Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Share your stuff! Some good advice on how to do it...

"share your images - audio - video - collections
of artifacts, documents, or special interests"

Another announcement from EASIANTH.

Check out the site by Guven Witteveen, anthropologist and Outreach Educator at Michigan State University, that gives some good and practical advice on how to share images, video, etc. on-line. A simple and good resource for students of visual anthropology...


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Free Documentaries?

Not necessarily Japan-related, but an interesting source for some interesting documentaries... for free!


At we believe strongly that in order to have a true democracy, there has to be a free flow of easily available information. Unfortunately, many important perspectives, opinions and facts do not make it to our televisions or cinemas (you can watch movies in our media category if you want to know why).

For this reason we decided to start, a site where anyone with an internet connection can watch a movie and educate themselves or simply explore another perspective whenever they want.

Providing films free not only allows anyone to watch a film but it also allows curious people who think they may disagree with a filmmaker to watch a film without worrying that they are giving money to someone who's views they don't agree with.

Everyone that watches a film at should learn something, whether it be a new perspective on a topic or simply understanding how others think. We can say that the vast majority of people that watch our films are glad they do so. also allows independent filmmakers to have their message heard to markets which they wouldn't reach easily.

Check it out!

Link to Free

Monday, November 26, 2007



TO: Organizers of the XVII International AIDS Conference--Information Coordinator,; Global Village Coordinator,; Cultural Programme Coordinator,; Karen Bennett, Communication Manager,; Pierre Peyrot, Media Centre Manager,; Accessibility Coordinator,

FROM: The Global Committee on HIV/AIDS and Disability ( et al)

RE: The Participation of Deaf People and People with Disabilities at the Mexico City AIDS 2008 Conference

DATE: November 23, 2007

We, the undersigned members of the newly formed Global Committee on HIV/AIDS and Disability call upon the organizers of the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City to include people with disabilities at all levels of the conference and to provide far better services than were available at the XVI AIDS conference in Toronto. While we appreciate the efforts you are making to serve individual community members with disabilities, we feel that people with disabilities should also be seen as a group at high risk for HIV/AIDS.

Deaf people and people with disabilities around the world are as or more likely to be HIV+ as their hearing counterparts.1 People with disabilities are often at high risk of sexual abuse.2 Deaf people are particularly vulnerable because of lack of accessible information. Few nations or municipalities document the issue of HIV/AIDS among Deaf people, Blind people, people with physical or mental disabilities or other disabling conditions. This means that it is difficult to track the impact of HIV/AIDS on the community and difficult to get resources to improve conditions. For example, the 2005 UNAIDS report makes no mention of these problems despite Deaf people and people with disabilities being unusually vulnerable populations.

We request that the organizers of AIDS 2008:

- Invite prominent people with disabilities to be Keynote Speakers at AIDS 2008 to highlight some of the important issues related HIV/AIDS in the Deaf community and among people with disabilities.
- Make a good faith effort to solicit and accept scientific papers on issues of deafness and disability.
- Provide a space in the Global Village where Deaf people and people with disabilities can network and access services.
- This space could also serve as an information center where people newly disabled because of HIV/AIDS can get information from people experienced with disabilities.
- Provide time and space in the Media Office for an official press conference of the Global Committee on HIV/AIDS, Deafness and Disability.
- Provide far more sign language interpreting and access services including guides for blind people and physical accessibility coordinators than were available at the AIDS 2006 conference. Ideally, these services should be run out of a central location such as one associated with an area in the Global Village.
- Provide a significant number of focused scholarships for Deaf people and people with disabilities around the world.
- Commit to help advocate on issues concerning Deaf people and people with disabilities around the world including access to prevention information, demographic information about the spread of HIV/AIDS in communities, and appropriate counseling, treatment and support for community members living with HIV/AIDS.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,

