Category Archives: cultural policy

World Poverty Relief, Human Rights and Peace on the Internet

I am an activist from the USA and I created the largest and most comprehensive web portal for developing world poverty relief, human rights and peace on the Internet.  This site needs distribution to local NGOs in the developing world.  Please review my portal and share it appropriately.  Do not share it in conflict areas for the safety of aid workers.

www.geocities.com/sethleonard30000/poverty_relief

Seth Leonard

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Filed under activism, community, cultural policy, global change, vox populi

Stuff That **** Like

One of the most popular blogs on WordPress currently takes a satirical look inside white, liberal, Yuppie, and/or Hipster culture- Stuff White People Like. In less than three months since the blog was established, it has already garnished more than 12 million hits. The posts in Stuff White People Like are intended to point out how to deal with these “white” people in a humorous fashion. Again, remember that this blog satirizes affluent white culture, and most certainly not all whites would agree to each post. Most interesting segment of each post is to read the “comments” section- you’ll find that those who respond as being non-white exclaiming that they felt themselves to be part of “affluent white culture” because like their Yuppie/Hipster white counterparts, they shopped at American Apperal, ate organic fruit and veg, and love indie films. Some come on the site to test there “whiteness”- with Rudi who commented on the first post in Stuff White People Like, exclaiming:

Some of you haven’t understood the concept of “whiteness”. It’s about trends, activities and behavior that only white people enjoy (liking diversity as such) or can enjoy (feeling superior to other whites). Of course, most of the subjects are of the lame progressive kind which are whiter than white. If you are one of these progressive minded idiots, we are here to mock you! If you are white and don’t enjoy the trends, activities and behavior on this site, we don’t care!

Again, as I have mentioned, many white people disagree with the caricature of white people on the blog, and Suze, explains in the comment section of the first post that:

This blog is brilliant, though it should be called ‘Stuff White Liberal Americans like’. It all fits my flaming liberal sister in San Fransisco perfectly, but doesn’t fit us white people on the other end of the spectrum, commonly referred to as ‘white trash’ by said flaming liberals. To get you started, we like stuff like football, nascar, cowboy boots, trucks, guns, beer, our mommas and Jesus. Although we do like coffee too.

I liken Stuff White People Like as a  humorous anthropological examination of white Yuppie/Hipster culture. Therefore, while the title might imply that the majority of whites engage in certain actions, truthfully, the blog is analyzing a certain subgroup within white culture.

It seems that the operators of Stuff Asian People Like have taken the cue from Stuff White People Like, with the same witty comments about Asian culture from China, Vietnam, Korea, etc. The inspiration for this blog is to “blog about the good and not so good things [of] Asian people.Stuff Asian People Like is already a month old and although it hasn’t generated as much publicity as Stuff White People Like, it nevertheless has provided interesting and hilarious commentary from rice to arriving late.

What are your views regarding these two blogs?

Sanaz

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Filed under Asian, blog, Class, community, cultural policy, Humor, identity, Stuff That Asian People Like, Stuff That White People Like, the concept of "whiteness"

What’s Wrong with White Girl?

I’ve been recently following the White Season on the BBC, designed to examine the white working class Britain. There has been much criticism of the program content on the White Season, especially from Sarah Mukherjee, environment correspondent for the beeb, who is herself British-Asian and grew up in a all white council estate. Mukherjee stated in Ariel, the in-house magazine of the beeb, that “…listening to the patronising conversations in some newsrooms you’d think white, working-class Britain is one step away from anarchy, drinking themselves senseless and pausing only to draw benefits and beat up a few Asian and black people.”

Sunny Hundal wrote in the Guardian, Comments is Free (CiF) and takes issue with the fact that the term “working class” is not only a white matter, but that the series woefully neglects Asian and Black working class groups. Hundal also mentions that:

The White season is a tokenistic effort after which the middle class commissioners, pleased that they’ve done their bit for the proles, will go back to their usual habits, as they do with ethnic minorities. Except, there the lives of working class minorities are ignored while shiny happy middle class Asians making music or becoming successful entrepreneurs are lapped up.

But even worse is the patronising attitude that underlies it all. Here, I can’t really do better than quote Justin McKeating: “Going by the website, the season reduces working class people to exhibits in a zoo, to reality television show freaks, to anthropological curiosities in National Geographic. Here’s some knobbly-faced salts of the earth in a Bradford working men’s club. Here’s every little-brained, little Englanders’ worst nightmare, a white girl in a hijab.” It’s spot on.

I have to agree that the White Season on the beeb has done little to represent the complete working class environment in today’s Britain. Which brings me to White Girl (you only have 5 days to view on on iPlayer), a drama written by Abi Morgan in which Leah, an 11 year old white working class girl relocates to a Muslim neighborhood in Bradford. Leah’s parents are both portrayed in the drama in the stereotypical view associated with the white working class chav— as being “brutish, racist, alcoholic, and benefit scum.” Well, Morgan didn’t veer too off from the present, equally racist view of the white, working class. Because Leah’s parents are so dysfunction in every sense of the word, she becomes interested in Islam. And, you might ask, how is Islam viewed in White Girl? Muslims are portrayed in the other stereotypical image: as being peaceful and benevolent. In fact, it seems that the drama is expressly stating that for the white working class to achieve success it needs to become Muslim. The one dimensional image of both white working class and Muslims in Bradford does an incredible disservice to both groups.

