Archive for December, 2011

Koryo Tours hosts a night of North Korean Cinema. It is a rare glimpse into this rarely shared culture.

Place: The Apartment – 3/F, 47 Yongfu Lu, near Fuxing Xi Lu永福路47号3楼, 近复兴西路

Tel: (021) 6437 9478

Date: Sunday 8th January

Time: Please arrive by 18:00, seating is limited and the first film will start at 18:30

Cost: No cover charge (Free!), and there will be happy hour pricing on drinks (2 for 1) and burgers

Here are the films that will be shown:

crossing the line filmCrossing the Line (2005) – Third documentary produced by Koryo Tours, this documentary tells the previously untold story of James Joseph Dresnok, an American who has spent the last five decades living in Pyongyang, North Korea. In 1961 Dresnok, a young solder in the US army at the time, deserted his post on the southern side of the DMZ which separates North and South Korea to this day, he simply walked across the largest minefield in the world and disappeared into the arms of the communist enemy. Over 40 years later a western film crew tracked him down. We hear Dresnok’s story in his own words as well as the stories of the other American soldiers who traded the west for life behind the bamboo curtain in the 1960s, the bizarre stories of their wives and children still living in North Korea and what happened when the only other surviving American defector in North Korea was offered the chance to leave while the film was in production. Stories like this come around once in a lifetime and Dresnok’s tale is about the most fascinating and unlikely tale to come out of the secretive and enigmatic Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in
a long time. Starting time: 18:30

Our Flavor film Our Flavour (2003) – A DPRK rom-com (!) about the struggles to match-make in the modern world. The film is very notable for its reasonably honest portrayal of wealth disparity in different Pyongyang families as well as addressing the dangers of foreign cultural influence on Koreans who spend too much time with tourists! Two families are brought together through romance but are their differences too much to bear? One is a worldly bunch who use their relative wealth to buy imported goods, use foreign words, and look outside for inspiration. The other family favours the Korean ‘flavour’ in everything, can they reconcile their different ways? Or can a western-influenced tour guide and a kimchi specialist never really understand each other? Starting time approx. 20:30


Simon Cockerell, General Manager of Koryo Tours will be presenting an evening of North Korean cinematic delight at The Apartment in Shanghai on Sunday January 8th. The DPRK as it is officially known has been all over the news of late so if you’ve been wondering what all the fuss is about then why not go along and experience a snippet of this fascinating country through two very different, and very interesting films as well as some short clips of North Korean TV propaganda commonly seen in the country but very rarely in the outside world.


Simon will be on hand to present the films and answer any questions about them and about the experience of visiting North Korea, and he hopes to see you there!


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Call For Proposals–Berkeley Summer Research Institute

CALL FOR PROPOSALS Berkeley Summer Research Institute “Bordering China: Modernity and Sustainability”August 1-10, 2012 Institute of East Asian Studies University of California, Berkeley

The Berkeley Summer Research Institute, organized in partnership with the Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, is pleased to announce its call for proposals for an intensive residential research workshop that will take place in the summer of 2012 at Berkeley. Themes and TopicsFor much of the 20th century China defined its quest for modernity in terms of the industrialization and the urbanization of its economy and landscape. State policies and private initiatives in pursuit of specific goals within this general framework have brought along significant transformations. China today is a land of gleaming towers as well as polluted air, of high-speed railroad connections as well as massive population dislocations, of an abundance of manufacturing wealth as well as a paucity of natural resources. A vibrant environmental discourse meanwhile has been on the rise. Under the general heading of “sustainability” this discourse calls attention to issues of social equity, the power politics of resource allocations, the humanistic constructions of people and nature, the globalization of world economies, and the contestations over ecological imperialism.

Drawing upon the imaginaries as described above, this Research Institute invites proposals that will contribute to a focused conversation concerning the following.”Bordering China”: Instead of works on China Proper, we invite proposals that examine happenings and issues that cut across the territorial boundaries of the Chinese nation. Bordering China are regions such as Northeast Asia, Mongolia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and Maritime Greater China as well as the various Chinese territories of Northeast, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet, Southwest China, and Southeast China. We seek proposals that will permit a focused examination of environmental and resource issues that cut across conventional borders concerning any of these regions. “Modernity”: The infrastructural “soft” and “hard” wares of modernity range from currencies to railroads, water wells and value systems to credit mechanisms and educational institutions, so that people and goods might be facilitated in their moves for border-crossing connections across long distance. Modernity in this sense also carries ramifications, usually of a disrupting nature, for embedded systems of networking, beliefs, ways of life, communities and identities. We seek proposals that speak specifically to the impact of modernity on communities and identities in the bordering regions of China. “Sustainability”: Politics and pragmatics are as potent as history and philosophy in approaches to issues of sustainability.

We seek proposals that will open up the discussion of “sustainability” in light of debates of social justice, discursive authority, politics of resources and global connections ­ all in the context of communities and identities in the bordering regions of China. Organization & Logistics Youtien Hsing (Geography, UC Berkeley), Tsui-jung Liu (Academia Sinica), Robert Weller (Anthropology, Boston University) and Wen-hsin Yeh (History, UC Berkeley) will serve as the co-conveners of the Research Institute. The Research Institute aims to convene senior scholars (post-PhD) in all stages of academic careers (post-doctoral researchers, lecturers, assistant professors through full professors) who are currently actively developing a book manuscript or research project on themes and topics as described above. Invited participants are expected to make two presentations: a work of original research (chapter-length from a work-in-progress) based on one’s current project, and a primary text (or texts) pertaining to the source materials of one’s work. Participants are also expected to serve as respondents to a doctoral student conference that will take place on August 4, 2011. Other activities include a Sunday outing to the wine country and participation in a series of featured lectures that combine scholarly and social functions. Papers presented at the Research Institute may be invited to appear in a special issue of the journal Cross-Currents jointly published by the Institute of East Asian Studies at Berkeley and the Research Institute of Korean Studies, Korea University. Invited participants should plan to arrive at Berkeley by Tuesday, July 31, 2012 in time for a welcome reception, and to depart on Saturday, August 11, 2012. Full participation for the entire duration of the Research Institute is expected of all participants. Participants are responsible for their roundtrip airfare to Berkeley. The Research Institute will cover all meals and lodging at a standard rate that provide full internet and library access and cleaning service from July 31 through August 11. Participants who wish to bring families and/or prefer hotel stay may choose to make up the differences in costs at their own expense. Details may be arranged upon invitation to participate Deadlines and Notifications Applicants are invited to submit a project description that is no more than 3 pages, single-spaced, in length, plus a bibliography of the project, and curriculum vitae, to the attention of Ms. Yu Welch (yuwelch@berkeley.edu) at the Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS), University of California, Berkeley, by January 20, 2012. Notifications of acceptance will be sent before March 1, 2012. Please contact IEAS for further information about the Research Institute. http://ieas.berkeley.edu/

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