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Marking Bodies of Peace: Okinawan Performance Art as Cultural Activism
Wednesday October 2, 2013
Noel Fine Arts Center Room 221
Performance Begins at 7:00 PM
Refreshments at 6:30 PM
Free to the campus and community
 
This evening incorporates dancing, music, and other forms of performance art from the islands of Okinawa, Japan.  The site of one of the bloodiest WWII battles in the Pacific, Okinawa has endured imperial traumas under China, Japan, and the U.S.  Grappling with the ongoing presence of over 50,000 American troops, Okinawans utilize cultural performance to articulate a collective identity that resists war, embraces peace, and strives for sustainability.  The highlight of the night features Sumiko Kitajima (b. 1931), one of the most accredited actresses in Okinawa, in her one woman masterpiece “Hajichi” (hand tattoos).  Sumiko embodies a grandma storyteller who brings to life the theme of female tattooing practices to highlight the complex ethno-religious past of peaceful Okinawa.