Human Rights and the Arts

Human Rights and the Arts : Perspectives on Global Asia

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Human Rights and the Arts: Perspectives on Global Asia approaches human rights issues from the perspective of artists and writers in global Asia. By focusing on the interventions of writers, artists, filmmakers, and dramatists, the book moves toward a new understanding of human rights that shifts the discussion of contexts and subjects away from the binaries of cultural relativism and political sovereignty. From Ai Wei Wei and Michael Ondaatje, to Umar Kayam, Saryang Kim, Lia Zixin, and Noor Zaheer, among others, this volume takes its lead from global Asian artists, powerfully re-orienting thinking about human rights subjects and contexts to include the physical, spiritual, social, ecological, cultural, and the transnational. Looking at a range of work from Tibet, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, China, Bangladesh, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Macau as well as Asian diasporic communities, this book puts forward an understanding of global Asia that underscores "Asia" as a global site. It also highlights the continuing importance of nation-states and specific geographical entities, while stressing the ways that the human rights subject breaks out of these boundaries. Many of these works are included in the companion volume Human Rights and the Arts in Global Asia: An Anthology, also published by Lexington Books.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 274 pages
  • 154.94 x 228.6 x 25.4mm | 521.63g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 6 black & white illustrations
  • 0739184733
  • 9780739184738
  • 1,748,530

Review quote

Human Rights and the Arts is a valuable and welcome contribution to the growing scholarship on human rights issues and debates in Asia...This volume shows not only that art can be a powerful tool for artists and activists to depict human rights violations and call for justice and recognition, especially important in non-democratic countries, but that art can be an excellent window for students and scholars who want to understand how human rights norms, contestations, and problems are experienced by individual citizens in Asia. One would hope that this volume would inspire further studies that probe deeper into different forms of art, the relationship between art and activism in different Asian countries, and the reception of these art works in Asia. Pacific Affairs Using art as the template, this edited collection wonderfully highlights both the global and the local contexts of human rights. In earlier advancing a notion of "indigenization" I have long felt that global values and indigenous concerns should be understood as mutually constitutive. The local does not displace agreed global standards or excuse violations but it may shape how we promote and practice human rights. The present volume takes this to heart. It appreciates that the human rights protests and expressions embedded in works of art call us to a higher global standard, while at the same time expressing local indigenous values and meaning. Art and artists have long been central to the effort to illuminate the collective and individual responses to political, social and other forms of repression across the Asian region. By bringing these voices together this work fills an important gap in the scholarly literature. The editors are to be commended for their intellectual contribution in organizing this diverse literature and bringing to life the notion of human rights as a diverse discourse. -- Michael C. Davis, University of Hong Kong Human Rights and the Arts sweeps in where others working at the nexus of human rights and the humanities have not yet tread, offering exhilarating readings of texts that, in their assiduous breadth of genre and geography, propel the emerging field of literature and human rights into urgent new territories. Courageously intervening in the Asian values debate, this volume (with its brilliant companion anthology) exactingly delineates the limits of the law in the human rights project, shifting attention to how art and literature from both 'center' and 'margins' reveal the multiple contexts for human rights violations and claims, and how these contexts are crucial to understanding both construction and function of such claims within what the authors meticulously demonstrate to be the shifting landscapes of a truly global and, still, always local Asia. -- Elizabeth Goldberg, Babson Collegeshow more

About Susan J. Henders

Susan J. Henders is associate professor of political science at York University. Lily Cho is associate professor of English at York University.show more

Table of contents

1. Human Rights and the Arts in Global Asia: Conceptualizing Contexts Lily Cho and Susan J. Henders Part I Freedoms and Democracies 2. Love the Future: Ai Weiwei and Art for Human Rights Alice Ming Wai Jim 3. "September": Seeing Religion and Rights in Burma Alicia Turner Part II War and Atrocity 4. Impacts and Legacies of War on Human Rights: Perspectives from Duong Thu Huong's Novel Without a Name Van Nguyen-Marshall 5. Incendiary Material: Ethnicity and the Sri Lankan Civil Conflict in Anil's Ghost and Wilting Laughter Arun Nedra Rodrigo Part III Livelihoods, Place, and Ecologies 6. Literary Lament of a Death Foretold: Tibetan Writers on the Forced Settlement of Herders Francoise Robin 7. Reading Peasant Rights to Livelihood in Umar Kayam's "Sri Sumarah" and Bawuk" Mary M. Young 8. The River, the People and the State(s): Padma Nadir Majhi as a Meditation on Ecology and Human Rights Afsan Chowdhury Part IV Minorities, Nations, States, and Empires 9. Abuse and Its Aftermath: Kim Saryang's "Into the Light," Joy Kogawa's Obasan, and Yuasa Katsue's "Red Dates" Theodore W. Goossen 10. Chasing the Monster: The Representation of Korean Residents in Japan and Human Rights in Oshima Nagisa's Film Death by Hanging Jooyeon Rhee 11. Human Rights and Human Wrongs: Reading Shama Futehally's Reaching Bombay Central and Noor Zaheer's "A Life in Transit" Arun P. Mukherjee 12. Intersectionality, Hybridity, and the Minority Rights Subject: The Macanese of Macau in Literature, Film, and Law Susan J. Henders Part V Migrations, Transnationalisms, Universalisms 13. Human Rights and the Poetics of "Migritude": South Asian Diasporic Spoken Word Sailaja Krishnamurti 14. Universal Rights and Separate Universes: Local/National Identities, Global Power, and the Modeling and Representing of Human Rights in Indonesian Performance Arts Michael Bodden Part VI Afterword 15. Confucius Institutes, Human Rights, and Global Asia Lily Choshow more