tv Book Discussion CSPAN August 23, 2014 11:19am-12:04pm EDT
>> guest: is emotional? >> host: >> guest: people deny the reality of what happened. there will always be a spin to history. >> host: if they remembered differently. >> guest: they have to present the information. i am always going to take supposition, subjected to what i saw. and the documentary is more important, to complete the picture. >> host: anyone who goes to revolution, our big exhibit downstairs, will see that one of the deep beliefs we had about building that exhibit is every image had to have a captions that told some his story. it needed to say what the image was and why it was important. one of the things i was delighted about when i saw the exhibit were those wonderful captions you had written for
picture after picture. when did you commit to that? it wasn't very easy to do a lot less than you did and there's a lot of history is there. >> guest: it took a year to write those because i am not a writer. but once i wrote them originally for the russian exhibition, because the curators there, we are russian, we read, i read tolstoy, i kind of started the ball rolling. i did an oral thing first and worked on it and got her a set of captions and said that wasn't true. the bose was packed, with people reading captions and they got upset because they were not leaving my boots. so i started it. when i got the book contract from simon and schuster, and
have to write this. ends to go deep on it. and finding out things that are different especially with technical stuff. >> was a hard thing to do. >> host: reaction around the rest of the world. what has it been? >> guest: a lot of 20 somethings really excited. that didn't expect this. even in boston there was a young man from sudan who said hug me and a lot of entrepreneur, we see these talks that you were in the romance of this stuff and it made it real for them. young people come, they i take people and they don't know who -- they don't know their own history, engineers who are brilliant and don't know their
history. they don't know what happened. they are excited to connect the dots and sees that it mattered, they're building on the shoulders of giants like people in the 80s were building on the shoulders of all that came before returning. >> host: they find history to be relevant. >> guest: that is the most astonishing reactor 9 getting. of lot of people i have talked to over the years say that is really cool. who cares? forget your stupid project and turned to the next generation. we are putting our money in india and china to buy the next deal and that is a true thing. they don't want to look back. you just have to study the past. >> host: it is an interesting
point. you started to talk about this and i would like to explore this a little more. you have this conviction that you are not simply talking about all these events that happened from 15 to 30 years ago. you are talking about things that are relevant today. how are you in putting that message and why do you believe it so deeply? >> guest: job creation, it is not the job of silicon valley to create jobs but we have to do something, there are millions of people who won't get jobs again. they're developing double bottom line businesses that are sustainable. it is not this rocket ship ride and they think about employees, when david packard and pulitzer did their company and these older companies started to begin. they are part of the fabric of the community. they supported fire, police, it was a relationship between the employees to the world they
lived in and then of course with start ups and apps everything is about creating efficiencies so it is hard to justify, i don't know the answer to is that. the other piece of this is the absolute obsession and passion i saw in those days, that is relevant and all the stuff that is coming, nothing is scale yet. nothing is scale. nothing has -- it is all down and exciting. i was in the same time and place. if you don't have people who have an obsession and passion or support them with long-term money, if you're not crazy investor like a crazy inventor you don't make a breakthrough. if you fall off, that has got to be done. maybe there needs to be more government incentive so there's less risk but this is why i see it as a light to is a future
because i met this young entrepreneur playing out here and said tell me about your apps. is this the most exciting thing in your life? does this define you? she looks at me like no. i am just going to make money and go to bali and see about that and that is very common. you need to walk for the fire. a lot of young entrepreneurs can walk away. they don't have the commitment level to live with their parents now. the kids in thes and 90s, it is not a horrible thing in brazil and italy that is normal. i just feel like the kids, the stakes were higher. these were middle-class kids who went to middle-class high school is in middle-class america and were smart enough to get into stanford and mit and started these companies and they had the american value of use it up,
they didn't feel they could go back home easily. they felt they had to succeed or die trying. there is underlying values we can learn and bring back as well. i am excited because most of my career is about the culture and going into other cultures and i am happy to see the world scale up around this technology as it did but now we come back to the u.s. and if you look hard at stuff, will we ever grow an economy if we are not creating stuff that is sustainable and jobs? i don't know. >> host: what do you hope people will take away from the show? >> guest: an interesting history and think of the lessons. probably anyone in this room could tell me what lessons were more important than what i am bringing because you don't want to repeat if you can avoid it but i believe that passion is the key and it is intangible, you can't put it in a business
