Friday, December 9, 2011

Mizuans- Photo-journalism and Identity 水案ーフォトジャーナリズムとアイデンティティについて

A continuation from last post-
Mizuans are guest speakers who come on board to do lectures about various topics, usually topics related to the place we are approaching. Introducing us to things and insights we would otherwise may have not come across, I learned and started thinking about so many things.



Naomi Toyoda, is a photographer and a photo journalist ( I went to several of his lectures. From my diary-
I went to Toyoda Naomi’s lecture on Iraqi war- The photos of civilians and mothers and children particularly were powerful, as really, they were the victims while America was putting a show of ‘releasing the Iraqi public from Saddam Hussein’ while in reality none of them wanted that. 

豊田直巳さんは、写真家でありフォトジャーナリスト。( 講義は何回か行けた。日記から:

アメリカ軍とイギリス軍による空爆が続いた毎日、市民の中に 多くの犠牲者がでた
Civilian casualties increased day after day due to the air strikes by U.S. and British forces. 
more photos here:

On another day, I went to Toyoda-san’s lecture on Palestine. It was very interesting to connect the religion class I had taken in Montreal to what is happening now, and also more importantly, what is happening to people’s lives. When he put it in the way he did- Israel only being called so by Israelis and the other countries versus it being Palestine to the surrounding areas and yet Palestinians being unable to return to their home land really made my heart ache.
The rights of people are not valued equally or fairly, and it is too much that this has been going on for 40+ years. I also learned how even more complicated it must be for these people, living in Palestine and being Christian or living in Lebanon as a Palestine refugee and being categorized as Arab as he/she speaks Arabic…


South Lebanon- An elderly person at the Refugee Camp
learn more at:

Your life and destiny is determined so strongly by where, when and in what environment you are born into. I ask myself, as someone who has been lucky with that.. what can i do to help? 


Adel is a half Libyan half Japanese Mizuan. He grew up in Libya, worked for Peace Boat, and is now attending University in Japan. He lectured together with a Jordanian woman Rahma the Arabic countries, its culture and language etc. Among many things, he talked about identity, which I related strongly to. From diary:
 I got my answer on identity from Adel and related very much. I liked the way he formed it as having 4 selves- a Japanese self, Lebanese self, Muslim self, and the real Adel. I could really relate to having multiple different identities that make up a person and maybe for me that would be the Japanese self, Swedish self, the international self, teacher self and Monica self. There are so many, but they are all real me. 


Missing Identity Painting - Missing Identity Fine Art Print - AnAngelia Thompson

We also had an interesting discussion on gender and perception of what women should wear in different areas of the world. Someone brought up western and Arab women feeling bad for the other end- poor women on the other side for 1. Having to cover up and 2. Having to show so much skin. I had never considered it that way and I found it very interesting. Adel also brought up a great point that with internet and universal access of information, these trends may also change a lot.


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