Contact: Jordan Elgrably, Nile El Wardani, Elie Karam
Levantine Cultural Center
310.657.5511 or 310.402.8866
[Los Angeles, May 20, 2010] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's top aide, Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah Pandith, will speak in a public forum on cultural diplomacy organized by the Levantine Cultural Center on Thursday, May 27, 2010, at 7 pm at the Mark Taper Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles.
The "clash of civilization" dialectic and the "war on terror" discourse require Americans to broaden our international outreach, to improve understanding of the Arab/Muslim world. In fact, the alchemy of change requires that we empathize with narratives that may differ from our own; and sometimes these narratives are strikingly similar. Cultural diplomacy efforts use the arts to address communities in conflict-or groups that appear to have opposing interests whether because of different religious traditions, political beliefs or ethnic identification.
By Tamim Ansary
Review by Tara Marie Good
In 1940 Walter Benjamin wrote, "To articulate what is past does not mean to recognize ‘how it really was.' It means to take control of a memory, as it flashes in a moment of danger." For the German-Jewish Marxist philosopher that moment of danger was the Nazi march on Europe. The moment of danger that inspired Afghani born Tamim Ansary to articulate Islamic history in Destiny Disrupted was September 11th.
Destiny Disrupted is a historical narrative of the Islamic world addressing the chasm seen to separate Western and Middle Eastern histories. The main thesis presented by Ansary is that the history of Islam and the West are two parallel histories, which overlap at points, but are fundamentally separate. Claiming to represent a general Muslim perception, Ansary charts Middle Eastern history from the ancient world to the western colonial and economic expansion in the modern era.
The International Documenary Association presents the Docuweeks festival during August 2009.
Director/Writer: Kristian Fraga
Producer: Kristian Fraga, Marc Perez
Executive Producers: Benjamin Charbit, John L. Sikes
U.S.A | 93 min.
Armed with the world's most lethal ordnance and his home video camera, First Lieutenant Michael T. Scotti takes us on an epic first-person journey with the Marine Corps as they fight their way 300 miles from Kuwait to Baghdad. No Reporters...No Politics...No Censors...This is what he saw.
LACMA and the Farhang Foundation present internationally renowned artist Shirin Neshat at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Bing Theater at 8:00 pm. The program includes a screening of work-in-progress segments of her film “Women without Men,” followed by a discussion between Shirin Neshat and Nasrin Rahimieh, Professor of Comparative Literature and Film, University of California, Irvine.
With elections in Iran on June 12, all eyes are on the results. Will a shift open further dialogue with the Obama Admistration, or will the Islamic leadership prevail in positioning the West as largely undesirable interlocutors?
Two Iranian intellectuals at UCLA will try to make sense of the arguments.
By Susanna Whitmore
I’m a bit of a glutton for Middle Eastern culture, especially when it comes to the visual and performing arts. It was therefore a no brainer to spend the entire weekend at the 3rd annual Noor Film Festival (May 1-3, 2009), a showcase for Iranian filmmakers. Out of the 15 films I saw (a total of 18 entries were selected out of 172 submissions), there were at least 4-5 truly outstanding feature/ documentary films, a handful that I felt tanked, and the rest falling somewhere in between.