plan. that is not really the case today as much because it is all about what is the idea that will scale faster as an apps? >> host: used a incredibly busy with the other work you are doing. every time i talk to you are shooting for vanity fair or forbes or fortune or someone exciting. how much of the ongoing work of trying to digitize and curate and extract more from this project are you able to do? how much do you want to do? >> guest: my dream is to create a platform with this that can be a new model. photographers are struggling now. the digital technology invented by my friends destroyed the trade package of my industry. we need a new model land if you have a good story, you can create a book, a film, an education program, traveling and submission. my dream is to get funding and
create partnerships and growth this into something that becomes almost a movement about this idealism and the values i am talking about and go on board with it because you can have fearless geniuses from education and politics and sports or whatever. it is about being bold and going after tough ideas and taking risks. that is the core of this community, this culture and that is exciting because life is short. >> host: this hour has flown by, thank you. we are so happy to have you here and your project is brilliant and we want you to sign a million books in the next hour. thank you, everybody. [applause] >> here is a look at the best-selling nonfiction books according to the wall street journal. at the top of the list is america, which questions the future stability of the united
states. scholastic titles 9 craft, redstone handbook and mine craft essential hand book following second and third. fourth on the list is strengthfind a 2.0 and fifth is sarah young's jesus calling. retired neurosurgeon ben carson is next with his take on several issues facing the country in one nation. you can watch dr. ben carson discuss his book with chuck todd this weekend on afterwards. check our web site for specific airtime is. the first family detail by ronald kessler is seventh looking at the lives of u.s. presidents for information provided by their secret service agents. in the kingdom of ice, a look at the 1879 u.s. naval expedition to the north pole. ninth is for secretary of state hillary clinton with her memoir hard joyces and wrapping up the list is blood feud, an examination of the personal and political relationships between the clintons and the obamas. that is a look at this month's
list of nonfiction bestsellers according to the wall street journal. >> of next, hisham aidi looks at the connection between music and political activism in the muslim world. this program from the chicago tribune lit fest is 45 minutes. >> i am the editor of several books and this is the professor of creative writing at columbia college chicago in the south loop and i am here to have a conversation with hisham aidi was born in morocco to an arabic speaking family and is currently a lecturer of international relations and political economy at columbia school of international public affairs and also a fellow at columbia center for contemporary black history where he could directed the university's second muslims in
new york project and serves as fellow of the open society foundation in new york. received his ph.d. from columbia university in political science and taught at the david driscoll's center for the study of the african diaspora at the university of maryland. he worked as a journalist contributing to various magazines including color lines, the new african middle east report in al-jazeera and has written regularly for the w. e. b. doughboys -- w. e. b. du bois center and has authored the recently released rebel music race, and higher and the new muslim youth culture which we are here to discuss today. i would like to begin this afternoon by asking you why you chose music as a lens to explore
the muslim diaspora in the so-called war on terrorism. >> good question. when you are looking at music, it is an important first cut, good way to approach the way youth declare their identity and politics through music and so on. but particularly for muslim youth i thought it would be an interesting way to approach muslim youth movements given there is a debate within the muslim community on the premise ability of music and with their music is -- should be embraced or not. another reason is i am interested in -- one of the arguments i make, turned on to the cultures of freedom of the african diaspora. muslim youth movements drawing on the deep wells, one of the ways they learn about black
radicalism is through music. and what they learn about marcus garvey through hip-hop and malcolm x, so it is an important way to disseminate, a final reason for music is it emerges as a way that government using music to moderate, integrate use movements. and the promise ability of music so you have states such as france regulating hip-hop and the u.s. using music for diplomacy and states trying to to use music as a way to back more liberal forms of islam. >> host: the book begins in latin america. talking about muslims and south
america in brazil, and in contrast to the europe of north america i wonder if you could speak about the latin american connections and the current interest in places like brazil of middle eastern and north african culture and what in academic terms we could call the intersection of orientalism and tropicalizati tropicalization. >> guest: one reason i began in latin america, the countries in mexico and brazil, the discourse browned muslims is quite different in south america than north america or europe and the experience of muslims and muslim communities, different from europe. you mentioned the introduction that worked briefly with the open society foundation which
has a project in europe called at home in europe some muslim communities in europe, immigrant communities but particularly interested in muslims and they look at a number of variables, indices to s s so they look at policies that discriminate state policies, dress codes, mosques and so on, they look at media representation, is enough of a right-wing movements and you tend to have all three in western europe. so i disinterested, as a muslim youth growing up in marseille, you're dealing with hostile state policies, surveillance and so on, and where do you go, what is your community, where do you belong to? what is striking is you don't have these factors.
in south america you don't have hostility toward muslims or policies of persecution or negative media representations. what was curious to me is every conference i go to on muslims in the west and so on i say we should broaden our perspective outside europe and america and look at south america. muslims are relatively comfortable. i am not romanticizing latin america. i am fully aware that america--latin america is the most unequal region in america. but something is different. >> host: why would you say that is? >> guest: the first saying is empire. latin america, the most conquering and invading country, africa and the middle east and so on and let america left this moment. and so this is all contingent. it could change, right leaning
governments come into power and so on and they have to find themselves against war on terror policy refusing to partaking war on terror policy. so the cultural side effect of this policy, i look at brazil and they would make it sort of a central political position stating solidarity to the muslim communities protecting them from war on terror policies, refusing when donald rumsfeld said he wanted to create a region wyatt patriot act and so on and refused so on one hand you have the government adopted the position of solidarity, cultural diplomacy that stresses brazil's ties to africa and asia and this whole idea is that brazil is rooted in portugal, this other idea. en this leaves pop cultural consequences, you begin to get
this pop oriental -- you begin to get an interest partly because of the law in 2003 mandating the teaching of black history in brazil, that would lead to the brazilian movements to look at the history of brazil particularly an interest in 1835, one of the greatest in the new world and largely muslim led. the revolt doesn't succeed the repercussions are incredible in fact it would unnerve europeans and americans, precip award. they are wondering about jihad in the south atlantic and i was curious, last summer i came across this group, a hip-hop collective that tries to use music to build a new identity,
trying to retrieve the history, most fascinating about this group is the lead person in this organization told me i received my political education through american music and american hip-hop, is exposed to black international land from the age of 14, i read the autobiography of malcolm x and i was 21 and he came back and said this organization is now lobbying of the brazilian government for concessions to recognize black history month and so on. so i start in latin america. >> host: in contrast, one of the things that showed up, the research they did around state-sponsored sufism and in particular largely in europe and
in parts of the u.s. and britain and pakistan and morocco and algeria. i wonder if you can speak a little bit about this idea of supporting sufism as it relates to hip-hop and other forms of music and why the state would engage in a specific sector of islam. >> this idea of being more liberal, moderate and compatible with modernity, is a longstanding colonial idea of the nineteenth century and you had the debate in the early cold war as the u.s. was expanding to the middle east and south asia and so on, particularly european scholars would bring that tradition and come to america and argue the u.s. to promote democracy should promote sufism referring, the mystical branch of islam so as a way to counter
some of the more political reformist movements, it is indigenous and more tolerant and less rigid so this was a debate in the 50s and 60s and as we all know the promoters of sufi is a lost and the debate and the policy was to support political islam as a way to counter communism and socialism. after 9/11 in the years after 2001 the debate surfaces again. a few anthony hill conservatives making the argument we should support sufis and so the rand corp. introduces a study, the nixon center releases a study and you get a number of government sponsored studies that talk about the need to support and create this agreement and stir up the agreement between political islam that sufism is an exploitable fissure in the islamic world and in 2003 the pentagon launches this program,
$1.3 billion program called muslim world out >> reporter: at, quote, reform is long from within and this meant supporting what where deemed moderate groups and organizations and they were largely sufi organizations. if you promote democracy they can counter hegemony of the other movement and what is curious is music emerges as a quick way to distinguish so the u.s. would send clerics to britain and the british sue the council to counter the more conservative british muslim council and the hole sponsoring the effect of music festivals and the way to disseminate sufi ideas and practices against the u.s. and britain and pakistan.
hosni mubarak would sign on to this program, sufi council would set up other governments, ethiopia, a doll, algeria, chechnya, the russians would promote it as a way to contain islamism. then you get push back in the transnational muslim youth scene and this debate is rooted in a broader debate to the roots of extremist violence, political violence directed against the u.s. so you have on the one hand the realists, left meaning people say the violence is a response to policy, the blow back argument and the solution is entrenchment, the u.s. should pull out to avoid being targeted. on the other hand, neoconservatism and others argue that extremist violence is not a response to u.s. policy.
in grows out of a particular ideology and a narrative. said you had to have a diplomatic initiative in place after 2003 to counter or dismantle that narrative and part was promoting sufism and music and muslim hip-hop and so on. >> >> it plays in places like france and the idea of regulating hip-hop music, sponsoring of certain styles of hip-hop over others, certain messages that come out of various hip-hop groups and how that strange intermingling of the state in a place like france or a large african muslim population. >> hip-hop is the dominant youth
culture around the world, and in the 90s the relationship between have pot and islam goes to the 70s, groups like africa in the 70s begin drawing on nations of islam teachings and then you have various groups to influence hip-hop, 5%, nation of islam and what happened in the 90s is you have the aleutians broadcast globally and what that does is two things, it exposes use the around the world to islam particular african-american islam. so you have kids oversees, kids in the u.s. to gain in interest and become muslims through their exposure in a the music. at the same time what hip-hop does is broadcast black history around the world. i think the relationship between have popped is similar to the
70s. away reggae in particular would disseminate rastafarianism around world and the number of people who embrace it. hip-hop does the same thing so exposing kids to black history and islam, that was the relationship in the 90s and after 2001 it becomes more political, governments take an interest and our idea that the critical the episode was when john walker lindh from northern california, was sent behind enemy lines in october of 2002, how did this happen? all sorts of studies to explain how this kid ended up with a beard behind enemy lines. the critical moment was at the age of 12 his mother took him to see malcolm x and he read the autobiography of malcolm x and started listening to have hot
and this triggered his journey towards, quote, radicalism. after that, you start getting but british government and american policy makers talking about the centrality of hip-hop and malcolm x to muslim use politics and the need for moderate hip-hop and moderate interpretation of malcolm x. that is when government starts to intervene. the french government has been intervening in hip-hop for 20 years. in 1995, basically americanization, and pass a law in 1995, restricting american hip-hop that could be played on french air waves. the u.s. has generally been more laizzez-faire. there's no ministry of culture. the u.s. doesn't intervene. the only time i remember government intervening was 1991,
they tried to ban two live crew but what the government does is intervene overseas in terms of music flows and youth culture and begins in latin america. there is an anthropologist talking about bolivia when there were plans to privatize water in bolivia. hugo chavez and castro, cuba and venezuela and industry were backing left-wing hip-hop as opposed to privatization. u.s. -- usaid, some of the starts in latin america but then you see vote on war on terror as the u.s. began the argument that we need cultural diplomacy to counter the narrative so we begin sending out hip-hop artists. and the hip-hop tours model on the cold war, to show that american muslims are integrated, affluent, integrated, not
oppressed so you do shows and press conferences and talk about muslims in america are not oppressed and the war on terror is a war on terrorism and not islam. this is part of the hip-hop diplomacy part of a much larger package, diplomatic effort which involves the playing symbolic world capital of the civil rights movement and that is interesting to me so american diplomacy drawing on race and black culture as a way to 3 brand america and if you look at the state department publications on cultural diplomacy towards the muslim world and so on talk about the natural connected to the muslim world because of the early influences of the 70s. the contrast is compared to jazz diplomacy. jazz was deployed to counter soviet propaganda that racial practice in america, an
inclusive jazz egalitarian and integrated and. but i argue -- >> one of the things you picked up on is an interesting kind of culture war to use a loaded term that exists in the music itself and how the music radicalizes used around racial lines. you mentioned integration of malcolm x and other thinkers, many youth listening to what we would brand as more conscious hip-hop becoming aware of that there's an incredible chapter in the book called we are not white, about this idea of racialization among north african youths in the united states and i wonder if you could speak the little bit about that kind of racial consciousness existing post 9/11 amongst arab youths in the united states of
america. >> in the book i talk about the heightened racial consciousness over the last decade. the reason for is that, responding to policies in seen a phobic movements and these factors i was talking about earlier. if you look at the muslim political landscape, it is dominated by the far right, the muslim brotherhood, young liberal muslims gravitate towards sufism but if you are left leaning and progressive, where do you go? the question you hear a moslem use activists is why is there no islamic left where is the islamic left today? what filled the vacuum tends to be african-american freedom movement, so turning toward the
