Thursday, March 22, 2007

Asians in Latin America

We're a little late on this one--the event is actually in progress as I type these words--but it sounds too cool to not give some attention, even after the fact. It's not like the books won't still be for sale tomorrow, or the research won't continue into the future...

From the University of Illinois at Chicago (and sponsored by the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center; Latin American and Latino Studies Program; Latino Cultural Center; and the history department):

"Workers, Revolutionaries, and National Leaders: The History and Contemporary Reality of Asian Communities in Latin America"

Chinese heroes of Cuban independence and later revolutionaries with Fidel Castro? Brazil, home to the largest Japanese community outside of Japan? The Chinese, Mexico's largest immigrant group by the 1920s? The Japanese-Peruvian son of immigrants elected the president of Peru? These are but a few elements of the little known story of Latin America's Asian immigrant communities.

While their parents and grandparents generally began life in Latin America as exploited workers, the descendants of immigrants from Asia have become part of the fabric of Latin American society and many have risen to positions of importance in politics, agriculture, manufacturing, commerce, and the arts. And today they are being joined by new arrivals from Asia who are part of a growing trans-Pacific connection.

Featured panelists:

Nobuko Adachi - Professor at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. She has been editor of Pan-Japan: The International Journal of the Japanese Diaspora since 2000, and is also the editor of Japanese Diasporas: Unsung Pasts, Conflicting Presents, and Uncertain Futures. Her many research interests include Japanese communities in Brazil.

Julie Kim - Professor and researcher at Universidad Diego Portales in Chile. She serves as the Asia Pacific Program Coordinator and is in charge of the Korean Observatory. Her research focuses on Korean immigration to Chile.

Martin Koppel - A writer and editor who joined in interviewing Armando Choy, Gustavo Chui, and Moises Sio Wong for Our History Is Still Being Written - The Story of Three Chinese-Cuban Generals in the Cuban Revolution, the story of three young men of Chinese-Cuban ancestry who joined the 1956-58 Cuban revolution that overthrew the Batista dictatorship. These men became generals, helped lead Cuban volunteers in the fight to defeat South Africa's invasion of Angola, and play leadership roles in Cuba today. Koppel recently traveled with them on a seven-city tour of Cuba where the book was presented to audiences throughout the island.

(The accompanying image comes from the Cuban Revolution book. And no, I haven't figured out Koppel's precise connection to it, as he's not listed as an author, but regardless, it seems like a fascinating read).

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Blogger Mix76 said...

Do they talk about how Japanese Immigrants taught the Gracie family how to throwdown?!

1:05 PM  

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