Southeast Asia is increasingly emerging as a new model for economic and political cooperation as practices of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have encouraged regional ties to grow with respect to Southeast Asian customs. Comprised of the nations of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, ASEAN has a significant presence in influencing international perceptions on the region’s economy, politics, diplomacy and security. To this end, they have received criticism on their record of human rights, especially in recent months due to their agreement to meet with the new Myanmar junta leader (Reuters).
I’ll be honest. I’ve never been a fan of the Midwestern “friendliness” culture in Wisconsin. Coming from a city of 20 million people, you are trained to keep your eyes forward and your hand on your possessions as you navigate busy traffic or crowded markets. In my freshman year international student orientation, one of the seniors told us, “You’ll find it very, very, weird at first. Just smile and nod back.
In a well-intentioned but ultimately ignorant article published last week, one of The Lawrentian staff declared that the terms Zionism and anti-Zionism were “causing more trouble than they're worth” and that we should simply stop using them in political discussions about Israeli occupation and the Palestinian struggle. For an American audience who is already quite unaware of the immense urgency of Palestinian liberation, saying a statement like that is just tightening the blindfold that American audiences are so used to wearing when it comes to Israel-Palestine and the American sponsorship of Palestinian ethnic cleansing. I’m here to take that blindfold off and show you exactly what Zionism is and how it has single-handedly caused the apartheid state, which renders Palestinians second-class citizens in their homeland.
In my Musicology 492 course on music and globalization, our class discussions have often critically examined the processes of globalization, cultural exchange and media ownership. This is a class I would highly recommend to anyone interested in Global Studies or Musicology since Professor Downing does a great job at exposing students to musicians from around the world and their history. This is what I shared in my class's media sharing forum comparing a documentary we watched in class, Afghan Stars, to the ongoing massacre of Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli and American state: