Are you looking for an outlet that links multicultural communities and media organizations in Canada? Multimedia & Multiculturalism (M&M) is a fantastic programme that will provide you with an opportunity to explore such relationships and feature a range of different "voices, opinions,and realities of ethno-cultural youth through a series of regional and national activities that promote diversity in mainstream media."
The media tour takes place tomorrow, March 29th, where you can have the opportunity to interview Simmi Dixit, M&M Project Officer from Ottawa. The round table session is on March 30th, where an incredible selection of prominent individuals that have helped shape our multicultural communities. The panel includes Alden Habacon (founder of Schema Magazine), Nathalie Lozano- (My Circle coordinator, ISSofBC), and Sarah Kambites (UNA-Canada M&M Project Manager & discussion moderator).
There is also an internship program at M&M. You can find more info at unac.org.Posted by Jocelyn Gan | March 28, 2011 | Comments (0)
Social media tools and the Internet have become a vital player in how we communicate, share ideas, and gain new insights. More importantly it has educated and broaden our scope of multicultural interactions with people from across the world. While some may view the digital world as cold, emotionless, and inhuman, it is hard to deny the affect it has on circulating ideas about culture and multiculturalism.
The Vancouver Public Library, NetTuesday and CoopCulture are pleased to present #NETCulture: Stories of Culture and Diversity in Social Media on Tuesday April 5 @ 6:45pm in the Alice MacKay Room of the VPL. The evening "will focus on the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Youtube and others to connect cultures and the world while strengthening identities, roots and friendships."
The keynote will be address by Kety Esquivel via Skype. Esquivel is currently the VP of Digital Strategy at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. Other speakers will include our very own Jordana Mah; Paola Viviana Murillo and Norma Ibarra, from latincouver.ca; Ashok Puri, retiree and world traveler; Ray Hsu and Zi-Ann Lum, from waytooazn.com, and many more. This is an interactive session, so feel free to ask the speakers questions!
Please visit nettuesday.ca to register for the event.
Recently spotted in Indonesia, the Javan rhino is perhaps the most endangered mammal on Earth. The Javan rhino is much rarer than the closely-related Indian rhinoceros, with only 40 known that are alive. Many endangered species are threatened by poaching, illness, and disastrous weather - our actions are speeding up the rate at which species become extinct to a point beyond our planet's ability to recover.
At a certain point, a species' fate is permanent, even if human aid is given. When the animals are too far away from one another or are too genetically weakened, even the tiniest weather problems can cause extinction: an unanticipated blizzard, a fleeting thunderstorm, or a heat spell.
During the 1900s, climate change, habitat degradation, the introduction of invasive species, and excessive exploitation all grew exponentially, and the rate of extinction grew too. Today, this rate is enormous - and the International Union for Conservation of Nature believes it to be "1000 to 100000 higher than it would naturally be." At the rate the Earth is going at now, half of all species of both animals and plants could be extinct by the 22nd century.
However, the growing rate of extinction will come to affect us humans too. Animals and plants are an important part of life and we owe everything to them: fresh air, food, our clothes, homes, books, laptops, and medicines. Our future depends on these species. The end of HIV/AIDS. Perpetual life. Death.
To promote the recovery of endangered species you can support trustworthy organizations like the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They assist the reproduction of endangered species, promote the banning of poaching, and artificially pollinate plants. They try to make up for the faults that the human race has made, but they cannot do this alone. Awareness about endangered species must spread. Humans must realize that what they do - even in everyday life - can affect animals and plants globally, and that, should this problem continue, it will ultimately lead back to us.
These recent videos of Javan rhinoceros parents and calves provide some hope for the species' future:
Just remember: you can make a difference too.Posted by Jocelyn Gan | March 30, 2011 | Comments (0)
Photo credit: Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg
The exhibition follows the connection between art and fashion since the 1960s. Prime examples of fashion and art blending include Andy Warhol and Pop Art in the sixties and Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons from the eighties.
So what can you expect at the exhibition? Pink ball gown with huge holes? Check.
Photo credit: Peter Stigler for Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg
Green beard with a big bell attached? Check.
Photo credit: Walter van Beirendonck for Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg
A lot more interesting than oil paintings for sure!
Brought to you by Colorlines: News for Action, the "I Am..." storytelling series provides an online environment where immigrants and non-immigrants alike can come together and share their negative experiences with the "illegal" or "alien" derogatory term, and their hope for a better future where such hurtful words will no longer be used to put down immigrants across the globe. "Drop the I-word" has a key mantra: "People are not "illegals". Pledge to drop the i-word and ask media to do the same."
One story is shared by a Chicago college student named David, who asserts that he had to constantly "defend his dignity" as a child against people who would tease immigrants and deride their illegal status. Before he would hide his identity as an immigrant, but now David has decided to stand up for himself and, in doing so, "take a hammer to the wall of ignorance that is confining us to the shadows" by confronting those who would make fun of his status.
Many other stories can be read on the website below. Please help join the campaign and encourage others to avoid using the terms "illegal" and "alien" to refer to immigrants and their families.Posted by Justin Ko | March 30, 2011 | Comments (0)
While browsing through Youtube during spring break, I stumbled upon this video which seemed to be splashing sensations throughout the internet community.
In hindsight, Alexandra Wallace, a student at UCLA most likely regrets uploading her thoughts about Asians in the library at UCLA in such a public manner considering the backlash she has been receiving on campus. Wallace has apologized for her conduct. A few of the things she said were rather sensitive - especially in regards to the Japanese tsunami crisis. However, this brings us again to the discussion where Asian-Americans and Asian-Canadians are categorized under the same umbrella as recent immigrants from Asia. Although I have met students who simply won't hush up in the library despite the fact that the library is a peaceful sanctuary meant to be kept quiet for studies and minor dwadling on Facebook - I can't empathize with Wallace's anti-Asian sentiments.
The interesting thing I noted about this video is that it is the first of its kind that I have watched. I have never seen a video bashing Asian students in US campuses from a US college student before. This sets some new precedents.
Some of the feedback for the parodies (a handful are rather amusing) of Wallace's video are also considered to be controversial. Instead of dealing with the matter diplomatically, many members of the UCLA community have decided to make some response videos:
Posted by Michelle Pham | March 25, 2011
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There are few people in this world that can resist feelings of warmth and fuzziness when confronted with images of cute, cuddly creatures, such as a panda bear. Now, try finding those same feelings when confronted with images of cold, scaly, dead fish. Not quite as easy is it?
This is just the problem that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society hopes to overcome with their new campaign. The reality is that bluefin tuna are endangered, and could disappear as early as 2012, the campaign states. The problem is that seeing a bunch of dead fish laid out on wooden chopping blocks doesn't exactly pull at the heartstrings. Seeing furry pandas lying there, on the other hand, does.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's new campaign states, "When you see tuna, think Panda". And with the visuals that accompany the campaign, you really can't help but do as they say. The images literally bring the slogan to life.
Yep. Shock value at its finest. So the next time you think about ordering that tuna sashimi at your favourite sushi place, replace "tuna" with "panda" and see if that still has you salivating.
