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"What do 'DIO' Creators and Heterotopic Spaces Want?: Toward an Anthropology of Assembly in Hyogo and Haenam (Genoa and Detroit)" with Andrea Arai
WhenFriday, Mar 2, 2018, 12 – 1:30 p.m.
Campus locationDenny Hall (DEN)
Campus room313
Event typesAcademics, Lectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsSponsored by the Department of Anthropology

This lecture focuses on the vacant spaces problem in regional and countryside areas in Japan and South Korea, and on the revaluing, rebuilding and re-inhabiting of these spaces by (late 1990s) recessionary generation urban “migrants.” Examples include: an anchor of public culture local cinema slated for destruction, DIO crowdfunded and rebuilt as hub of free film education, international viewing and events; vacated school buildings rebuilt by migrant artists as sites for art education, workshops and reimagining connection and community; vacated old homes restored as guest houses that sponsor re-learning, reviving and adding to local craft traditions; vegetable container hand built cafes that serve as meeting places across generations and generational time; the DIO created “beautiful world” village and activist center in the southwest of Korea and many more.

Engaging with movement and material practices in various locations, the resonances between vacant spaces (akiya) in Japan, “grey spaces” in Detroit, “creative urbanity” in Genoa are considered. Questions of the possibilities of the “political entrepreneur” and “the migrant” across socio-historical contexts and the potential problems for heterotopic spaces and assembly of the commodification of resistance and re-management and containment strategies of local governments are discussed.

Andrea Gevurtz Arai teaches anthropology and society courses in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. She is the author of The Strange Child: Education and the Psychology of Patriotism in Recessionary Japan (SUP, 2016); co-editor of Spaces of Possibility: In, Between and Beyond Korea and Japan (UW Pres, 2016); and co-editor of Global Futures in East Asia (SUP, 2014). Arai is currently working on several projects that focuse on heterotopic spaces, DIY livelihoods, and “U-Turn/I-Turn” migration in Japan and Korea (and parallels in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere).

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