Two Exhibits Explore Boundaries and Bridges at Duke

February 12, 2018
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Internationalisms and Solidarities: Asian/Asian-American and African-American Dialogues, an exhibit curated by Sucheta Mazumdar (Associate Professor, History, Duke University) and assisted by Zhuyun Alta Zhang (Graduate student, Duke Liberal Studies), opened at the Duke Center for Multicultural Affairs on Friday, February 9, 2018. This exhibit, which premiered in October 2016 at the Franklin Gallery @ History, links international and domestic political mobilizations from the 1920s to the 2010s by capturing the circulation of ideas and snapshots of individuals and activists who reached out across boundaries and borders in their struggles.

The exhibit has two sections: The first bridges the work of the U.S. NAACP and the Dalit ("Untouchable") Movement in India, introducing conversations between African-American, Asian, and Asian-American activists (ranging from W.E.B. DuBois, the Black Panthers, and Grace Lee Boggs) who were linked in a common struggle for racial justice and international solidarity. The second section features poster art of the Chinese Cultural Revolution which portrays projects of building solidarity through combinations of workers, peasants, and students marching together. The Cultural Revolution style of art used Maoism as an inspiration for solidarity and was emulated by activist groups worldwide, including in the Black Panther movement.

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Opening on February 15 and on display through March 30, 2018 at the John Hope Franklin Center (map and directions), Looking North is a collaborative multimedia exhibition by Danny Kim (Duke, MFAEDA '18) and Peter Lisignoli (Duke, MFAEDA '13) examining the landscapes of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) at the border between North and South Korea. As an ousider, this was Lisignoli's second visit to the DMZ area; the experience left him with a feeling of displacement. The serene landscapes of the 38th parallel were strangely memorialized with museums, gift shops, and amusement parks. Kim, a Seoul-born native Korean citizen who served in the country's military, was struck by the oddity of the DMZ theme park where tourists looked longingly through the telescopes across the Imjin River, fascinated by the neighboring country after more than six decades of separation.

Looking North is made possible thanks to the John Hope Franklin Center for International and Interdisciplinary Studies as well as APSI.