Samizdat: Underground Resistance Made Public

Samizdat means “self-published.” A Russian term, it refers to any underground publication banned during Communist rule in the USSR and Soviet bloc. It includes essays, books, art, poems – whether original or copied, it was all illegal. Yesterday I attended the opening of Samizdat: The Czech Art of Resistance 1968-1989 at the Embassy of the … Continue reading

Tweets Re: North Korean Gulags

Thank you to everyone who followed along yesterday with my live tweets from the Hidden Gulag conference here in DC. It was a really fascinating event, and as you could probably tell I tried to capture as much as possible on Twitter. Before I post any further thoughts and resources, I wanted to give you … Continue reading

Human Rights in China: An Interview with the Laogai Museum’s Harry Wu

I recently visited the Laogai Museum and wrote a bit about it for We Love DC. In the process I also spoke with the museum’s director Harry Wu. Wu is a survivor of the Laogai prisons – a forced labor system in China to which he was sentenced for political crimes. After moving to the … Continue reading

Let the Little Sparrows Die

It is freezing in DC right now, and I spent the afternoon yesterday watching rain turn to snow from the cafe where I was working. Rain, then sleet actually, then slush, then snow. I was finishing the outline for one last final go at the screenplay I’m adapting from Hungarian playwright Andras Visky’s Juliet. It … Continue reading

Comrades in Twin Beds

Ricky and Lucy might have been quite the scandal for showing bedroom scenes on television, but a decade or two later, they were laughable. Two people sleeping in separate beds. HA! Well, time must be cyclical because here we are, a bunch of Lucys and Rickys. Thanks to claustrophobia, a decent amount of selfishness, and … Continue reading

The Real Football and North Korea

It is always strange for me to see North Koreans compete at high-profile events like the World Cup. It seems out of place: the most brutal dictatorship on earth taking part in fun and games. Something doesn’t seem right about it, like stories about children raised by wolves. They often seem to get there, though, be … Continue reading

Black April and the Anniversary of Boat People

Exactly 35 years ago today, Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese Army, and the Vietnam War came to a chilling halt. In Vietnam, today is a national holiday called Reunification Day. But refugees refer to this week as Black April. After the takeover of South Vietnam, the Vietnamese government sent dissidents to “re-education camps,” where … Continue reading

Acorns and the Marginalized

My dog loves eating acorns. But he also loves eating sticks and poop, so I’ve never given it much concern. Nor should I. Acorns are the stuff of life! For many centuries they have been a staple in Native-American diets, and with proper preparation, they can be a tasty and nutritional source of protein. Even … Continue reading

Spotlight on: Mia’s Children

Mia’s Children is an organization reaching out to marginalized youth in Bucharest, Romania. Since 1998, they have provided food, education, counseling, spiritual guidance and much more to over 75 children who have come through their doors, from infants to high school age.The children learn art, music, sports, and language to ensure that they are able … Continue reading

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