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18 SEPTEMBER 2014

To Singapore, with Love: Singaporean political exiles remember

"Some places are better observed from a distance if you want to grasp their inner essence. For this portrait of her hometown, the tropical economic powerhouse of Singapore, Tan Pin Pin decided on a strictly external perspective. She meets with political exiles in London, Thailand, and Malaysia who had to leave the city thirty–five or fifty years ago–and who are to this day not permitted to return unless they die and their relatives bring back their ashes. The protagonists of the film fought for increased democracy and for Singapore to be freed from colonialism. They escaped long prison sentences and judicial capriciousness, but at the price of exile. They have a heightened view of the city today, full of dreams yet also analytical: To Singapore, with Love [星国恋] is a homage to individual fighters whose lives have been shaped by emigration. They tell their stories more as utopians than as victims, opening up amazing perspectives on an ultra–modern city in a democratic coma as well as on life in exile, whose path is never straightforward for those who do not lose sight of their goals, even when far away from home."

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TAGS

2013activist • Asian Cinema Fund • British Colonial Government • Busan International Film Festival • card carrying communist • censorshipcolonialismcommunism • communist party • democratic coma • detention without trial • displaced • documentary film • emigration • English countryside • escape • exile • fled • homagehometown • Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin • judicial capriciousness • life in exile • lives • Malaysia • not permitted to return • political exile • political exiles • political persuasion • prison sentence • Singapore • Singaporean • student leader • Tan Pin Pin • Thailand • To Singapore with Love (2013) • United Kingdom • utopian

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 JANUARY 2010

The Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines

"In the Philippines, the term 'indigenous peoples' is legally defined by Republic Act No. 8371, otherwise known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997. IPRA defined 'indigenous peoples' (IPs) or 'indigenous cultural communities' (ICCs) as:

A group of people or homogenous societies identified by self–ascription and ascription by others, who have continuously lived as organized community on communally bounded and defined territory, and who have, under claims of ownership since time immemorial, occupied, possessed and utilized such territories, sharing common bonds of language, customs, traditions and other distinctive cultural traits, or who have, through resistance to political, social and cultural inroads of colonization, nonindigenous regions and cultures, became historically differentiated from the majority of Filipinos. ICCs/IPs shall likewise include peoples who are regarded as indigenous on account of their descent from the populations which inhabited the country at the time of conquest or colonization, or at the time of inroads of non–indigenous religions and cultures, or the establishment if present state boundaries, who retain some or all of their own social, economic, cultural and political institutions, but who may have been displaced from their traditional domains or who may have resettled outside their ancestral domains (IPRA, Section 3h)."

(Nestor T. Castro)

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TAGS

1997ancestral domainsAsiaAsianbelongingcolonialismculturescustomsethnographic researchethnography • Filipinos • historically differentiated • homogeneous societies • ICC • identity • IFSSO • Indigenous • indigenous cultural communities • Indigenous peopleindigenous peoples • Indigenous Peoples Rights Act • International Federation of Social Science Organisations • IPRA • language • non-indigenous • Pacific Rim • peoples • Philippines • self-ascription • settlementsocietySouth East Asianterritorytraditional domainstraditions

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
03 FEBRUARY 2009

Foundations of European Imperialism?

"In order to understand and expose the underlying global social hierarchy today, it's imperative for researchers to trace back its historical roots. Obviously this is an overwhelmingly daunting task to say the least, for the problem of racism is almost as old as Humanity itself. Therefore, we must at least try to trace it back to a more immediate past in order to comprehend the racist quagmire encompassing the world today. Now we can attest to the fact that Historical Global European Imperialism / Expansionism / Colonialism has had the most impact on reshaping the world in the last several centuries. Clearly, it has had the most influence, by far, in the world of politics, economics, education, commercialism, you name it. Furthermore without European Imperialism, "America" as you currently know it would not exist. In addition to that, had it not been for European Imperialism, White institutional control would not be so globally pervasive."
(changabula, Chinadaily BBS)

[A sensationalist (and somewhat anti–North American) but interesting perspective on the representation of East Asian people in popular media.]