Posted by Kayo Homma-Komori | March 22, 2011
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Not a lot of people are aware of the blending of cuisines of India and China that is so popular in India. Normally, this food takes the form of Chinese dishes seasoned (i.e. made really spicy) to Punjabi, or Indian taste. But at Green Lettuce Restaurant on Kingsway, the menu is a proper fusion, a novel ensemble that falls somewhere in between. One rainy afternoon I dropped in with two of my friends and had fish curry. It reminded me of Eastern Indian, perhaps Bengali, curry, but with a definite Chinese tang. It was easily one of the best meals I've had in Vancouver.
The other day, I stumbled upon this video interview on YouTube made by a UBC class, and got nostalgic for those bits of fish in that drool-worthy curry.
With the few of my brain cells that were still capable of higher, less primal, functioning, I thought to myself that this was a great example of a blend of cultures in Canada that I do not encounter all the time. It's one that did not take place on Canadian turf, but certainly fits in with Vancouver's crossroads feel. And at the same time it's a reminder that North America is not the only modern setting for multicultural blending, despite our unique conception of it. Think about all these things while you tuck in. Or just eat, and keep the pondering for dessert.
Here is the thought behind the video, from the series 'Eating Global Vancouver' by Henry Yu's class:
This film is the first in a series of short films created about "Eating Global Vancouver" by students taught by Prof. Henry Yu of the History Department at the University of British Columbia, with help from award-winning filmmaker Karin Lee, and initially shown at the Asian Library at UBC as part of Asian Heritage Month in May 2006. Using restaurants as the focus for exploring the complex interactions of Vancouver and its migrant populations, this series uses food to examine how we come together as a global city. Green Lettuce, a restaurant run by an ethnic Chinese family from India, serves Chinese food in Vancouver as Chinese restaurants would in Bombay or Calcutta, attracting a loyal following of Indian immigrant customers who find a unique reminder of home.
This film series grew out of one of our most popular classroom projects, in which students form groups and choose to research one of the myriad of restaurants that make Vancouver such a wonderful city for eating. Creating websites that feature interviews with the families (almost invariably global migrants to Vancouver) who run the restaurant, as well as in depth explorations of the restaurants themselves as sites of community interaction, our students combine ethnography with historical research in the Vancouver archives to create a rich portrait of each restaurant as a microcosm of Global Vancouver. Revealing the history of the restaurant's location through Vancouver history and the changing demographics of its neighborhood, these research projects lead us to see in a new light the restaurants at which we eat.
Visit the INSTRCC website at http://www.instrcc.ubc.ca
You can check out Green Lettuce Restaurant at 1949 Kingsway, Vancouver.Posted by Gayatri Bajpai | March 25, 2011 | Comments (0)
BBC's astounding and uplifting documentary series Human Planet takes TV viewers to the far reaches of the globe, where humans, more so than any other species in history, have conquered the elements and found ways to subsist and thrive in near unimaginable environments.
Each episode takes place in a unique part of the Earth, from the Arctic to the jungle, and showcases how in all of these places, humans have overcome the odds and still retain a sense of that primal adaptability which many urban dwellers have long since erased from their culture. For better or worse, we live in a human planet, where humans have asserted themselves as the dominant organism. This series helps celebrate the human being in all its ingenuity and awe-inspiring glory.
On the BBC website, photographer Timothy Allen has compiled an audio slideshow from many of the images featured in the series where he describes the experiences he underwent while traversing the globe and finding out more about ways of life that many in the West have no idea still existed.
Check it out here!
Photo source: Wikipedia
Chinese blogger Michael Anti had his Facebook account taken away because that name was used as his pseudonym. Anti was even more angry when he found out the dog of Facebook's creator Mark Zuckerberg has an account.
"My journalistic work and academic work is more real than a dog," Anti said to reporters.
Michael Anti's legal name is Zhao Jing and he is a journalist and political blogger who frequently posts about freedom of the press in China. His Facebook account was canceled in January because the company requires users to use their real names, not pseudonyms. However, Michael Anti has been using his professional pen name for over 10 years and he is widely published under that name.
It is common for writers and journalists in China to take pen names as protection from retaliation from authorities. Anti said that Facebook's requirement of real names could potentially put Chinese citizens in danger.
Mark Zuckerberg's dog is pretty cute, but I would argue Michael Anti is at least just as worthy of a Facebook account as Beast the dog. What do you think?
Mark Zuckerberg's dog, Beast. Photo source: FacebookPosted by Vinnie Yuen | March 22, 2011 | Comments (0)
Documentary | Northwest Territories | 08:29
DIR: France Benoit
I was looking very forward to this film's screening after reading the description:
Every Wednesday, volunteers from the Salvation Army shelter in Yellowknife offer to wash the feet of men and women from the streets.
A modest, but insightful piece on the value of human touch and simple gestures, Hand to Toe explore how one Salvation Army's foot washing program cultivated community through the basic premise of "Everyone loves a good foot rub".
I was really rooting for the film's cinematography to hit it home and give the heartstrings a good strumming, but unfortunately it lacked the strong visuals that put a face to the feet to actually 'humanize' the content. What we saw was a collage of foot washing, clipping, and scrubbing at various camera angles, along with a disembodied voice track of ticklish guests in the background. This was likely due to confidentiality concerns, given the sensitive environment of the setting, but I felt like I saw enough heel-toe action to saturate a foot fetish (that I don't have. Heck I get bothered by Skechers ads).
In spite of my anti-foot porn biases, this film gets huge props for a neat and interesting story concept.
Documentary | USA | 06:01
DIR: Rustin Thompson
Rustin Thompson directs this eloquent and informative PSA-styled piece on the importance of micro-finance for the women of Latin America. For those of you unfamiliar with the process and benefits of microloans, they are small loans given to third worlds and developing nations to spur entrepreneurship and business growth.
In this film, we meet a group of women who were able to afford livestock vaccinations, business expansion and basic infrastructure for their villages all through microloans provided by Global Partnerships.
For more information on how you can get involved, please visit globalpartnerships.org or kiva.org to learn how small of a donation can affect real change for struggling entrepreneurs around the world.Posted by Jocelyn Gan | March 16, 2011 | Comments (0)
Tags: Film Festival
While many of us living outside Japan can only watch helplessly on television sets as the devastation of the aftermath unfolds in Japan, now, more than ever, the people of Japan need our help.
There are plenty of ways we can help, thanks to technology. Every little bit counts - nothing is too little. Here are a few ways you can help the victims in Japan.
1. Text to Donate
The American Red Cross has launched a texting campaign once again. If you wish to donate to the Japan Earthquake Relief, just text REDCROSS to 90999. Each text will provide $10 towards the Red Cross's humanitarian efforts.
2. Donate via Facebook
Another campaign has been launched by the Red Cross. By logging in to Facebook, you can donate anywhere from $10 to $500 to help Tsunami victims and their families.
As of publishing time, the Causes campaign has raised over $40,000 from over 1,000 donors and 3,000 promoters.
3. Buy Virtual Goods
Zynga, known for its effective social good campaigns, has partnered with Save the Children's Japan Earthquake Tsunami Emergency Fund to get its users to donate money through the purchase of virtual goods in CityVille, FrontierVille, FarmVille and its other games.
