All posts filed under: Art

Researching the Moranbong Band: An Abstract

Leave a comment
Art / Cultural Politics / Hip-hop / Music / My Publications / North Korea

Even before Kim Jong-il’s tremulously-announced death in Dec. 2011, the North Korean musical-cultural apparatus-elite-complex was in valedictory mode, producing huge orchestral canatas that expressed a perfect –and complete– vision of the Dear Leader’s full contribution to the ongoing North Korean revolution. Had Kim Jong-un chosen to take up only these modes of cultural commemoration, they were clearly within his grasp. Instead, months after his father’s death, Kim Jong-un moved quickly to organize and premiere a […]

Enemies and Allies in North Korean Art and Archives, 1948-1952

comments 2
Art / Cultural Politics / Korean War / My Publications / North Korea / Sino-North Korean relations / War Crimes

This is the introduction to a paper which I prepared for an Association of Asian Studies panel on captured wartime documents in Korea, Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, 29 March 2014.  The panel was organized by Chuck Kraus and the discussant was Bruce Cumings. The images that accompany the presentation can be accessed via clicking on this link for PowerPoint slides. — Adam Cathcart Usually in modern times when States have been defeated in war they have […]

On Deadlines, and Morning: Edward Said

Leave a comment

“In early adolescence I was completely in the grip, at once ambiguously pleasant and unpleasant, of time passing as a series of deadlines – an experience that has remained with me every since. The day’s milestones were set relatively early in that period and have not varied. Six thirty (or in cases of great pressure six; I still use the phrase “I’ll get up at six to finish this”) was time to get up; seven-thirty […]

Rectified Criminal or Courageous Speech? Ai Weiwei in China and Germany

comment 1
Art / Cultural Politics / EU-East Asia relations / history and memory / Huanqiu Shibao / Sino-German Relations

  About two weeks after the disappearance of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, the Huanqiu Shibao released a series of photographs of past criminals who had, through arduous years of “thought reform,” found a path toward the redemption in the eyes of the Chinese people.  Sitting in front of my computer screen, dumbfounded, I wondered if indeed this was still the CCP model for legal proceedings: seven years of detention until the witnesses could be adequately […]

Blockages and Breakthroughts: Cultural Diplomacy and North Korea

comments 3
Art / Cultural Politics / EU-East Asia relations / French / Hip-hop / Music / My Publications / North Korea / Sino-North Korean relations

[A cross-post of an essay which I posted on — AC] Yesterday, Corée_Actualités launched a short missive which functioned as a kind of bouleversement of the normal: a 90-member delegation of the DPRK’s Unhasu Orchestra (consisting of 70 players) will be performing at the Salle Pleyel in Paris this coming March 21.  The French Radio Symphony Orchestra (l’Orchestre de Radio France) will be playing alongside Unhasu, under the direction of the South Korean conductor Chung Myung-Hwa. (Like most successful […]

transmediale buzz

Leave a comment
Art / Chinese Avant-Garde / Cultural Politics / EU-East Asia relations / German / Sino-German Relations

The Berlin transmediale is, to my knowledge, one of the very best annual conferences (a “convergence” is more the appropriate word) which exist on Planet Earth.  I was very fortunate to have been able to attend the 2011 sessions, where, among other things, I was able to learn about “book sprints” (whereby a book, having been researched, is collectively authored and printed by 5 or 6 people in three or four days in a single […]

Cultural Power Battle Threads

comments 17
Art / China / Chinese communist party / Cultural Politics / EU-East Asia relations / Sino-German Relations / U.S.-China Relations / 新闻自由

– The Telegraph reports in alarmist fashion about Hu Jintao warning, as the newspaper headline puts it, of “cultural warfare from the West” – A closer examination of the story indicates that Hu Jintao’s “battle cry,” above, was a speech given on October 18, 2011, that was republished yesterday in the preemminent journal for CCP theory, Qiushi (Seeking Truth / 求是). In fact most of the speech is not at all about the West, but the […]