2019 End of Year Message

  May I begin this note by informing you of the recently published book, In Plain Sight: Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict (Zubaan, New Delhi, 2019) ed.by G. Zipfel, R. Muhlhauser and K. Campbell. This is the result of a collaborative research project “Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict” based in Hamburg. It is now available through Amazon. I believe it could be very useful as a reference text for university courses such as gender studies, sociology and international law, and for people working for NPOs in the field of prevention of military violence. 

Below is a brief description of the contents of the book:
Although it is now well-known how pervasive sexual violence is in situations of war and peace, not enough has been done to work towards its prevention. Compiled by the international research group Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict, this volume takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding wartime sexual violence. Its inquiry employs four key relationships: war and power, violence and sexuality, gender and engendering, and visibility and invisibility. Within these subjects, the authors identify gaps in existing knowledge to develop a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the field. Through essays, reflections, and conversations, they show how such violence is polymorphic and heterogenous. Women’s activism and research, according to them, has done a great deal to draw attention to sexual violence, showing how it is man-made and is structured by cultural, social, and historical conditions. Together, the contributors make a powerful argument for urgency in addressing this major issue across the world by listening to the voices of women on the ground.
  This year we saw many groups of young people in various parts of the world strongly demanding that politicians seriously tackle the issue of precipitously dangerous global warming. I sincerely hope that this new momentum may lead to a global movement calling for fundamental social change to the present state of chaotic political and social disorder – that Zygmunt Bauman referred to as “liquid modernity.”   
  To this end, I would like to draw your attention to some things I hope will bring you peace and enjoyment. The first is a cartoon entitled “Angels and Humans” by Michael Leunig, my favorite Australian cartoonist and poet. To me, this simple, but succinct illustration, which contrasts “angels holding leaves and flowers ”versus “smartphone zombies” – vividly symbolizes “liquid modernity.”

  I have also chosen four pieces of music. All praise “nature,” in particular “trees and leaves” and “birds.”

1) Ombra mai fu composed by George Handel

  This is the opening aria from the opera Serse (or Xerxes) composed by Handel in 1738. The melody for the second part of the lyrics is so exquisite that it is frequently sung on its own or alternatively performed without voice, simply by instruments such as violin, cello, piano or string ensembles, often under the title "Largo from Xerxes."
Ombra mai fu
Frondi tenere e belle               Tender and beautiful fronds
del mio platano amato
              of my beloved plane tree,
per voi risplenda il fato.
              let Fate smile upon you.
Tuoni, lampi, e procelle              May thunder, lightning, and storms
non v'oltraggino mai la cara pace,
       never disturb your dear peace,
né giunga a profanarvi austro rapace.
   nor may you by blowing winds be profaned.

Ombra mai fu
                     Never was a shade
di vegetabile,
                     of any plant
cara ed amabile,
                 dearer and more lovely,
soave più.
                     or more sweet.
Sung by Christopher Lowrey, an American countertenor, who holds degrees with distinction from Brown University, St John's College, Cambridge, and the Royal College of Music International Opera School.

Played by Cellis, Stjepan Hauser (Croatian)

2) L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato ("The Cheerful, the Thoughtful, and the Moderate Man") composed by Handel  
  Handel asked James Harris, one of his admirers, to blend John Milton’s two complementary poems, L'Allegro (which means "the happy man" in Italian) and Il Penseroso ("the melancholy man") to create dramatic dialogues between the two characters. Using these combined poems, Handel composed a series of vignettes celebrating the English pastoral landscape. One piece from the series is an aria entitled “sweet bird, ” in which the singing nightingale is beautifully imitated by a baroque flute and a soprano voice.
  The baroque flautist is Emi Ferguson, who was born in Japan, and studied at the Julliard School of Music. While studying music, she also specialized in the study of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public
Health - a unique combination of study!
 The soprano singer is Amanda Forsythe, who was born in New York city and initially studied marine biology but graduated with a degree in music at Vassar College - another interesting combination.

3) Nightingale – a Chinese style nightingale song composed by Yanni.
Yanni (Yiannis Chryssomallis) is a Greek “New Age Songs” composer, pianist and keyboardist. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in psychology, but vigorously pursued a career as a musician and made a breakthrough in the late 1980s. Since then, he has been immensely popular throughout the world and has held concerts in more than 30 countries so far. The flautist, Pedro Eustache, is a Venezuelan-born, solo flautist, who performs on various traditional flutes from different ethnic groups across the world in the most beautiful manner.

4) Tsuru no Sugomori (The Nesting Crane)
By Yorita Mamino (Shakuhachi)
This is a classic piece of shakuhachi music that imitates the singing of cranes. Yorita began learning shakuhachi at the age of 8, and in 2013 graduated from the Tokyo National University of Fine Art & Music, majoring in shakuhachi. She is now one of a very small group of female shakuhachi grand-master players in Japan. This performance was conducted at the Miho Museum, a magnificent building designed by the world-renowned architect, I.M. Pei, in the mountains of Shiga Prefecture.


  最初に、私自身も寄稿している本の宣伝をさせていただきます。私が所属する「武力紛争時における性暴力」研究チーム(ハンブルグ社会研究所の資金援助によるプロジェクト)が、今年10月末に、これまでの研究成果を纏めた編集本を出版しました。題名は In Plain Sight: Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict (Zubaan Publishers, New Delhi, 2019) ed. By G.Zipfel, R.Muhlehauser, K.Campbell です。「武力紛争時における性暴力」を様々な観点から、私たち研究メンバー25名が分析した研究報告です。英語ですが、大学でのフェミニズム問題関連の講座や、性暴力問題で活動しているNPOのような団体にはとても役にたつ出版物だと思います。アマゾンで購入可能です。情報を拡散していただければ光栄です。



1)Ombra mai fuオンブラ・マイ・フ」




2)「可愛い鳥」L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato快活、思慮深く穏健な人」から)
  ヘンデルは、有名なイギリスの詩人、ジョン・ミルトンによる二つの別々の詩L’Allegro(快活な人)とil Penseroso「沈思の人」を、音楽にも造詣の深い知識人でヘンデルを尊敬していたジェームズ・ハリスに、対照的になるように組み合わせてもらい、その編詩を使って作曲しました。その中の一曲がこの「可愛い鳥」です。イギリスの牧歌的な田舎でナイチンゲールが可愛い声で鳴いている様子が、バロック・フリュートとソプラノの歌でひじょうに美しく表現されています。

  この曲はギリシャ生まれのニュー・エイジ・ソング作曲家でピアニストのヤニー(本名Yiannis Chryssomallis)の作曲による、中国スタイルのナイチンゲールです。彼は、幼少の頃から音楽的才能を発揮しましたが、水泳も得意で、14歳の時に50メートル自由形でギリシャ国内記録を作りました。大学は米国ミネソタ大学で心理学を専攻。卒業後、音楽家として活動しはじめ、1980年代末から1990年代初めにかけて世界的に大ブレーク。その後これまで30カ国以上、世界各地で演奏会を開いてきました。今年は「海」をテーマにした「Into the Deep Blue (紺碧の海深く)」というアルバムを出しました。