveals a sixty-year history of outsiders’ discovery and interactions with the Dani, an indigenous people of the highlands of Papua in Indonesia.

Meiselas has had one-woman exhibitions in Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, and her work is included in collections around the world. She has received the Robert Capa Gold Medal for her work in Nicaragua (1979); the Leica Award for Excellence (1982); the Engelhard Award from the Institute of Contemporary Art (1985); the Hasselblad Foundation Photography prize (1994); the Cornell Capa Infinity Award (2005) and most recently was awarded the Harvard Arts Medal (2011). In 1992, she was named a MacArthur Fellow.

OSU Event

ICS Lecture: “Internal Migration of Ethnic Minorities in China: Perspectives, Problems and Policies”

Friday, January 26, 2018 – 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Mendenhall Lab 191 (125 S Oval Mall)

The Institute for Chinese Studies presents the Re-Imagining China’s Past and Present Lecture Series:

Shengyu Pei
Associate Professor, College of Ethnology and Sociology
South-Central University for Nationalities

“Internal Migration of Ethnic Minorities in China: Perspectives, Problems and Policies”

Event Page

Abstract: Internal migration in China grew to include 245 million people in 2016. More than 20 million of these migrants belong to one of the 55 different ethnic minorities in the country. My talk will focus on these minority groups, the challenges they face and how the government organizes policies to support their development. First, I examine internal migration and why people move. Second, I discuss the challenges that stereotype, “closed-doorism” and community development create for ethnic minorities in places of destination and as internal migrants. Finally, I analyze the government’s policies to solve some of the challenges these community face and new potentials for solutions.

Bio: Shengyu Pei is an Associate Professor at College of Ethnology and Sociology, South-Central University for Nationalities. He received his ethnology PhD at Minzu University of China. His research interests include development of multi-ethnic communities and Chinese ethnic issues, with a special focus on internal migration of ethnic minorities. Dr. Pei is currently working with Dr. Jeffrey H. Cohen as a visiting scholar at the Department of Anthropology, OSU.

Free and open to the public

This event is sponsored by OSU’s Global Mobility Project and by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant to The Ohio State University East Asian Studies Center. 

New Research Guide: Global Mobility and Migration Resources

OSU

Prof. David Lincove, the History, Public Affairs & Philosophy Librarian at The Ohio State University’s Thompson Library, in collaboration with the Global Mobility Project, has compiled a list of resources on the global movement of people and issues related to refugees and immigrants. These resources include encyclopedias, books, article databases, historical and contemporary newspapers, streaming video, primary source collections, and statistical sources on the topic of global mobility and migration available to Ohio State faculty and students through the University Libraries.

One example is the list of 6 encyclopedias that include a variety of information from the humanities and social sciences available for scholars. This list includes: The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration, The Encyclopedia of European Migration and Minorities, Encyclopedia of Global Studies, Encyclopedia of Diasporas, the International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, and the International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences.

Another example are the Immigrations, Migrations and Refugees: Global Perspectives, 1941-1996 and North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories Databases available under Primary Sources.

Under Streaming Video, resource include Human Rights Studies Online and World History in Video, among others.

For a full list of resources, please check out the full guide on the University Libraries’ website. The guide is also accessible through the Global Mobility Project’s website under Links.