100% of the proceeds from the purchase of sweet potatoes in CityVille, radishes in FarmVille or kobe cows in FrontierVille will go towards Save the Children's efforts to provide relief in Japan.
4. Embed Some Code
If you run a website and want to get your customers or users involved in relief efforts, all you need to do is embed a simple snippet of code.
The Hello Bar places a simple message at the top of your website with just a few lines of code. Simply sign up with the invite code "helpjapan" and you can quickly get the code snippet you need to embed a customized Hello Bar that will drive donations.
Check out the full article for more instructions on how to add the donation bar to the top of your website.
5. "Like" A Facebook Page
6. Ways to Help on Twitter
Twitter has recently published a blog post on ways you can help those in Japan through your Twitter account.
Here are some key hashtags to remember:
* #Jishin: focuses around general earthquake information
* #Anpi: a hashtag for the confirmation of the safety of individuals or places
* #Hinan: Evacuation information
* #311care: a hashtag regarding medical information for the victims
* #PrayforJapan: A general hashtag for support and best wishes for victims of the crisis
7. Donate via iTunes
Apple have created a simple way to donate through iTunes.
Posted by Jocelyn Gan | March 20, 2011
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In the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake that hit Japan recently (following Haiti and Chile), sustainable and disaster-proof housing options are becoming more and more necessary.
International Dome House Inc., a company based in Japan, came up with these innovative "dome" houses that are chemical-free and disaster-resistant. The houses are made with formaldehyde-free building materials, reducing chances for hazards. The expanded polystyrene building material used in the houses provides effective insulation against the cold. The unique dome shape of the house provides excellent air conditioning as well, cutting down cost of utilities and energy consumption. The dome shape also ensures that the houses are not damaged during earthquakes; moreover, the lack of iron or wood in the foundation means there's no risk of rust, mold, or termites. The houses have been approved by Japanese Ministry of Land and Transport.
But most importantly, these durable and energy-efficient houses also happen to be cost-effective - with the starting price of $30,000. The dome pieces are lightweight and easy to assemble, which also saves labour costs. The houses can be expanded for bigger families with different parts.
As thousands of people face sudden homelessness due to natural disasters every year, a transport-friendly and durable home seems like the next logical step.Posted by Jocelyn Gan | March 16, 2011 | Comments (0)
The comic book industry lost a giant when Dwayne McDuffie passed away due to surgery complications. McDuffie was most known for his work on the popular cartoon show Justice League Unlimited (as a writer, producer and story editor), and his comic book Static Shock which was later adapted into an animated series. He later went on to create the shows Ben 10: Alien Force and Ultimate Alien as well as writing dozens of stories for mainstay characters such as Spiderman, Batman and The Tick.
In 1993 he co-founded Milestone Media, a coalition of African-American artists and writers who believed that minorities were severely underrepresented in American comics. In regards to race issues in comics he had this to say:
If you do a black character or a female character or an Asian character, then they aren't just that character. They represent that race or that sex, and they can't be interesting because everything they do has to represent an entire block of people. You know, Superman isn't all white people and neither is Lex Luthor. We knew we had to present a range of characters within each ethnic group, which means that we couldn't do just one book. We had to do a series of books and we had to present a view of the world that's wider than the world we've seen before.
As a storyteller that pushed for the breaking of race stereotyping through complex characters and good storytelling in both animation and comics, hDwe will be missed.
Dislike hearing of clothing sales but discover that they're not much of a bargain after all? Amazingly, all items at the upcoming Nifty for Fifty Sale are $50 or less. Put away those winter blahs behind you and score fabulous fashion finds for spring! This event will be held at the Heritage Hall (3102 Main Street) on Sunday, April 3, from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm.
In its fourth year, Nifty for Fifty features local Vancouver designers such as Adhesif Clothing Co., Aneu, Ashley Watson, Bianca Barr, Billy Would Designs, Bueno Style, Carny Love, Clutch Jewels, Creampuffs by GG, Dotted Loop, Dru's Designs, Flightpath Designs, Forsya Boutique, Little Houses, Poodlebreath, Schaart Clothing, t o o d l e s BY TOODLEBUNNY, Trunk Show, Raven's Rest Studio, Unconventional Jewellery, Sola Fiedler, Hawks Ave., and Jacqui Kerr.
Admission is free but the vendors only accept cash so be ready to dole over some bills in exchange for some nifty shoes, accessories and dresses in a wide range of sizes; from 0-24. Some men's threads will also be sold at the sale.
Make it a fun day or evening out and shop with your friends and family. Being thrifty means more money saved for that well-deserved, warm-weather getaway.
Females have been in the army in Canada for over a century, but still constitute only a tiny percentage of its forces. Serving in the infantry is an even less common position for a Canadian woman. Sisters in Arms introduces us to Kimberley Ashton, a combat engineer, Corporal Katie Hodges, and Corporal Tamar Freeman.
Ashton is a gentle-looking person with a slow, quiet way of talking -- the type one would expect to find in a hospital tending to children or injured soldiers. Having already been posted to Bosnia, she prepares to go to Afghanistan. Even the way she talks about being in the army is hardly tough, until she describes finally laying down the law with disrespectful male colleagues. There's a certain determination in her voice that betrays a stronger mettle.
Corporal Tamar Freeman is exactly the opposite at face value -- a tough-as-nails medic who performs operations and keeps a steel jaw through bomb blasts and tending to burned children. She acknowledges that her frame is tiny and carrying heavy equipment in the Afghan heat can be exhausting, but what one lacks in size can be made up for in skill: with firearms. However, when she has time to recount dragging a friend's body out of a torn-up truck, she becomes vulnerable.
Corporal Katie Hodges also has a daredevil attitude about her, but turns out to be idealistic in her aims. She holds on to hopes of helping women and girls in Afghanistan to have better lives.
We see these soldiers express sincere hopes of helping another country get out of a bad situation, and worry about their families breaking apart. We dip in and out of their private mental lives and their working environments, where many of their colleagues give them a tougher initiation than their male counterparts. Sisters in Arms takes an up-close-and-personal look at the very slow-moving process of incorporating women into the army that's facing many obstacles, even in this 'liberated' age and nation. They are at the front-lines of multiple battles, both in Afghanistan and within the ranks of the Canadian military.Posted by Gayatri Bajpai | March 17, 2011 | Comments (0)
The last African-American male supermodel was Tyson Beckford but that occurred in the 1990s. Famous African-American males such as Will Smith, Usher, Jay-Z and Lebron James do land the covers of various magazines but it's time for an African male model to be the main feature in magazine editorials.
Currently there is a disturbing trend in fashion of having muscular African males being used as mere props in fashion spreads. Fashion editors and stylists could have easily chosen to showcase the powerful physique of African males in other ways that show respect to them. Instead, most of these images suggest that the men are used only as sexual objects or fantasy sex slaves. It devalue and demean African males on the whole. As a consequence, there is much controversy over this style of fashion layouts and some have labeled them as being racist.
As these images are widely debated, it unfortunately brings a lot of attention to the particular magazines and brands in question. Deliberately making something controversial in order to make a lot of money is nothing new, of course.