I had a difficult and uncomfortable time watching the rest of White Girl, because it presented a cookie-cutter view to very complex socio-economic issues with the white and working class in Britain. Furthermore, the simplistic notions that Islam will save the day and help rehabilitate the white working class is just patronising smugness on the part of the middle class beeb commissioners. I’m a Muslim and I found it distasteful that Islam was being elevated and being placed on a pedestal (no religion or cultural tradition should be priviledged as the better path over another)- and that specifically divorce the “Muslim” way was presented in such an easy manner, almost like snapping your fingers and va la, it is done! If this is truly the case, then most Muslim women wouldn’t find divorce such a hellish experience. This romananticized version of Islam shown in White Girl versus the often violent and criminal version protrayed on t.v. and film again only confines Muslims to the stereotypical views often presented today.  Yes, Ms. Morgan– Muslims can be racist too, just like Jewish people can be racist, Sikh, etc.– working class white people aren’t the only racists in the world. 

To conclude, the White Season has little to do with exploring the dimensions of being white and/or working class. The BBC has again perpetuated the common stereotypes regarding class, race, and religion. The neighborhood that I live in is working class and very mixed in terms of race and religion. From my perspective working class people whether White, Asian, or Black get along and are far more diversified than those in the middle class- and despite being from the U.S., I have noticed that middle class folks can be highly racist, abet in a indirect manner. The White Season shows us more about bigotry and class bullying in the beeb than about the current state of the white and/or working class in Britain.

Sanaz

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Filed under BBC, Class, cultural policy, identity, Islam, racism

Seminar: ‘Distant Voices’

Culture East Midlands & ‘Making the Connections’ present

‘DISTANT VOICES’

Migrant workers, representation & the arts

THE 5th ‘MAKING THE CONNECTIONS’ RESEARCH SEMINAR

Wednesday 17 October 2007
Trinity Arts Centre, Grantham

11am – 4pm

These days, everyone seems to be talking about migrant workers. But while the views of politicians, academics, researchers and campaigners fill the airwaves, the voices of those most concerned are rarely heard. What are their needs and motives? How do they see their situations and this country’s response?

Art and culture are important spaces in which migrant workers can be heard and seen – directly and indirectly, and with all the complexity of artistic expression.

This regional seminar will present some recent experiences of this work, from within and beyond the East Midlands, in the context of EMDA’s research into the contribution of migrant workers to the regional economy. It has a particular bearing on rural issues, where migrant workers are now an important part of the workforce. It will be of interest to policy makers, planners, artists, creative entrepreneurs and anyone working in cultural services, economic development or rural affairs.

Speakers include EMDA, Rural Media Company, New Perspectives Theatre Company, National Institute for Continuing Adult Education (NIACE) and others; there will be exhibitions by Heather Connelly and Roaming Pictures and a short theatre performance.

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Filed under arts, cultural policy, workshop

Online debate about immigration and refugees

Join in a lively online debate about immigration, inclusion, and refugees at www.friction.tv

Three volunteers from 19 Princelet Street, the Museum of Immigration and Diversity,  have uploaded three very different videos about these issues, and need your support to help make this a hot debate.  To join the debate please visit:

http://www.frictiontv.com/debate.php?debateno=774 
http://www.friction.tv/profile.php?userid=7bfc85efb233dd4097a587f3125b39cb
http://www.frictiontv.com/debate.php?debateno=774&videono=775

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Filed under cultural policy, multimedia, museum, vox populi

Europe and its Established & Emerging Immigrant Communities:

10 and 11 November 2007, De Montfort University, Leicester

This conference will focus on Europe and will draw on perspectives beyond Europe in an attempt to discuss, analyse and critique European policy response to post World War 11 established and emerging immigrant communities as well as share good practice in the areas of health, security, social cohesion and education amongst other things.

Speakers include:

-Doudou Diene United Nations Special Rapporteur in Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, TBC

-Karen Chouhan 1990 Trust/JRCT “Visionary”

-Prof Gus John Institute of Education

-Tariq Ramadan TBC

-Halifa Sallah People’s Centre for Social Science Research Civic Awareness and Community Initiative, Gambia

-Anastasia Crickley European Monitoring Centre on racism and Xenophobia

-Doug Nicholls Community and Youth Workers Union CYWU

-Ted Cantle Improvement and Development Agency for local government (IDeA)

-Prof Chris Gaine University of Chichester

Arun Kundnani Institute of Race Relations

-Mark RD Johnson Mary Seacole Centre, De Montfort University


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Filed under activism, conference, cultural policy, Islam

International field school in museums and sustainable heritage development

International Field School in Museums & Sustainable Heritage Development

7-22 December 2007
Organised by the University of Queensland, Australia Museum Studies Program.
Deadline for applications: Friday, 5 October 2007

The International Field School in Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development offered by the Museum Studies Program at UQ aims to provide first-hand experience to graduate students and Professional Development Program participants in locating culture in sustainable development in a rapidly globalising world. Museums and heritage places of all kinds are considered in the context of sustainable economic, environmental and social development, with a focus on documented case studies and real-life examples in Vietnam. Participants will consider how museums, cultural institutions, and heritage tourism can play a role in the revitalization of local culture and economy, and how international conventions for heritage protection, governance structures, and local area planning intersect within holistic heritage management frameworks. The course provides a critical introduction to cultural mapping, gender and youth issues in community engagement, poverty alleviation and Millennium Development Goals. It also examines the challenges posed by the conflicts between conservation and development, particularly in World Heritage Areas. Continue reading

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Filed under community, cultural policy, global change, museum