Kulturarbeit in Nordkorea

My new essay on matters of classical music in Pyongyang has been posted at Sino-NK: To make a sweeping cultural generalization, German musicians tend to bring great seriousness and historical sensitivities (in the best sense) to their views of, and work with, North Korean musicians. Notions of music’s function toward binding the community/Gesellschaft together, as well as the idea of composers under tremendous political pressure, … Continue reading Kulturarbeit in Nordkorea

In Germany, ROK President Park Geun-hye Talks Reunification and a Possible Kim Jong-un Summit

Having dueled with Japanese Prime Minster Abe Shinzo in The Hague yesterday, the flinty President of the Republic of Korea, Park Geun-hye, spoke with Philipp Abresch forTagesschau.de yesterday, as she set off for a visit to Germany. The following is the full text of President Park’s interview and story from the original German. — Adam Cathcart Tagesschau Intro: The relations on the Korean peninsula are tense – … Continue reading In Germany, ROK President Park Geun-hye Talks Reunification and a Possible Kim Jong-un Summit

New German Ambassador in Pyongyang

[Updated on 4 January 2018; Schäfer is still in Pyongyang, as reported by Süddeutscher Zeitung.] On August 14, 2013, in Pyongyang, the 85-year-old leader Kim Yong-nam, himself only two weeks removed from a recent trip to Tehran, welcomed Thomas Schäfer as the new Ambassador from Berlin.  As reported on Nordkorea-info, the essential German-language website for North Korean studies, Schäfer is back in Pyongyang after a short stint in … Continue reading New German Ambassador in Pyongyang

transmediale buzz

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 … Continue reading transmediale buzz

Two New Essays on China Beat: Sino-German and Sino-Korean Relations

I’ve got a few more changes in store for Sinologistical Violoncellist in the new year (most of them involving the bass clef and Japan, not necessarily in that order), but in the meantime, readers may appreciate being directed to two longer essays I recently published on China Beat, cited here in modified Chicago style: Adam Cathcart, “Bow Before the Portrait: Sino-North Korean Relations Enter the … Continue reading Two New Essays on China Beat: Sino-German and Sino-Korean Relations

Notions of Incompleteness and Hope: Fragments for Future Appropriation

In his compact yet epic collection of short stories entitled Men Without Women, American writer Ernest Hemingway describes an Italian major who, bereft of a limb and then his wife, puts his broken faith in the new machines.  Hope, after all, has to be garnered in some fashion, even when the missing limbs continue to tingle, when one only wishes to stare out the window, … Continue reading Notions of Incompleteness and Hope: Fragments for Future Appropriation

New European Perspectives on North Korea

North Korea watchers are having a bit of a dry spell of late: the biggest stories of Kim Jong Eun’s succession are now a year in the rear view mirror, 38North is precisely unlike a good methadone clinic (it acknowledges one’s addiction but is frustratingly irregular in slaking it), the Daily NK keeps churning out pieces about rice prices, and the reliably crotchety, pro-rollback, and … Continue reading New European Perspectives on North Korea