One hopes that this trend of using African male models as props will quickly disappear from fashion's radar. It would be refreshing to see more male models from different ethnicities in major ad campaigns and fashion layouts other than famous celebrities.Posted by Kathy Ko | March 18, 2011 | Comments (0)
Image from: keepittrill.com
My friend Chelsey Stuyt lives and teaches in Iyoshi, which is not close to Miyagi. Nevertheless, she had some observations to share of the situation immediately after the earthquake that hit the northeast coast of Japan and brought on a tsunami. Below is her description of how the Japanese are handling the crisis on a national level:
The first that I heard of the Earthquake was from the emergency siren. Every town or major city in Japan has loud speakers installed all over. Usually they're used to broadcast the noon and evening bells, but their primary purpose is to alert the entire city of emergency situations. I had only heard the sirens go off twice before. The first time was when a fire had broken out in a residential neighbourhood. The speakers came on and listed the address and the names of the families that lived there. Within thirty seconds the students who lived there were running to the car with the vice principal and their parents were on their way. The second time I heard it was after a minor earthquake last year. It warned of an incoming tsunami, though the wave that came was only a few centimeters high.Posted by Gayatri Bajpai | March 21, 2011 | Comments (0)
On Friday afternoon, the sirens went off just after beginning my final class. I immediately looked to my co-teacher to confirm that it was okay to continue with the lesson. My Japanese is only so-so and so I waited as she listened. I watched as her eyes widened, but she nodded and so we continued the lesson.
When I returned to the staff room, the TVs were on and everyone was silently watching the news. NHK is the national broadcasting company and during emergencies they take over full control of all media outlets (TV and radio). Every television station immediately begins broadcasting emergency information about the situation. On the TVs we saw the first footage of what was happening up north. It was shocking. Black water carrying burning buildings racing across rice fields just like the ones outside our window.
I`ll be honest -- I was scared. We kept watching until the warnings for our prefecture began to flash across the bottom of the screen. I live in the south in a prefecture that faces the inland sea, so our tsunami alert was set to the lowest level - waves of a maximum of 1 meter (not high enough to pass over the wave breaks already in place in the harbours). So we quietly finished up our work and went home. We didn't even evacuate the school.
After leaving work at the regular time I remember riding home and being surprised at how calm and collected everyone seemed. No one was freaking out, even with the emergency sirens singing out a warning every fifteen minutes. I stopped at the grocery store and the lines were all orderly and patient, though there were fewer people out than usual on a Friday afternoon. I knew that the wave wasn't supposed to hit us for another couple of hours, but this felt a bit surreal.
When I got home I turned on the Japanese news and started trying to call friends in other places around the country. From what I've heard, most places in the south are fine. There was some minor shaking in Osaka, and my friend in Nara prefecture felt a little tremor but nothing unusual. I received a quick message from a friend in Tokyo -- it just said that they were fine but that cell phones and landlines were not really working and that the trains had stopped running so I wouldn't hear anything more from her for awhile.
I would spend the rest of the evening holed up in my apartment, trying to calm anxious friends and family, while waiting for the wave to arrive.
It came, and it was about 30 centimeters high. Like I said, I`m very far from where the disaster really is.
For the most part, things are fairly calm here. There`s been talk of rationing electricity but otherwise the major focus for us has been to assist in supporting the aid organizations. Blood donation clinics have opened up all over town, and various groups have begun collecting money, food, and blankets. The local authorities have advised people to remain calm, to try and conserve power and to not jam the phone lines with non-essential calls. The country is re-routing services to try and send as much power to the affected areas (it's still winter up there and there's no heat or power). All emergency services have been mobilized and we have all been advised not to travel unless its absolutely essential.
Right now it's just a matter of waiting to hear from people we can't get in touch with. The internet is the only reliable communication point at the moment, but people are surprisingly calm. If this were North America, they would be crying in the streets. The world should take note of how the Japanese handle a crisis. I don`t doubt that if this had happened anywhere else in the world, things would be worlds worse.
I`ll update again soon. But know that I`m fine and far from all of the drama. Stay safe, and try to support the relief effort if you can. Contact your local Red Cross or even many banks to donate to the relief effort.
Dir. Lee Chung-Ryoul| South Korea 2008 | 78:00 | Korean w/ Eng. sub.
Screens SAT MAR 12 | 9:30PM at Cinéma ONF, NFB CinéRobothèque
Korea's national image has transformed into that of a hyper-technological, modernized metropolis - but it wasn't always the case. Before its modernization period, Korea was a country of farms. The 78-minute documentary Old Partner explores the disappearing farming practices and landscapes in South Korea through the story of an 81-year-old farmer and his 40-year-old ox.
The 40-year-old ox has a special place in Choi Won-Kyun's household; not only has he worked tirelessly on the his farm for all his life to be able to afford send his nine children to college, but he has also become a son to the aging farmer.
The film begins on a foreboding note, as a veterinarian tells Choi that the ox only has one more year to live. Over the course of the film, we see that year and the tireless routine of the frail farmer with a bad leg (he has to crawl around his land because one of his legs has atrophied), and an ox that has to stop frequently just to catch its breath, and is frequently bullied by the younger cow in the house. The prominent sound of the bell attached to the ox's chin rings throughout the film - at times bothersome in its repetition yet reassuring, just like the ox's presence in the old man's life.
In 2008 - the year the film was made - massive candlelight vigils and protests occurred as Koreans resisted importation of American beef at the height of the mad cow disease scare; despite the resistance, the imports didn't stop, and the Korean beef market suffered terribly as a result. Even though the film is largely a personal narrative of the old farmer preparing to part with his trusted ox, director Lee Chun-Ryoul manages to provide subtle political commentary throughout the film by showing farmer Choi's interaction with other cattle farmers, whose lives are hardened by the mad cow scare.
The film succeeds in portraying the dynamic relationship between Choi and the ox. At times, the portrayal is done humorously as his wife complains about the farmer putting the ox's needs before hers. Other times, it's uniquely touching - Choi proudly tells at a village meeting how the ox managed to bring him all the way home when he drunkenly fell asleep on his cart, in a scene where the film achieves the emotional peak of the strong bond between the farmer and the ox. In the end, it succeeds in making both a political and poignant statement about old age, farming practices, and human-animal relationships.Posted by Jocelyn Gan | March 13, 2011 | Comments (0)
Manitobah Mukluks is a Canadian, aboriginal-owned company that offers moccasins and mukluks with a modern twist. Based in Winnipeg, Manitobah's footwear is based on traditional Métis designs, using leather, fur, and distinctive bead-work.
To adapt the traditional footwear for the modern day trekker, Manitobah connected with Vibram to create a sole that would withstand the harsh urban environment. Heather Steppler, a Winnipeg aboriginal artist, created a unique design for the sole, which features various symbols representing trees, wind, fire, and tipis.
While Manitobah has one foot in the future, with their modern takes on age-old designs (such as these dainty, ballet flat styled moccasins), they've kept one foot in the past, with their offering of limited edition Storyboots.
In order to maintain ties to their roots while promoting self-sufficiency among Native communities, Manitobah has created limited edition Storyboots that mimic the design from a family's original pair. The boots are hand-crafted and individually numbered through Manitobah's Artisan Program and then offered to customers globally. Partial profits from each pair sold go back to the original family. Through these collections of Storyboots, Manitobah hopes to "help every Native community benefit from the knowledge of their ancestors and to keep their traditions alive."