Leila Monaghan, University of Wyoming, United States,
Farida Asindua, Handicap International, Kenya,
Andy Bartley, AID Atlanta, United States,
Claudia Bisol, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul and Universidade de Caxias do Sul, Brazil,
Steven C. Fedorowicz, Kansai Gaidai University, Japan,
Anne Finger, Writer and Disability Rights Activist, United States,
Lakshmi Fjord, University of California San Francisco, United States,
Kevin Henderson, HIV/AIDS and Deaf Activist, United States and Kenya,
Tesfaye Gedlu Mebrate, Ethiopian National Association of the Deaf, Ethiopia,
Roberta Goldberg, Interpreter, United States,
Deborah Karp, Deaf AIDS Project Maryland, United States,
Kristin Lindgren, Haverford College, United States,
John Meletse, Gay and Lesbian Archives, South Africa,
Ruth Morgan, The University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa,
Karen Nakamura, Yale University, United States,
Olabisi Olawuyi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria,
Washington Opoyo, Liverpool VCT, Kenya,
Peter Oracha, Maseno University, Kenya,
Constanze Schmaling, HIV/AIDS Researcher and Sign Language Scholar, Germany,
Michel Turgeon, Coalition SIDA des Sourds du Québec, Canada,

1. Schmaling, C., & Monaghan, L. (Eds.). (2006) HIV/AIDS and Deaf Communities. Coleford: Douglas McLean. [Deaf Worlds Focused Edition, Vol. 22 (1).] Available at:; Taegtmeyer, M, Henderson. K, Angala. P, Ngare, C (2006) Responding to the signs: A voluntary counselling and testing programme for the Deaf in Kenya. AIDS 2006 Poster MOPE0876.
2. Groce, N.E. and Trasi, R. (2004) Rape of Individuals with Disability: AIDS and the Folk Belief of Virgin Cleansing. Lancet, 363(9422), 1663-4.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

More Fall 2007 Globalization in Kobe Pics

Kobe skyline panorama

Stephanie from Globalization class recently sent some pictures from the fieldtrip we took in October. I think she took some good and interesting shots so I am presenting them below along with her own captions. Nice examples of globalization and visual anthropology. Thanks, Stephanie!

One end of China town

Japanese Denmark? hehe

Creepy Mona Lisa made out of buttons

Street Entertainer

This is what the Japanese think Americans look like. Lol.

1995 Earthquake memorial park

Fishermen in Kobe port

Happy Halloween :-)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ainu Pride and Ainu Rebels

Several Japan-related listservs have been announcing and advertising these contemporary Ainu performance/activist websites. Lots if interesting and valuable information can be found there - check them out. Below is a video of the AINU REBELS posted on YouTube. I showed this clip in my Japan and Globalization class when we were studying Japanese rap music. Many students found the glocalized J-Rap to be problematic - a fake, almost forced genre without the politics that forged original. One student noted that the Ainu Rebels incorporation of rap in their performance made much more sense than J-Rap in that the former perform as political activists.

Ainu Pride website and blog written by Mina.

This is her own self description quoted from her website:

"Father is Ainu, from Chirot Kotan in Makubetsu Village. Mother is Japanese, from Tokyo. Learned traditional Ainu dancing from a young age, she has been active in spreading awareness on the Ainu people and culture through traditional dancing as well as sharing her life story throughout Japan.

In summer of 2006, she founded the 'AINU REBELS,' a group of young Ainu living in the Tokyo area, and currently serves as the group's leader. Mina is also a Cultural Advisor registered with The Foundation for Research and Promotion of Ainu Culture."

Ainu Rebels web site.

This is their own self description quoted from their website:

"AINU REBELS is a group of young Ainu in the Tokyo area, formed in Summer of 2006. While learning traditional dancing and singing, we also work on producing new ways of expressing our identities and culture. We are doing our best to 'have fun' and 'be cool' while spreading Ainu culture throughout the world!!

We chose the name 'REBELS' with the hope of creating change - to transform our society into one where Ainu people can be proud to be Ainu."

Both websites can be accessed from the link below. I think it is important and fortunate that we can access contemporary Ainu information from contemporary Ainu people themselves.

Link to Ainu Pride and Ainu Rebels

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

New Link: "Here, there, and somewhere else"

I'd like to introduce a blog I am adding to the "Visual Anthropology Related Links" section. When the author contacted me inquiring about visual anthropology graduate programs I came across her interesting blog. Here is the author's own description:

Here, there, and somewhere else

Fly. Walk. Converse. Discover. A Filipina in her mid-20s records whatever.

The cities are crowded. The trains are a mess. My life in school gets more complicated everyday. Maybe I have more to say? Maybe I have more things to complain about or perhaps my life just got more interesting? I am not so sure, really. Maa iiya, toiu kanji.

Blog of a Pinay student living in Tokyo.

There are lots of interesting pictures, observations, ideas and cultural representations here - certainly worth a look for students of visual anthropology.

Link to Here, there, and somewhere else: