Semi-Feurdal Cyber-colonialism

Yes! thank you, Evers and Nordin [of course it is always slightly embarrassing to be posting citations, but the occasional acknowledgement of a phrase I particularly dwelt long on is quite a reward – its from a text from 1999 that was in the Nettime Read Me! Reader (download via the download link in the left column)]

The Symbolic Universe of Cyberjaya, Malaysia
Number of pages: 24 Posted: 10 Jun 2012
Hans-Dieter Evers and Ramli Nordin
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn
Keywords: urban development, urban symbols, identity, knowledge, Malaysia

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the institutionalization of the entire Cyberjaya project is the extent to which it collapses the claims to being multicultural and transnational to a much more familiar pattern of control. Almost all the key decision-makers in the five key agencies – chairmen of boards, chief executives, chief operating officers – are drawn from a very specific social group: a Malay elite that has close ties to the state through bureaucratic arrangements, business contracts and social networks. They represent that generation of Malays who emerged during the NEP era and greatly benefited from Mahathir’s later support for the emergence of ‘modern’, entrepreneurial class. Representative of a highly technocratic managerial style they are, at the same time, rooted in deeply-embedded traditional ties of ethnicity, religion, party politics and personal ties. They are emblematic of what John Hutnyk (1999) calls, in a memorable phrase, ‘semi-feudal cyber-colonialism’.

Restored 18th century Danish tavern to be inaugurated today

[JH comment: now if you were plying the illicit opium trade on behalf of dodgy East India Company officials, you’d also need to stop by the Tavern and deal. I guess]

DanishTavernopenFrom; The Milennium Post

by Nandini Guha | 28 Feb 2018 12:20 AM

Kolkata: An 18th Century Danish tavern that was in ruins, has been finally restored into a 120-seater café and lodge overlooking the Ganges at Serampore, by the Ministry of Tourism and the Government of Denmank. The heritage property will be inaugurated on Wednesday by Indranil Sen, the minister of state for Tourism and several ambassadors representing the Nordic countries. The tavern dates back to 1786. Restoration work was taken up by heritage architect Manish Chakraborti and his team in 2015. “A lot of European vessels used to ply on the river during that time. They used to spend a night in transit at the tavern. When we took over restoration though, it was in ruins. The roof had collapsed and there was debris everywhere. Now the old building has been restored to its old classical beauty,” Chakraborti told Millennium Post. The cost of restoration has been borne by the National Museum of Denmark (Rs 3.5 crore) and the state Tourism Department (Rs 1.5 crore). The Tourism Department is presently looking for an operator to run the café and it is expected that it will be fully operational in a month. “The important thing is that the government is investing in a heritage building that has now been converted into a reusable commercial space. As far as the menu is concerned, the operator has to keep in mind that this is Serampore and not Park Street. The pricing could be similar to cafes like Flury’s or Mrs Magpie. And of course, it will be a boost for the state’s tourism prospects,” added Chakraborti. Chakraborti had earlier won a UNESCO award for restoring the 200 year old St Olaf’s Church in Serampore, again an initiative of the Government of Denmark and the West Bengal government.

Klaus-Peter Koepping

Another obituary, this time in the Quarterly by Thomas Reuter. Time does not reconcile.

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The Quarterly Number 142/September 2017

In Fond Memory of…
Klaus Peter Koepping passed away in Berlin on
17 June, 2017
Prof. Dr. Klaus-Peter Koepping was a German anthropologist, born in Cottbus in 1940 into family with artistic and academic background. At the end of World War II his family was evacuated and eventually resettled in Kassel, and later to Aachen. Koepping developed an early interest in literature, music and foreign cultures. After finishing school in 1959, he began to study Law at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University in Bonn, but also attended lectures on Art History and Japanese Studies, and courses at the Institute for Ancient American Studies and Ethnology, where Hermann Trimborn was among his teachers.

In 1966 Koepping moved to Cologne and studied at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology under Helmut Petri, Enno Beuchelt and others. Koepping deepened his knowledge on Chinese and Japanese culture and went on a study tour to Japan in 1966/67. There he worked as a journalist and collected ethnographic data on modern millenarian movements and nativist religious cults.

In 1969 Koepping moved to the USA and took up an assistant professorship in Fullerton, California, and after completed his PhD thesis in 1971 he was promoted to associated professor.

Koepping moved to Australia in 1972, where he became senior lecturer at the Department for Sociology and Anthropology at the university in Brisbane, Queensland. He lectured and continued his fieldwork in Japan. In 1984 Koepping took up a professorship at the Melbourne University, as the Baldwin Spencer Chair of Anthropology. Apart from lecturing and researching, he was tasked with establishing the School of Asian Studies. Ultimately, however, his lasting legacy at Melbourne was the establishment of a very successful anthropology program. One of the many undergraduate students he trained at Melbourne was IUAES Senior Vice-President, Prof Koepping also held visiting professorships, for example in Aachen and Mainz, reflecting his continuing ties to Germany. In 1991 Koepping took up a professorship, first at the South Asia Institute and later at the newly reopened Institute of Ethnology, both at the University of Heidelberg. In the following years he taught and completed a number of research projects.

Koepping held visiting professorships in Japan until his retirement in 2005. Between 2005 and 2007 Koepping was Visiting Professor at the Goldsmiths College in London, where he lectured in Post-Colonial Studies and the Centre of Cultural Studies with his former student, John Hutnyk. He was also a visiting fellow as part of the international research project »Interweaving Performance Cultures« in 2008/09.
Thomas Reuter
A memorandum of his life and work has been created by one of his daughters, and can be found here.

Robinson Crusoe as a 1947 Soviet film… and a 1980 English [1870s] French operetta.

I want to see this 3D Soviet 1947 adventure version discussed by Eisenstein as the way of the future – (non glasses stereoscopic) – Robinson Crusoe (1947 film) – don’t have much on it but some Wikipedia
— Read on


And then there is also this – Jacques Offenbach (yes, of whom Siegfried Krakauer writes) composed an opera of the Robinson story (opera comique, so operetta, heading towards vaudeville, defence of colonial ways etc) that was rendered into English and performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1980. Need to also find more on this, in particular the rendering of friday. Good grief:

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