Manitobah footwear is available at Gravity Pope in Canada, Nordstrom in the US, and Matches in the UK. To find other retailers in your area, check out their website at manitobah.ca
Posted by Kayo Homma-Komori | March 14, 2011
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Photo credit: Yatzer.com
Wearing shoes that appear invisible may seem counter-intuitive, but footwear designer Andreia Chaves' "Invisible Shoe" is too cool to dismiss.
The "Invisible Shoe" is a low-cut, high-heeled boot, covered by fragmented pieces of mirror. The result? The shoe reflects its surroundings and blends in with its environment. Step into grass? It turns green. Step onto concrete? It reflects grey.
Andreia Chaves was born in Brazil and now lives in Milan. She graduated in 2010 with a Footwear and Accessories degree at Polimoda International Institute in Florence.
According to her website, I.T Hong Kong and I.T Beijing are retailers of her merchandise beginning March 2011.
I hope Lady Gaga wears these for her next music video. These are really her style.Posted by Vinnie Yuen | March 15, 2011 | Comments (0)
Dir. Kang Dae-Gyu | South Korea 2006 | 115:00 | Korean w/ Eng. sub. | Cast: Kim Yun-jin, Nah Moon-hee, Lee Da-hee
Screens SAT MAR 12 | 7:00 PM at NFB CinéRobothèque
Music has long served as a catalyst for positive change in many films - Mr. Holland's Opus and Sister Act (and its sequels) being only a few examples. In Kang Dae-Gyu's 2006 film Harmony, the same inspirational potential of music is explored again, this time in a Korean women's prison.
Kim Yun-Jin (who's become a well-known face in North America through her role in Lost), plays Jung-hae, who is serving time in prison for killing her abusive husband. Along with her son, she lives in a tiny cell with three other cellmates: Moon-ok, the older "mother hen" figure (who's serving a life sentence for intentionally running over her husband and his mistress with her car), Yeon -sil, a goofy and robust woman who was a pro-wrestler before prison (and who accidentally committed a murder due to her Samsonian strength), and Hwa-Ja, the loud and abrasive sasspot (who's in jail for fraud convictions). Inspired by a benefit concert given in prison by a professional choir, Jung-hae becomes convinced to run a choir program with her own prison mates - and thus begins the adventure of mismatched voices.
Aside from the generally downturn morale of the prison, another tragic factor is a seemingly nonsensical Korean law that dictates that any female prisoner who gives birth during her sentence must give up her child for adoption after 18 months if she cannot find a guardian. We learn along the way that part of her motivation for the choir is to provide a special day out with her happy-go-lucky son Min-woo before it's too late.
At times, the film seems to lacks authenticity during its renditions of cheesy, feel-good songs, and the obvious voice dubbing during musical scenes. But what saves the film from degenerating into a totally forgettable cliché is its ending. Whereas a Hollywood film of this kind would end on a soaring note of musical triumph, the positive outcome of a very successful concert that inspires other prison inmates and the prison ward is just the halfway point of Harmony. By showing that life goes on - sometimes cruelly - even after a happy event, the film manages to escape the tired tropes of inspirational musical movies.
Tags: Film Festival
Perhaps the most famous boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali is a name that resonates across the globe and across generations. He is famous for his utter fearlessness and confidence in his abilities. Long before the term "swagger" ever reached popular use, Ali was responsible for quotes such as "I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was."
Now, the artist Michael Kalish has collaborated with the architectural company Olyer Wu to create a massive monument in tribute to Ali, made out of 1300 boxing speed bags, five miles of stainless steel cable, and two miles of aluminum tubing. The name of the structure, "reALIze", is highly appropriate, since from most angles the speed bags do not seem to form any particular shape, but from a straight-on perspective, the stunning visage of Ali's iconic face suddenly appears.
Check out the video below for a sneak peek! Hint: pause at 0:18 in the video.Posted by Justin Ko | March 18, 2011 | Comments (0)
Black Field, directed by Danishka Esterhazy, is set in a bygone era, somewhere in eastern Canada. It begins with two young women living alone on a farm. The elder of the two, Maggie McGregor, makes the hard decisions, having raised her sister since before the deaths of her father and brothers. The younger, Rose, is pretty and self-centered, with an air of entitlement despite the remoteness of their situation.
Living from day to day on rations of pudding and tilling their poor land, the two lead a quiet life until they are visited by a mysterious Frenchman. David Latouche infiltrates their barn despite Maggie's wishes. Rose's fascination for David drives her to manipulate Maggie's charitable side, and soon the Frenchman is sitting at their dinner table flirting with them while they say their prayers. He behaves duplicitously - one minute he refers to Maggie affectionately as his Margot, and the other minute he is stroking Rose's hand giving her steamy gazes as she flirts with him adoringly. Margot, despite her best efforts, finds herself confused and attracted.
David's background is a mystery, but it becomes increasingly clear that he is running from something. After he disappears with her sister, Margot finds out that a man of his description is being hunted by the law. Maggie dons her cape in the manner of a warrior and goes after them, ruthlessly stealing the horse of a poor Russian farmer who is reluctant to help her. But who is she really going after?
A 'true Gothic drama', Black Field is dark and moody, a treat for the eyes, and offers up a tough moral dilemma. Such is the substance of drama. It is filmed in Nova Scotia, where the landscape is unreal, and the sight of a young woman riding a horse in a black cloak, heroic but frail, on the hunt for her sister's abductor (yet fighting her own lust for the very same man) could not but make for the stuff of great cinema.
Canning's dogged Margot is pitted against Bourget's seductive and persistent David. He is drawn to her strength, while she finds herself letting him get under her skin, pushing her to betray her own puritanism. Watch this movie for the breathtaking cinematography, haunting drama, and the worthy performances of its young thespians, Sara Canning and Mathieu Bourget.Posted by Gayatri Bajpai | March 13, 2011 | Comments (0)
Piece by Lucy Dolan, inspired by Irish heritage and world indigenous cultures
Martin Carriere resuscitates forgotten histories in his book Carrying the Chalice Forward and Other Secret Stories of North America. He explores the idea that Irish people could have come to North America 600 years before Columbus did and made peace with indigenous tribes in Nova Scotia prior to the arrival of the Vikings. Though this is not explicitly a history book, it definitely challenges dominant notions of 'the discovery' of North America, as well as notions of what it means to be aboriginal.
Carrying the Chalice Forward ponders the fascinating fact that 'the bloodlines and stories of the Kings of Tara, as proven by DNA, still exist amoung the Metis and Aboriginal families of America today.'
The interconnections of these families and the teachings of the Great Laws of Peace as handed down through these indigenous teachers are the inheritance of all the families of the world - especially those who are from Ireland.
I was originally inspired with visions and dreams in my youth urged on by the prophecies in the 60's by my Blackfoot cousins of the return of the strong indigenous influence on the future of the world and humankind. As indigenous people were just allowed the privilege to vote for the first time in 1961 it was like a new world dawning from the indigenous perspective. The likely thoughts from the governing elite were probably more to the tune of "the Indians (those wild savages) were all gone and dead now and the new minority aboriginal Canadians will just do as they're told". This could have been true except for the fact that the land and the forces of creation are still alive within the souls of the indigenous people (of whatever colour - including white) and continually make demands upon each of us to stand forward in defense of the earth.
Carriere's perspective unites those of indigenous cultures around the world under a similar set of values and outlook, while pointing out that indigenous does not always mean brown-skinned, or Australasian or North American. Furthermore, he brings little known history to the forefront of dialogue surrounding highly politicized issues, re-engaging them with what seems to be a storyteller's magic. There is lots to learn from indigenous peoples the world over, and lots to learn of their intricate pasts.
With International Women's Day approaching tomorrow, the celebration of strong, powerful women in Canada may be a somber event. The Province published an article today commenting on the lack of women in leadership roles for Canadian companies.
The survey of 290 organizations in Canada found that the overwhelming majority -- 82 per cent -- had no clear strategy for encouraging women to enter leadership positions.
Mentors for women leaders are lacking because executives are predominantly men. From The Province.
These statistics surprised me - as I'm sure surprised you too. In a country as diverse and strong as Canada, women are a very distinct minority at the top of large companies.
Then again, maybe this isn't as surprising once you really think about it. How many strong, influential, and notable Canadian women can you name (without Googling it!)? I can only name Andrea Jung (CEO of Avon) and Michaëlle Jean.
Now let me ask you the same question, but this time for women in America. Oprah, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Anna Wintour, Indra Nooyi, Tyra Banks (give her some credit, teens all over the world look up to her). It's safe to say that America has a lot more notable women known to the public. Is this because there is higher media coverage on women? Could be.
But regardless of why this is the case, it's a fact that there is a small percentage of women in powerful roles in Canada. That should not be a setback for us though - it should drive us even more. We've come a long way since the first International Women's Day was declared in 1857. Let's go even further now.Posted by Jocelyn Gan | March 7, 2011 | Comments (0)
I've never been one for labels. OK, I take that back. I'm a bit of a sucker for fashion. What I mean to say is that I never felt like a single label suited me best—or anyone for that matter.
As a Chinese-Portuguese-Canadian woman, I have come to realize that I did not grow up with this identity, as much as I have grown in to this identity. Now in my mid-20s and becoming increasingly comfortable with who I am (and I hear that this just gets better with age), I realize that the labels I use to describe myself—Chinese, Portuguese, Canadian, woman, feminist, and the list goes on—have never been things that were inherently apart of who I was. Instead, these are labels that I have chosen to form my identity. Realizing that has been incredibly empowering, because that means that my identity is multidimensional, and that I am in control of all of the labels that are associated with me.
What makes this discovery even better is that all of these "labels," for lack of a better term, are not at all stagnant. For instance, some parts of my identity—writer, singer, dancer, foodie—are not always in use, and other labels—Vancouverite, urbanite, traveller—are aspects of my identity that fluctuate, but give me access to a whole range of other cultural spaces and identity labels to choose from.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, a day that means a lot to me and helps to remind me not of just how far we've come, but also how far there still is to go.
The Women's Movement has changed considerably over the years in visibility, voice, and language. However, one thing that has stayed consistent over the past century is the ongoing message of identity. Particularly in the past 20 years or so, the Women's Movement has initiated significant changes to the ways in which we now understand our identities—they are complex, multilayered, multilingual, and self-producing—and that the language in which we choose to communicate who we are has also evolved. I believe that I would not have the knowledge or the language needed to express who I am had it not been for the explosion (or implosion, depending on how you look at it) of race, gender, class, ability, and sexuality, which was so heavily problematized and influenced by third wave feminists.
The effect that feminism has had on our identities is two-fold. The first is its influence on how we have come to understand our complex identities; the second is its roots in culture. Around the world, women are at the heart of true cultural production and are incredibly influential in the ways in which we know of and experience cultures. As the primary caregivers of children and youth, the main producers of food and garments, and the key perpetuators of storytelling through arts and crafts, women are, in many ways, the hub and purveyors of a society's culture. When we reflect on how we have access to so many unique cultural spaces in Canada alone, we really have women to thank.
So take a moment to reflect on all of the different aspects of your identity. Think of which cultural spaces you have access to and acknowledge that they inform your identity and vice versa. If you have the chance, thank some of the women that have created and influenced the cultural experiences that have enriched your life. Be proud of which labels you have chosen to identify with, and realize that these labels might be different next International Women's Day.Posted by Gayatri Bajpai | March 8, 2011 | Comments (0)
They're beautiful and they're dangerous. If you bump into any of these women in Warcraft III, you better watch out. PMS|Asterisk* can and will kick your butt.
These women specialize in Defence of the Ancients (commonly known as DotA), a custom scenario for the real-time strategy video game Warcraft III. The team was founded in 2005 and currently has seven members.
Reactions to the team are mixed, according to CNNGo's recent interview with the team. They have fans, friends, haters, and even stalkers. Some fans would ask for photographs, while some would go online to "stalk" them. They also said there is a lack of support from fellow Singaporeans.
Occasionally, they are seen as attention-seekers. Some women use computer gaming to gain popularity with men, and some people may put PMS|Asterisk* into that same category. I would assume jealously is not uncommon; these women are probably irresistible to every male computer gaming enthusiast out there! Pretty and into Warcraft III? Jackpot!
Judging from their profiles, however, they have pretty diverse interests and day jobs, despite training three times a week for up to four hours a session.
The girls are now hoping they will receive sponsorship offers in the future. Good luck girls! I'll gladly give my support to all women who courageously enter a male-dominated field.Posted by Vinnie Yuen | March 14, 2011 | Comments (0)
Photo: Aérasia panelists Sandra Kadowaki and Jean-François Gravel
On Thursday night, Amérasia Film Festival kicked off with its first film, One Big Hapa Family by Jeff Chiba Stearns (Read Schema Magazine's review of the film for the 2010 Reel Asian Film Festival), with the director present at the Cinémathèque Québécoise.
To celebrate the opening, Ciné-Asie paired the screening with a special panel called "Blending Generation - Did you say inter-marriage?" with Stearns and other Japanese-Canadian members of the Montreal community in conversation about living as a Japanese-Canadian person, and raising mixed-raced children. Other panel members included Yuko Murakami, lecturer at the Université de Montréal, Sachiyo Kanzaki (researcher and lecturer, Université de Montréal), Sandra Kadowaki (third-generation Japanese-Canadian), and Jean-François Gravel (vice-president at Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre of Montreal).
Referring to the statistic of Japanese-Canadians having the highest rate of mixed marriages, Stearns brought up World War II as a contributing factor.
"The Japanese experienced so much racism so they assimilated - the pressure to keep their culture wasn't there," he said.
Even though the Japanese during World War II days were afraid to look and be different, nowadays, the heavy promotion of multiculturalism brought a different emphasis on "being different" being cool.
"The quarter-Japanese kids are much more Japanese than my mother," he said. "They're interested in that little piece of them that's different. They learn the [Japanese] language, and go to kado groups."
