A week of events organized by MEARC, the Clingendael Institute and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


15-23 May 2014


Leiden and The Hague

15 May: Conference: The Chinese Media and Relations with Europe

International conference organized by MEARC, the Clingendael Institute and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs-the Asia Carrousel Initiative. The conference aims to dispel the myth of China as a media monolith.

How is Chinese journalism affected by the recent focus on deepening reform in China and by China’s rise? Do intensified economic change and evolving state-society relations influence media organizations? What does all this talk about change mean for the variety in media practice and the kinds of themes that journalists choose (or are allowed) to address?

Senior Chinese journalists will discuss the fundamentals of media ethics in China, and illustrate the roles and missions of leading Chinese media organizations. They will reflect on the greater visibility of the Chinese media in Europe and elsewhere. European scholars will present their most recent work on Chinese media. Chinese correspondents based in Brussels and other European capitals talk about how they represent Europe to their domestic audiences.

Time: 9.00-17.00 hrs

Venue: Clingendael Institute The Hague

19 May: East Asia: Multiple voices, hidden communities

Symposium organized by MEARC, Leiden University and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event is part of the Asia Carrousel initiative.

The relations between the different states in East Asia have been showing significant tension the last year. North Korea’s position remains problematic and has now been officially accused of crimes against humanity, South Korea and Japan clash over Japan’s treatment of its war past. Foreign policy is habitually informed by analyses from the dimension of the state. This seminar will show a different side of this debate, or rather: different sides. Non-state actors (NOG’s, civilian initiatives, influential intellectuals, businesses, religious groups) also contribute in deciding on the parameters within which the state has the freedom to act. There are abundant examples: the public opinions of (amateur) historians, for instance, play an important role in South Korea; the voices of on Weibo, Chinese Twitter, are heard in the Chinese Politburo; many Japanese religious groups maintain close ties to Japanese politics. These are just a few of the many ‘hidden’ communities that often indirectly and unseen contribute to foreign policy formulations. Some of these exist only temporarily in cyber space. Others are tightly-knit and possess long histories. All try to a greater or lesser extent to have their voices heard.

Time: 11.00-17.00 hrs

Venue: Gravensteen, Room 011 Pieterskerkhof 6 2311 SR Leiden

23 May: From Garbage to Art: Environmental Consciousness in Japan in the Post-Cold War Era

Inaugural workshop of the Research Project “From Garbage to Art: Environmental Consciousness in Japan in the Post-Cold War Era” sponsored by MEARC. It will bring together experts on waste and consumption, environmental issues, visual culture and art history.

The objective of the project is to reconstruct the process of growing environmental awareness in Japan, from the point of its inculcation in the 1990s to the present day. The project rests on two pillars: 1) the exploration of popular attitudes towards environment, recycling, and energy conservation; and 2) the study of cultural articulation of the newly emerging consciousness in visual arts. On the one hand, it will examine mundane practices such as garbage collection and recycling programs, which have developed across Japan since the 1990s, and the popular attitudes towards these practices voiced in the media. On the other hand, it will study the processes of artistic recycling and/or artistic production revealing high sensitivity to the critical realities of the post-Bubble, post-industrial and post-development era in Japan in an attempt to challenge the popular image of intellectual and social flatness of contemporary culture in Japan driven by the global consumerist agenda.

Time: 9.30-17.00 hrs

Venue: Sterrewacht, Kaiserstraat 63 2311 GP Leiden