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
29 DECEMBER 2003

Urban Theory: World Systems

"The idea of the world system arises out of neo–Marxist scholarship, particularly the work of Wallerstein [1,2,3]. For Wallerstein, the present world system emerged in the sixteenth century with the discovery by Europeans of the new world. This allowed the population of the European world to expand beyond its carrying capacity through importing resources to supplement those within the existing nations. This set in train a system of dependency and exploitation that led to the colonial expansion and the system of markets and dependencies shaping the world into 'core', semi–peripheral and peripheral nations. The core nations initially dominant were the maritime and later industrial powers of Europe; Britain, the Netherlands, Spain and France. The system was initally built around trade, within which the European powers explored and obtained commodities for sale in Europe. These included spices, silks, and new foods. The dominance of the core was secured through their wealth and their military and naval capacities. With the discovery of new worlds, migration then settlement occurred, firstly, of the Americas and later of Southern Africa and Australia and New Zealand. One of the consequences of this migration was to create what some have called dominion capitalist societies [4]. What characterised this group of countries was their dependency on land–based production. The beef ranches of Argentina and the sheep farms of Australia and New Zealand played a significant role in the chain of food production for the industrialising populations of Europe. A consequence of this particular pattern of production and its orientation to exporting has been a different pattern of urbanisation with cities being built on the coast and serving as entrepôt, transportation and service centres rather than bases for industrial production and attractors of rural domestic populations [5,6,7,8]. In New Zealand, for example, it was not until the post–second–world–war period that the indigenous population shifted from being rural to urban based. In 1945, the distribution was 74 per cent rural and 26 per cent urban. By 1971, this had reversed to 71 per cent urban and 29 per cent rural [9]."

(David C. Thorns, 2002, p. 81)

David C. Thorns (2002). "The Transformation of Cities", Palgrave Macmillan.

[1] Wallerstein, I.M. 1974. The Modern World–System: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World Economy in the Sixteenth Century. New York: Academic Press.
[2] Wallerstein, I.M. 1979. The Capitalist World Economy: Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[3] Wallerstein, I.M. 2000. 'Globalisation or the Age of Transition? A Long–Term View of the Trajectory of the World System'. International Sociology 15, 249–65.
[4] Armstrong, W. 1980. 'Land, Class, Colonialism: The Origins of Dominion Capitalism'. In New Zealand and the World (ed.) W.E. Willmott. Christchurch: University of Canterbury
[5] Mullins, P. 1981. 'Theoretical Perspectives on Australian Urbanisation: Material Components in the Reproduction of Australian Labour Power: Australian and New Zealand journal of Sociology 17, 56–76.
[6] Berry, M. 1983, 'The Australian City in History: Critique and Renewal'. Urban Political Economy: The Australian Case (eds) L. Sandercock and M. Berry. Sydney: George Allen and Unwin.
[7] Berry, M. 1984. 'Urbanisation and Accumulation: Australia's First Long Bom Revisited'. Conflict and Development (ed.) P. Williams. Sydney: George Allen and Unwin.
[8] Denoon, D. 1983. Settler Capitalism: The Dynamics of Dependent Development in the Southern Hemisphere. Oxford: Pergamon.
[9] Thorns, D. and C. Sedgwick. 1997. Understanding Aotearoa. Palmerston North: Dunmore Press.

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TAGS

Aotearoa New ZealandArgentinaAustraliacapitalismcolonialismcommodityCommonwealthDavid C. Thornsdominion • entrepot • EuropeanexploitationFranceglobalisationIndigenousMaorimarketmigrationnationneo-MarxistNetherlands • peripheral • powerproductionruralsettlementSouth AfricaSpaintradetrajectory • transportation • urbanisation • Wallerstein
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