M. Wayne Knight – Rural American Artist in Cambodia

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Wayne Knight, an artist based in Mendocino County, California with over 40 years of experience, traveled very little before he found himself in Phnom Phen, Cambodia in 1995 and 1996. He spent just under a year there, looking, seeing, and painting scenes that previously were beyond his imagination. Wayne Knight also worked with the Cambodian Defenders’ Project in developing computer access to their legal resources in Cambodia. His experience verified his security and, in many ways, enhanced his continuing growth as an artist. Other programs you may enjoy are with Daniel Ellsberg discussing the Pentagon Papers and Vietman, and with Linda Kremer, Esq., a Marin County, California, public defender who took a leave of absence to direct the Cambodian Defenders Project. They both may be found on this website.

Wayne Knight recommends “Living My Life,” by Emma Goldman.

Originally Broadcast: April 2, 1997

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Linda Kremer – The Legal Defense of Jailed Cambodians

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Attorney Linda Kremer, a Public Defender in Marin County, California, worked for thirteen months in Phnom Phen, Cambodia, in 1996 and 1997 as Director of the Cambodian Defenders’ Project. The Cambodian Defenders’ Project recruits and trains Khmer men and women to serve as Public Defenders in the criminal courts of Cambodia. Cambodian law requires that no person be detained in excess of 48 hours without being charged with a crime or be held without trial from longer than six months. In practice, these rights are rarely honored. Without legal defense, those is prison are powerless to request compliance. Other programs you may enjoy are with Daniel Ellsberg discussing the Pentagon Papers and Vietman, and with Wayne Knight, a Mendocino County artist who was also associated with the Cambodian Defenders Project. They both may be found on this website.

Linda Kremer recommends “Spontaneous Healing” & “Natural Healing,” both by Andrew While.

Originally Broadcast: March 26, 1997

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Chaim Potok – Escaping Communism

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Chaim Potok, the author of “The Chosen,” “The Gift of Asher Lev,”Davida’s Heart,” and many other novels, chronicled the life of a Russian Jewish family in the non-fictions story, “The Gates of November.” This true story of the Slapeck family, Solomon Slapek, his son Valodya, and daughter-in-law Masha, spans 100 years. Beginning with Solomon’s childhood at turn of the 20th century, his escape to America and return to Russia, it eventually describes Valodya and Masha’s life after they apply for an exit visa to leave Russia in 1968, in order to emigrate to Israel. Chaim Potok died July 23, 2002, at his suburban Philadelphia home of brain cancer at the age of 73.

The book Chaim Potok recommends is “The English Patient,” by Michael Ondaatje.

This program was Originally Broadcast: January 8, 1997

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Asian Art Museum — The Dragon’s Gift – Sacred Arts of Bhutan

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In this edition of Radio Curious we would like to take you to the country of Bhutan, East of Mount Everest and bordered by India and Tibet. Bhutan is a mystical kingdom considered by many as The Last Shangri-La. We visit “The Dragon’s Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan,” an exhibit which was displayed at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, California, in the spring of 2009.

We start in conversation with Therese Bartholomew, the curator of the exhibit who helps us to understand what inspired the exhibit and the trials and tribulations of transporting such valuable religious objects from monasteries at the top of Bhutanese mountains to the city of San Francisco.

We will also visit the exhibit itself and hear some of the ceremonies, meet the monks who have travelled with the exhibit and tour the museum docent Henny Tanugjaja.

Therese Bartholomew is the Curator Emeritus of Himalayan Arts at the Asian Art Museum San Francisco the book she recommends is “My Life and Lives, The Story of a Tibetan Incarnation” by Rato Khyongla Nawang Losang.  We visited with Therese Bartholomew from her home in San Francisco on the March 27, 2009 and began by asking her what makes Bhutan and Bhutanese arts so special?

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Freed, Lynn — Reflections on a Life

 

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The personal journal is often not meant for the eyes of anyone but the writer. When a stranger’s journal is read, the reader often becomes a voyeur to the innermost secrets of another. And whether it is a true journal or one of fiction, who cares? Often, it remains a good story. Lynn Freed, originally of Durban, South Africa, wrote the fictional journal of Agnes LaGrange, entitled “The Mirror,” which reveals the thoughts, feelings, and loves of Agnes, starting when she arrived in South Africa to work as a housekeeper, and ending 50 years later.

Lynn Freed recommends “Misfit,” by Jonathan Yardly, “Essays,” by George Orwell & “Last Days in Cloud Cukooland Dispatches,” by Graham Boynton.

Originally Broadcast: December 12, 1997

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Fuller, Alexandra — Growing Up White in Africa

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In the late summer of 2003 Radio Curious visited with Alexandra Fuller who, as a child lived in Rhodesia, Malawi and Zambia in southeast Africa between 1972 and 1990.  After her father sided with the white government in the Rhodesian civil war, he was often away from home.   Fuller’s resilient and self-sufficient mother immersed herself in their rural and rugged life. She taught her children to have strong wills and opinions, and to whole-heartedly embrace life, despite and because of their difficult circumstances.  Alexandra Fuller, author of “Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood,” known as Bobo to her family, developed a love of reading and story telling early on in her life.

When  Alexandra Fuller and I visited by phone from her home in rural Wyoming in September 2003, we began our conversation when I asked her how she choose the title for her book, “Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood.”

The book Alexandra Fuller recommends is “Echoing Silences,” by Alexander Canigone.

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Philip Weiss – Cover-up of a Peace Corps Murder

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American Taboo, A Murder in Peace Corps

In this edition of Radio Curious, we take a look at murder and getting away with murder. In the small island kingdom of Tonga, an American Peace Corps Volunteer murdered another American Peace Corps volunteer in October 1976. “American Taboo, A Murder in Peace Corps,” by Philip Weiss, is a detailed story about the murder, how and why it happened, the legend that developed, the subsequent cover-up, and an interview with the murderer.

Philip Weiss recommends “McArthur and Southerland, The Good Years,” & “McArthur and Southerland, The Bitter Years,” both by Paul P. Rogers

Originally Broadcast: June 29, 2003

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Miller, Geoffrey — Does What You Buy Make You Happier?

Why do you buy what you buy? What do you hope to gain from it and will it make you a happier, sexier and more successful person? In these days of economic downturn many of us may be questioning whether we really need all this “stuff” and how it impacts our lives?

In this edition of Radio Curious we meet Geoffrey Miller, a tenured professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of New Mexico, and the author of “Spent: Sex, Evolution and Consumer Behaviour.” During our visit we discuss how our purchasing choices are driven by thousands of years of evolution, how marketers can take advantage of this and how we might try to better understand our consumer instincts.

I spoke with Geoffrey Miller from his home in Australia on May 29, 2009 and began by asking him to define his field of evolutionary psychology.

The book Geoffrey Miller recommends is “The Life You Can Save: Acting Now To End World Poverty,” by Peter Singer. 

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Krol, Debra — Native American Art of the Southwest

Founded in 1929, the Heard Museum’s mission is dedicated to “educating people about the arts, heritage and life ways of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, with an emphasis on American Indian tribes of the Southwest.” Committed to the sensitive and accurate portrayal of Native arts and cultures, the museum successfully combines the stories of American Indian people from a personal perspective with the beauty of art, showcasing old and new hand woven baskets, Kachina dolls, other art and cultural objects.

The museum showcases the art and regalia of Apache, Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo, and Yaqui, to name a few.  More than 2,000 items make up the museums exhibition.  Artwork ranging from pottery, baskets, beadwork, dolls and paintings are on display.

Our guest is Debra Krol, the communications manager who shared portions of the Heard Museum with me on December 10, 2011.  We began our conversation with Krol when she introduced us to the Heard Museum and the unique features that reflect the evolution of south western Native American art.

Debra Krol recommends two books: “Ishi’s Brain,” by Orin Starn, and “Indians, Merchants and Missionaries: The legacy of Colonial Encounters on the California Frontiers”, by Kent G. Lightfoot. Our interview with Orin Starn may be found here

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Appelbaum, Ralph:  Holocaust Remembrance and the Responsibility of Bystanders


To create thought around Yom Hashoah, known in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, I offer you an archive interview with Ralph Appelbaum, the designer the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in Washington D.C., which opened in April, 1993, when this interview was recorded.

When Ralph Appelbaum and I were Peace Corp volunteers in the mid 1960s, living in nearby towns in southern Peru, we often shared our future plans. This interview shares the story of one of Ralph’s plans which he manifested on a material plane, about 30 years later.

Appelbaum says that a museum’s architecture should focus on the experience by creating time and space events. In the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Appelbuam’s design depicts the suffering, torture and death of millions of people during World War II in Europe, on land controlled by fascist Nazis. He also directs attention to the responsibility of bystanders.

Please keep in mind that this interview was recorded in April 1993. That was when Ralph Appelbaum and I visited by phone from his loft in New York City. We began when I asked him to describe his vision of a museum designer.

The audio of this program was enhanced by Gregg McVicer of UnderCurrents Radio, who was our guest in 2013.

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