Yuko Murakami agreed that Japanese heritage still lives on with her own mixed-race hapa children. "My daughter [who is half French-Canadian and half Japanese] chose Japanese names for her children, so in a way, the Japanese [heritage] continues." She does regret that her children do not speak the Japanese language.
The changing ethnic landscape in Canada also inspired a comment on the general air of tolerance that Canadians are known for. "I spent time in secondary school in Europe ... there I experienced not racism, but a lot of Japan-bashing," said Kanzaki. "When I arrived here [in Montreal], I haven't experienced any racism. That's why I stayed here."
Even though Canada's treatment of people of colour has progressed hugely, the panelists agreed there are still some prejudices regarding them. Gravel, who was moderating the panel (and is married to Kadowaki), recalled how his family told him he "found a nice Japanese [woman]" because of his university major in East Asian Studies, even though his wife was born and raised in Canada. He also said people in his family also wrongly characterize his wife, relying on stereotypes about Japanese women.
"People in my family would say 'she's so quiet, so nice, so soft.' But if you know her, she is so not quiet. It's interesting that people in your family don't see it, and don't notice that she's not 'Japanese,'" Gravel said.
After the panel, audience members and soon-to-be-married couple Clover Meng and Charles Farrell said they found the panel very interesting, because it was related to their own situation.
Farrell also mentioned that the panel made him realize how important it is to discuss mixed-race identities with his future children. He and Meng also plan on encouraging their children to learn Chinese. "For me, identity goes through language, so I want my kids to learn Chinese," Farrell said.Posted by Gayatri Bajpai | March 7, 2011 | Comments (0)
Dir. Ounie Lecomte | South Korea 2009 | 92:00 | Korean w/ Eng. sub. | Cast: Kim Sae-Ron, Park Do-Yeon, Ko Ah-Sung
Screens SAT MAR 5 | 7:00 PM & SUN MAR 6 | 9:30PM at J.A. de Sève Cinema, Concordia University
In A Brand New Life, Korean-born and French-raised director Ounie Lecomte draws from her own life experiences to convey the hidden stories of Korean orphans waiting to be rescued by the kindness of strangers at a Catholic orphanage near Seoul.
The film opens with a smiling face of a young girl, out and about on errands with her father, whose face is obscured. She buys new shoes, a new coat, and a new dress - what seems like a typically uplifting day out with dad. But little after the credits, Jinhee is on the bus, and is dropped off at the orphanage, where her father exits with a weak excuse of going travelling.
Jinhee stubbornly holds onto the notion that she does not belong at the orphanage because she is not a real orphan. But slowly she comes to realize the true meaning of her father's departure, and her new life purpose of finding new adoptive parents before her teenage years.
Through her matter-of-fact storytelling that stays away from melodrama, Lecomte portrays the less-than-ideal condition of the orphanage. There aren't enough real plates (instead of metallic trays used for meals) when the children are having cake; the children also display a uniform look of mismatched sweaters and bowl cuts.
There are more blunt heartaches portrayed as well, such as the only teenaged orphan with a bad leg facing a romantic rejection, leading to an attempted suicide. In one of the truly extraordinary scenes, Jinhee decides that life is not worth living anymore after her only friend is adopted by a British couple, and decides to end her life by burying herself.
The emotional credibility of the film would of course be impossible without the talented young actresses, especially Kim Sae-Ron, who plays Jinhee. Kim's expressive face shows amazing diversity and emotional maturity for such a young actress.
The sparse soundtrack and the understated cinematography capture the modest and quietly heartbreaking reality of the orphanage beautifully. A Brand New Life is a superbly rendered story of a sad reality in Korea that has been under-reported for too long.
Montréal, Canada's festival city, can add yet another great festival to its list this year: the second instalment of Amérasia Film Festival - the only film festival in Montréal with an Asian focus - hosted by Ciné-Asie.
The festival includes a diversity of films - Asian, Asian-inspired, and Asian-Canadian films are all present, including Jeff Chiba Stearns' One Big Hapa Family (which screened to positive reviews at Toronto's ReelAsian Film Festival), Yang Ik-June's Breathless, Kang Dae-Gyoo's Harmony (starring Yunjin Kim, star of the popular TV series Lost), and Deepa Metha's Water.
The festival will also showcase emerging Asian-Canadian filmmakers' works through two screenings: the National Video Portrait Competition (Mar. 4, 7-9pm, J.A. de Séve Cinema, Concordia University) and Amérasia Shorts screenings (Mar. 13, 5-6:30pm, Cinéma ONF).
Aside from showcasing Asian-Canadian/Asian-American/Asian film highlights, Amérasia also aims to build a network of filmmakers from both Asia and Canada with a series of workshops and panels - including the inaugural Introductory Canadian-Asian Co-Production Summit (Mar. 11, 3:15-5:30 pm, CinéRobotheque), and a seminar "Negotiating Legal Documents & Financial Management in Filmmaking" (Mar. 11, 5:30 pm, CinéRobotheque) with personnel from EyeSteelFilm.
The festival will further explore issues of diversity with a panel discussion: "Blending generations - Did you say inter-marriage?" on international marriages after the screening of One Big Hapa Family, the opening feature film of the festival. The panel will be hosted by the film's director Stearns, with special guests.
Schema Magazine will be providing a series of film previews, as well as reviews of film screenings and panel discussions during the festival. Stay tuned!
For more information on the festival, please visit the festival website.
Singaporean design brand Ardentees has just released their Autumn/Winter Collection of highly original and design savvy Tees for the 2011 season. ARDT stands out because unlike major brands which tend to restrict creativity in favor of mass production, they have invited independent artists around the globe to generate designs with a lot of freedom of expression. These artists include Alvino, Hansomoto, and Dimo Trifonov, among others.
That being said, ARDT has released eight tee shirt designs for this collection, available in both unisex or gender specific cuts. The designs range from Infinite 8, Beauty in Versicolor, to Endless Thinking. Previews are available on their website at ardentees.com, where you can also order the tees online. Prices are about $38 Canadian Dollars each.
Check out the lookbook video below for a preview of ARDT's new slick designs!Posted by Justin Ko | March 9, 2011 | Comments (0)
On the UK drama Skins teenagers do drugs, have copious amounts of sex (on occasion with each others' moms, and often of the gay variety), get preyed on by teachers, and deal with premature menopause. Now MTV's all set to put a US-version on TV pitting its Baltimore against smalltown Britain. As blogger BuzzSugar writes: "If you've ever seen the UK teen series Skins (with Dev Patel!), you know it puts the "scandalous lives" of the Gossip Girl kids to shame with its boundary-pushing scenes and language." But can America handle what's coming?
Well, yeah. Because every American ripoff of an edgy English show gets sanitized, hosed down, and dipped in sugar to make it palatable to the masses, especially conservative elements. Maybe The Office is an exception. But Coupling was better than Friends, and I have a feeling there's something essentially British about Skins. It fesses up to its working-class background, high school students' gritty reality (and definitely glamorizes it). Bad things happen to kids, and bad kids happen. Characters are portrayed in murky shades of grey.
Perhaps North American audiences are ready for kids with questionable morals and bordering-on-catatonically-casual attitudes towards hard drugs/sex. But especially with all the fluff Hollywood's been spewing of late, I don't think the American masses will make it go down without a spoon of sugar. Or maybe a ladel.
