Thursday, March 17, 2016

"Prize for photo of man standing on beached whale revoked following backlash"

Photo and text borrowed from The Japan Times, 3/16/16.

A photo of a man posing atop a beached and seemingly dead whale won a photography award before triggering a backlash that ended with the prize being revoked, the contest’s organizer said Wednesday.

The Okhotsk Sea Ice Museum in Hokkaido awarded the Hokkaido Governor Award as first prize this month to the photo titled “Conquest,” taken by a man from Kitami, Hokkaido.

But the picture drew criticism on the Internet, with a post saying it was “blasphemy against nature,” which led the photographer to offer to return the prize Tuesday.

The man in the photo was celebrating from his place atop the small whale.

One judge in her review said, “It can be said the young man succeeded in accomplishing a rarely-seen feat,” seemingly praising the man for climbing the whale.

The photo was selected from among 118 works submitted by 62 people across the country. The contest featured the theme “Four Seasons in Okhotsk.”

“We consider the cause (of the backlash) to be our lack of care and awareness about nature and the environment, even though we are an institution that studies them,” Shuhei Takahashi, director of the museum, said. “We are reflecting on that seriously.”


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

ANNOUNCEMENT - Visual Documentary Project 2015: Human Flows - "Movement in Southeast Asia"

About the project:

Southeast Asia is rich in its diversity of ethnic, religious and cultural composition. The region has maintained the coexistence of such diversity while at the same time achieving economic progress and becoming a hub for the flow of people, goods, money and information. Yet at present, the region is also confronted with serious issues such as the decrease of biodiversity and tropical forests, disasters, pandemics, aging population, ethnic and religious conflicts, economic differentiation and poverty.

In the face of this, how is coexistence and sustainability possible despite the diversity that exists? How can we make public resources out of the region’ s social foundations which are the basis of people’ s everyday lives? And, how can we connect these in a complementary way to existing systems of governance towards solving the problems and issues mentioned above?

In order to address these questions in the context of Southeast Asia, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University has initiated this “Visual Documentary project” which explicitly examines the contours of their everyday lives through a visual approach since 2012. This project aims to use visual forms of expression to complement the growing literature that exists on Southeast Asian societies. From 2014, the Japan Foundation Asia Center joins this project as co-organizer to help widely promote the richness of Southeast Asian cultures to people in Japan. As of 2015, the project has linked up with numerous film schools in the region to help strengthen the documentary filmmaking network.

Human Flows - Movement in Southeast Asia -

Movement is a fundamental reality of human societies. In Southeast Asia how does it influence individuals, families, communities and nations? What journeys do people take as they move within, across and out of the region? What are their reasons to move and what stories do they have to tell? What experiences define movement in the region? And how will the region’s governments manage flows on the eve of the birth of ASEAN Economic Community?

Film Screening

Date & Time: March 23, 2016 13:30-18:00 (DOORS OPEN: 13:00)
Venue: Kyoto University International Science Innovation Building Symposium Hall
Language: Japanese / English Translation
Organizer: Center for Southeast Asia Studies
Co-organizer: Japan Foundation Asia Center

Date & Time: March 25th, 2016 13:30-18:00 (DOORS OPEN: 13:00) Admission Free , No Reservation Required
Language: Japanese / English Translation
Organizer: The Japan Foundation Asia Center
Co-organizer: Center for Southeast Asia Studies

For more information: