HILD 12 Individual Medium posts

Post 1

How might paying attention to sound/soundscapes help us think about all of the ways that capitalism destroys our relationships to each other, as well as about how people continue to form new relationships with each other? Think about this question by engaging Goffe’s concept of extra-coloniality. How might our understanding of Honolulu’s Chinatown change if we engaged this question of sound?

First, we have to flash back the history of that era. It was the time when capitalism was expanding from Europe to the rest of the world, including America, Africa, and Asia. By definition, capitalism is an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. A lot of Asians were “exported” overseas in the era of capitalism. In Jamaica, Chinese settlers originally had the same economic and political powers as local Jamaicans, as they both worked for British plantation owners and colonists. However, the British master narrative stated the Chinese immigrants as the model minority, as industrious and conscientious type, leading to elicit the conflict between Chinese and Jamaican people.

With the increasing wealth of Chinese settlers and the expanding population of Chinese merchants, Chinese in Jamaica had an upgrade in the term of social class and formed a middle class between British colonists and native Jamaicans. The large number of retail shops opened by Chinese across the island became a place of “sanctuary” for immigrants to take a break from oppression from the upper class of the society. In these “sanctuaries”, people sang and danced to release their pressure and developed Jamaica’s unique music over the 1950s. With contributions from Chinese Jamaican and Afro-Chinese Jamaican producers and musicians, the soundscapes and the music that came from the local musical scene were established, like Reggae.

Post 2

What each of the groups of people that we have discussed thus far share, is being treated with suspicion due to their societal treatment as somehow not fully belonging (here, I am talking about the Chinese in Honolulu, Koreans in Befu, and Okinawans on the battlefront). We have also seen how these people fought back at times, and at others, simply tried to carve out other socialities to survive and to live out their own ideas of abundance. We have not yet discussed place-making in terms of the creation of art, of music, of literature, etc. What place do you think that these things, which we might put together as “cultural productions,” has in analyses of the eruption of political struggle? Your observations do not have to be based on research, per se. Think about how art, music, literature, and other cultural productions have shifted your own understanding of belonging, of community, and of the kind of world you want to bring into being, in meaningful ways.

Cultural productions, including art, music, literature, have played an important role in placemaking, especially in the aspect of political struggles. I truly think that cultural productions allow ideologies to be carried on not only from one individual to another but also from one generation to another, keeping people alive physically and morally even if acts of active suppression try to prevent that from happening. This inheritance could be different for different groups of people, such as an acient Greek sculpture and an two thousand years old poem. In many of the cases we’ve discussed so far in class, under the oppression of racial capitalism and imperialism, people were forced change their traditional lives and means of production. In these struggles, people often find ways to present their histories and present through cultural productions.

One example is Okinawa soldiers. In the case of Okinawa soldiers that we have read, most of the information can not be spread fast. What makes Okinawa soldiers’ music make their marks is their incomparable beauty and catchy taste. Along with their spreading, the powerful beliefs in these cultural productions influenced one person after another who hears or sees them. The example of Okinawan soldiers particularly shows a setting in which music becomes a means for keeping alive a culture in a way that is impracticable to completely suppress. Verbal music can become a way to not only sustain political ideas, but to advertise them to others. In this way, all efforts to make a small difference after another can develop people’s minds and encourage resistance to the expression.

In my experience, literatures affected me more than anything. Reading an old book is like taking with the author who lived hundreds of years ago. Through those literatures, I can learn how to interact and communicate with others and develop myself. Like Bible says, “there is nothing new under the sun.” You can always find answers in ancestors’ work. People who read the same bundle of the books will form their own community based on their similar thoughts and way of treating others rather than race or age. This community could share the same language, the same culture, or the same religion. They would fight alongside with what they all believe. For instance, Jewish people kept their culture and language through the Hebrew Bible. Even after thousands of years, they still unite together.