The cast seems to be composed to a great extent of Canadians. Go Canada! This does not bode well for the badassness of the show, but we can hope. And the new cast boasts some ethnic diversity, too.
Indo-Canadian Ron Mustafaa, who moved to Toronto when he was 6, and has since begun his undergrad degree in International Law and Political Science, plays Abbud. Then we have half-Filipino Camille Crescentia-Mills, who will play "Daisy Valero, the American (and Costa Rican) version of Skins' (UK) Jal". She likes pumpkin-spice flavoured lattes, apparently. (Goodbye, grit. Hello, warm fuzz).
Good luck young North American cast! Do us proud by being extra naughty.Posted by Gayatri Bajpai | March 15, 2011 | Comments (0)
Riccardo Tisci's Spring 2011 Haute Couture Collection features only Asian models in his clothing as this line was influenced by the late Japanese dancer, Kazuo Ohno, who recently passed away. This line includes outrageously interesting hats crafted by expert milliner Philip Treacy. These hats were inspired by Japanese robots. The collection's strong, structured shoulders are reminiscent of Japanese samurai soldiers. Tisci incorporates the current trends of sheer tulle skirts, lace and feathers into his clothes with great artistic flair. Swan and phoenix images add to the romanticism of this collection.
Givenchy is best known for designing the iconic dress that Audrey Hepburn wore in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's. Hubert de Givenchy was known for his classic, elegant clothes for the modern woman. Nowadays, the brand has become synonymous for cutting-edge, dramatic gowns created by the talented Tisci.
The House of Givenchy decided back in 1995 to appoint the fearless John Galliano to take over once its founder retired. Since then, Alexander McQueen and Julien Macdonald have also headed the fashion house. Once Riccardo Tisci became the Creative Director in 2005, the Givenchy collections have been known to be unpredictable and unique. In past seasons, models have strutted down the runways in dark, gothic outfits as well as futuristic ones.
Recently, Florence Welch of the band Florence and the Machine wore a swan printed dress from the Spring 2011 Haute Couture Collection to the Grammys. Welch's style is very ethereal and elegant. The always fashion-forward Cate Blanchett chose a beaded lavender gown from the same collection to wear to the 2011 Academy Awards and topped many fashion lists that night.Posted by Kathy Ko | March 7, 2011 | Comments (0)
If you've got an iPhone or iTouch, or even if you don't, you should know about Angry Birds, the addicting mobile app game made by Rovio. But even the guys behind Angry Birds couldn't have possibly predicted the enormous popularity behind this game (which would eventually spawn offshoots as varied as Angry Birds T-Shirts and actual console video games.) This homage, brought to you by MyMealBox, would seem to be one of the most interesting, and distinctly Asian as well. I introduce you to Angry Birds Onigiri!
The Angry Birds Bento is a near perfect representation of the iconic Angry Bird and Green Pig from the game, made entirely from bento box food ingredients. These include tomato sauce for the red bird, and pea paste for the green pig. Edamame forms the pigs ears, and a carrot slice is used as the birds nose. The rest of the faces are made from nori.
Check it out!
It's been a hot baking minute since cupcakes became the trending topic across North American households. These delightful treats have popped up everywhere, from shops dedicated solely to cupcakes (Cupcakes by Heather & Lori and Big City Cupcakes to name a few), to local coffee shops (even Starbucks and Blenz offer their take on gourmet cupcakes). The Food Network has capitalized on the trend as well, with the show Cupcake Wars, where the country's top bakers compete for cupcake royalty.
It seems as though cupcakes are finding popularity on the other side of the world as well. Mumbai boasts a swarm of shops specializing in homemade designer cupcakes. From seasoned chefs like Malika-Rahat Khan of Sugar Rush, who trained at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute, to former Channel V VJ and Miss India 2007 Sarah Jane Dias of Butterfly, it looks as though everyone has caught the cupcake bug.
Showing meticulous attention to detail in taste and design, two vital aspects to any award-winning cupcake, these Mumbai bakers have really got a hold on what makes a cupcake "to-die-for". For a little taste of what Mumbai has to offer the cupcake world, check out this article from CNN International.
Personally, I'm ready to jump on the next plane to Mumbai to try out Crazy for Cupcakes' tequila cupcakes. You had me at "tequila"...
Photo credit: Flickr
Asian women are stereotypically portrayed in the media as slim, small, and delicate. What happens to the rest of us, who don't fit into this stereotype? Thick Dumpling Skin explores these issues.
Lynn Chen and Lisa Lee started the site to provide a space for Asian American men and women struggling with food and body image to come together to share, discuss and find support.
Both women have struggled with body image for years. Lynn, the blogger behind The Actor's Diet, reached out to Lisa after hearing her interview with NPR, in which Lisa discussed how being Asian specifically contributed to her obsession with being skinny.
I am so happy this issue is finally being discussed. I have struggled with being chubby ever since I can remember. Being associated with the dreaded Cantonese word "fei", which means fat, is nothing new for me.
My worst childhood memory is when my weight was discussed at a dinner with aunts, uncles and cousins all present. I was eight years old. Nobody came to my defense. I couldn't eat at that dinner without wanting to burst out in tears.
After yo-yoing between crazy diets and exercise routines that made me want to collapse, I'm still not the skinny Asian girl I wished so hard to grow up to be. Three years ago, I decided to drastically change my lifestyle, making a commitment to eat well and exercise. I have lost over 15 pounds since then.
Nowadays, I try my best to eat healthy, I work out at least four times a week, and for the first time in my life, I have signed up for the 10 kilometre Vancouver Sun Run this year. I wouldn't even run 10 minutes five years ago.
My fear for the changing room, the scale, and the mirror are now only small apprehensions, instead of full-fledged, tear-inducing ordeals.
Thank-you Thick Dumpling Skin for bringing this issue to light! This non-skinny Asian applauds you!Posted by Vinnie Yuen | March 2, 2011 |
A picture says a thousand words. Nakeya B's photography speaks a thousand more. She showcases her photography at nakeyab.com. It's split into three sections: people, social documentary and visual diary. Photographs compose each section. Words do not appear. This artistic choice allows the visitor to make conclusions about individual shots and whole sections, rather than being told what they are seeing. And there's a lot of deciphering to do in her multi-layered art.
Colour portraits compose the people page. Some only display a face, while others portray the whole body. At first glance, it feels like a high-fashion photography shoot. The models sport unique outfits. But the urban city landscapes behind hint at being a collage of her view of the city life.
The social documentary page mixes portraits with snapshots of mundane, daily life. Photographs of smiling children share the page with a shot of a man lying on the street. Her subjects' eyes are haunting. There are glimmers of hope in the children's faces. But visitors may question the reality of this hope since the photos are mixed in with the harrowing faces of adults. For some of these adults, it seems like hope is missing.
The visual diary page rejects colour photography. Only black and white photos appear there. Some photos include people and others only host barren buildings or still life objects.
In each section, the way Nakeya captures her interesting subjects strikes an emotional reaction, which leaves the viewer wondering what the future holds for the people in the photographs.