Wallach, Amei — Art Outwitting Oppression:  The Kabakov Story

Amei Wallach, producer and director of the documentary film “Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Enter Here,” about the lives of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov is our guest in this edition of Radio Curious.

Amei Wallach met Ilya Kabakov in 1987, when she was in the Soviet Union investigating the effect of perestroika on the arts.  Unavoidably intrigued, eight years later she published the first biography of Ilya Kabakov, “The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away.” 

“Enter Here” documents not only the lives and work of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Russia’s most celebrated international artists, who are now United States citizens, but also the lives of the average Russian from the Stalin era to the fall of the Soviet Union.  The film will be shown at the Mendocino Film Festival May 31, 2015, at 12:30 pm, in the Village of Mendocino, California.

Amei Wallach says her film documents how “art can outwit oppression.” When we visited by phone on May 10, 2015, she began with an explanation of how art outwits oppression.   

The book Amei Wallach recommends is “Vermeer in Bosnia: Selected Writings,” by Lawrence Weschler. 

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Moglen, Eben — Internet Privacy and the Freedom Box

The best spy system ever created, what the internet does and how it’s controlled by national forces are the topics of this edition of Radio Curious.  We visit with Columbia Law Professor Eben Moglen, a developer of the Freedom Box, which prevents government, businesses and other intruders from obtaining your personal information and internet uses. 

The book that Eben Moglen recommends is, “Free Software, Free Society,” by Richard Stallman.

This interview was originally broadcast in 2011.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Ellsberg, Daniel — The Pentagon Papers

Few moments in American history have held the tension of the Vietnam war, especially in the early 1970′s. The nation was fundamentally divided between young people and their parents, who saw no reason for the United States to be in Vietnam, and President Richard Nixon’s “silent majority,” causing a rupture particularly connected to the still-escalating Vietnam War. The “Pentagon Papers,” which were released by Daniel Ellsberg, our guest in this archive edition Radio Curious, were published on the front page of the New York Times in June 1971.

They focused national attention on United States foreign policy and on our rights as individual citizens to freedom of the press.  Criminal charges were brought against Ellsberg in the United States District Court in Los Angeles, California; they were later dismissed by the Judge.

When Daniel Ellsberg and I visited by phone in March 1997 I asked him to begin by placing the “Pentagon Papers” in the context of the time.

The book Daniel Ellsberg recommends is “Our War,” by David Harris.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Totten, Sam — Genocide by Attrition

Black history is acknowledged in the month of February in the United States and is lived every day in the African continent. The history of the continuing genocide by attrition within the nation of Sudan is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious. Sudan is located in northeast Africa, south of Egypt, and east of the Red Sea and the nations of Eritrea and Ethiopia.

The people of Sudan continue to be killed by war and famine as has happened for generations.

Twice Radio Curious has considered this little discussed topic with University of Arkansas Professor Emeritus Sam Totten, author of “Genocide by Attrition: Nuba Mountains, Sudan,” and “An Oral and Documentary History of the Darfur Genocide.”  Totten is a scholar who has devoted his career to the study of genocide and genocide by attrition. In 2011, we first discussed the disaster in southern Sudan. Again in 2013, Totten described the genocide by attrition of the people of south Sudan, which has continued to become increasingly drastic in the past two years.

Professor Totten continues to follow this crisis between the people of the Nuba Mountains and the Sudanese government in the state of South Kordofan, Sudan. In late December 2014, he returned from what he described as “a tough, tough trip to the Nuba Mountains in order to carry up ten tons of food to desperate civilians who face daily bombing sorties by the Government of Sudan using Antonov bombers.” He reports some very close calls, traveling with rebels to recently bombed villages. When Sam Totten and I visited by phone from his home near Fayetteville, Arkansas, on February 19, 2015, he began with a brief history of this continuing crisis.

The book Professor Sam Totten recommends is “Touched With Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament,” by Kay Redfield Jamison.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Wilkerson, Isabel — America’s Great Migration: 1915-1970 Part Two

In the years between 1915 and 1970 almost six million black American citizens from the south migrated to northern and western cities seeking freedom and a better life. Our guest is Pulitzer Prize winner, Isabel Wilkerson author of “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.” Her book tells the untold experiences of the African-Americans who fled the south over three generations.

Wilkerson interviewed more than 1,000 people for her book. She is the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize and is a recipient of the George Polk Award and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. Her parents were part of the great migration, journeying from Georgia and southern Virginia to Washington D.C.

In part one she discussed what she called the “biggest untold story of the 20th century.”  In part two of our conversation, recorded from her home near Atlanta, Georgia, on September 28, 2012, Isabel Wilkerson describes the inspiration behind her narrative non-fiction story of the six million African-Americans who migrated from the south between 1915 and 1970.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Wilkerson, Isabel — America’s Great Migration: 1915-1970 Part One

In the years between 1915 and 1970 almost six million black American citizens from the south migrated to northern and western cities seeking freedom and a better life. Our guest is Pulitzer Prize winner, Isabel Wilkerson author of “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.” Her book tells the untold experiences of the African-Americans who fled the south over three generations.

