Why Koreans Dominate Hip-Hop Dance: A Report from Seoul
Who are the best hip-hop dancers in the world? A growing consensus in the global hip-hop community points to Korean b-boys—the just-completed second annual global invitational hip-hop dance competition, called R16, was held in Seoul, South Korea, and as many had predicted, a Korean crew won the compeition. What makes this surprising fact even more astonishing is that hip-hop culture is only about a decade old in Korea. Writer JEFF CHANG went to Seoul for R16 and joins us to discuss the history of hip-hop in Korea.
JEFF CHANG has written extensively on culture, politics, the arts, and music. He is the author of Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, and editor of Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop. He wrote about R16 for Salon.com (http://www.salon.com/ent/feature/2008/06/26/korean_hiphop/index.html). Learn more about Jeff Chang’s writing at http://www.cantstopwontstop.com/self.cfm
The Asian American International Film Festival
The 31st edition of the Asian American International Film Festival opens this week in New York, and features a lineup of features and documentaries that includes new films by Wayne Wang and Oscar-winning documentary maker Jessica Yu. We sit down with festival director SONJIA HYON for a preview of the festival. And we’ll be joined by filmmaker RISA MORIMOTO, whose remarkable new documentary about kamikaze fighters includes interviews with pilots who survived their failed WWII missions.
SONJIA HYON is the director of the Asian American International Film Festival, which opens Thursday, July 10 and runs to Saturday, July 19. For a full schedule, see www.aaiff.org.
Director Risa Morimoto on her film, Wings of Defeat
Through close interviews, archival footage, and animation, Morimoto complicates the image of the kamikaze as fanatical patriots, revealing that hundreds of kamikaze pilots in fact survived their missions. Their stories provide a poignant look at the desperation of a nation which sent its youth on suicide missions. Interweaving personal experiences with the larger historical narrative, Morimoto examines the moral decisions these men grappled with.
RISA MORIMOTO is the director of Wings of Defeat.
Democracy in Mongolia: A Look Inside the Recent Election and Protests
On July 1st hundreds of protestors in Mongolia attacked the headquarters of the dominant political party and charged into the national art gallery. The government responded by calling for a four-day state of emergency and by shutting down television and radio stations. The protests left five dead and many more arrested. The opposition party says the June 29 election was rigged. International observers say the polling stations had no evidence of misconduct. The standoff marks one of the most serious challenges to Mongolia's fledgling democracy in nearly two decades. We are joined by DR. MORRIS ROSSABI, whose recent book, Modern Mongolia: From Khans to Commissars to Capitalists, explores the issue of democratic change in the country.
Born in Alexandria, Egypt, MORRIS ROSSABI is currently the Distinguished Professor of History, City University of New York and Adjunct Professor at Columbia. He is the author of Khubilai Khan (University of California Press), China and Inner Asia (Thames and Hudson), Modern Mongolia (University of California Press), and many other books and more than 70 articles. He is also the former Chair of the Arts and Culture Committee, Soros Foundations.
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