Wilkerson interviewed more than 1,000 people for her book. She is the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize and is a recipient of the George Polk Award and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. Her parents were part of the great migration, journeying from Georgia and southern Virginia to Washington D.C.

In the first of two interviews recorded from Isabel Wilkerson’s home near Atlanta, Georgia, on September 28, 2012, she begins with a description of the “biggest untold story of the 20th century.” 

The book Isabel Wilkerson recommends is “The Ark of Justice,” by Kevin Boyle.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Click here to listen to part two.

 

Pereda, Marcos — The New Cuba: Reflections, Stories and Song

Marcos Pereda, a native of Havana, Cuba, and a singer-songwriter who lives in Ukiah, California, is our guest in this edition of Radio Curious. The background music in this weeks program is a song titled “Center” that he wrote and then performed on his guitar in our studios.  Pereda returned from a two month visit in Havana on December 20, 2014; he traveled there to attend his mother’s funeral. 

In our visit, recorded on December 22, 2014, Pereda shares his music and songs, his thoughts and experiences about life in Cuba and in the United States, and his hopes for the new relationship between the the two nations.  We began our conversation when I asked him to tell us about his mother. 

Marcos Pereda’s email is: marcosinsonte@hotmail.com.

The book he recommends is “The Little Prince,” by Antoine St. Exupery.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Cohen, James — Ferguson Grand Jury: A Legal Analysis, Part One

The shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18 year old black teenager, in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, 2014, by a since retired white Ferguson, Missouri, police office, Darren Wilson, is the subject of this, the first of two Radio Curious interviews devoted to this topic.

Our guest is Law Professor James A. Cohen, who has tried over 100 criminal jury trials and teaches criminal law and related topics at Fordham University Law School in New York City.  Professor Cohen and I review the evidence, including Wilson’s spoken testimony, the written police reports and medical reports presented to the St. Louis, Missouri, grand jury, by District Attorney Robert McCulloch.  His office exclusively organized and presented that evidence, which “with some exceptions,” according to Prosecutor McCulloch, was “made public” shortly after he announced that the grand jury failed to return criminal charges against former Officer Wilson, on November 24, 2014. 

When Professor Cohen and I visited by phone on December 5, 2014, we created a context for what occurred when the Ferguson Grand Jury met between August 20, and November 21, 2014.  We began our conversation with a brief history of grand juries, originally organized in England to protect the people from wonton acts of the King. 

The books that Professor Cohen recommends are those written by Anders Ericsson:  “The Road To Excellence: The Acquisition of Expert Performance in the Arts and Sciences, Sports, and Games” and “Development of Professional Expertise: Toward Measurement of Expert Performance and Design of Optimal Learning Environments.”

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Click here to listen to part two.

Von Drehle, David — Triangle, the Fire that Changed America

Until September 11, 2001, The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of March 25, 1911 was the deadliest workplace disaster in the history of New York City.  The fire shocked the nation and exposed the life-threatening conditions in America’s sweatshop industry.  It gave energy to the labor movement and unions, and remade the Democratic Party of the time. 

Our guest, David Von Drehle, is the author of “Triangle, the Fire That Changed America,” a book that presents a detailed examination of how this single event changed the course of the 20th century politics and labor relations. In this book, Von Drehle concludes:

As for the mostly nameless young women and men who went on strike in 1909 and bravely walked those relentless picket lines through a freezing winter—and especially those remarkable young people who later died at the Triangle—their memory grows.  Their individual lives are mostly lost to us, but their monument and legacy are stitched into our world. 

David Von Drehle and I visited by phone from New York City in early September 2003, and began with his description of the fire on March 25, 1911 that changed America.

The book David Von Drehele recommends is “Plunkitt of Tammany Hall” by William Riordan. 

This program was originally broadcast on September 9, 2003.

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Hong Fincher, Leta Ph.D. — Gender Inequality in China: Part Two Workplace Disparity

Welcome to part two of our conversations about the erosion of gender equality in China with our guest Leta Hong Fincher, the author of “Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China”. Her book is based in part on her research for the Ph.D. in sociology she received in 2014 from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

In this 2nd conversation we discuss the extent of what if anything is done about domestic violence in China, the difference in the retirement ages for women and men and the requirement that women submit to a gynecological examination before obtaining a civil service job.

When Leta Hong Fincher and I visited by phone on August 9, 2014 we began with a discussion of domestic violence in China.

The book Leta Hong Fincher recommends is “The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Theory,” by Lydia H. Liu, Rebecca E. Karl and Dorothy Ko.

Click here to listen to part two of the program or on the media player below.

Click here to listen to part one.