movement, the freedom movement, the only policy chapter is a political aspect, seen not just in the u.s. but the u.s. and canada and france, belgium, england and so on, north african middle eastern u.s. and south asian news to a certain extent pushing for the national census. you had that in britain, a pakistani, indian and so on and you had the arab community and they successfully got the kickoff box and you had that in the u.s. as well. turkish, afghan americans, up and sees this as a sign of the desire to be color coalitions. being categorized as not being treated as late but legal status. >> host: your subject to
surveillance and profiling and so on. so you're getting activists talking about you need to reform the sense of classifications granted minority status like any other third world community of favorable origin. >> host: do you seize this kind of global muslim youth movement as leading to something similar to a civil rights movement? or a larger movement of global engagement that will actually lead to varying social status in the future? >> there are different trends, different cultural trends. i don't see a movement just yet. the colonial movement that i talk about inspired by the black power movement in the u.s.. it is a movement that has
branches in france, belgium and so on. they feel the mainstream muslim organizations i too team when it comes to race, they are trying to do with the black power movement did. the pressure of managing organizations, you get not so much separatists but trying to entirely reform the discourse between secularism and integration. you have transnational sufi movements that there is no overarching movement that i see. >> host: share a little from the book for us.
>> guest: might be easier. i would read a couple passages. i will read a passage about brazil since we discussed brazil. as i mentioned the brazilian movement is getting an interest in the history of muslims waves in brazil particularly muslim retentions, cultural influences. i am talking about els salvador historic center, as dazzling in the summer twilight, a cluster of colonial buildings overlooks the clear blue water, the cobblestone lanes are lit by hanging street lamps, and baroque church facades being with history as banners of african masks flutter in the wind to the sound of trombones and trumpets grows louder. in the old city it is acquired a fair compared to others.
the procession tries to replicate an earlier era, brass bands drive to the alleyways, teenagers have drums around the waist, and young girls carry effigies disguised as catholic saints. no sinks are allowed in the historic area. also -- the female protagonist with her distinctive head wrapped and wide hoopster, walking with the procession selling water, food, teaching to her how to wrap around heads the embroidered dress covering up her body, a ubiquitous presence in northeast brazil. the most well-known anthropologist out of land america in the last century, the father of modern brazilian nationalism is an important symbol. the anthropologist born soon after abolition just north was captivated by the muslims waves and their institutions. in the dark of the slave hats he
wrote they ran schools and cooperatives to purchase each other's freedom. the revolt of 1835. 8 his view of brazilian identity. antebellum north americans gave african muslims waves of oriental origin, and the muslim presence afforded the entire brazilian nation and oriental pedigree. in the u.s. there are now tours of the georgia sea island for people who want to meet the descendants of african muslims layoffs and witness local baptist traditions and drawing a curious kind of muslim tourism as well. it is not unusual these days to see dutch or french muslims inside the church of our lady of concepcion in downtown salvador, looking up in awe at the church's mosque like interior, this is a church whose interior looks like a mosque and the young muslims are standing up. they look up at the bright
colored morris and floral patterns, figures of a crucified christ and statuettes of mary placed inside and great arches, blue, orange and beige above one corner or edge of black and white arabic inscription and folds counterclockwise around the edge of the ceiling. behold, this is the miracle of god and this is the board of heaven. the church's resources this house of worship was founded in 1771. the church's tour guide tells visitors the edifice served as a shelter for fleeing muslims slaves after 1835. other sources say the church was designed and built in the 1860s by muslim and that is all we know. that he is buried in these patterns hire a biblical verse translated into the language of the koran and is the church facing east toward mecca or towards west africa? one more bit.
if that is okay. this is the historic relationship between islam and jihad, great interest muslim youth and government officials. state department officials and muslim youth are scrutinizing the connection between islam and jazz tradition reasons. american muslim yesterday in the compositions trying to understand for example how malcolm x at speaking style was influenced by the 1940s big band sounds and inspiring muslim leaders with rhetorical cadences would influence jazz artists like cold frame. coal train's relationship to jazz long intrigued jazz aficionado and elders in the muslim community. is drummer says cryptically that the saxophone was a real country boy and he was in to being a muslim and everything like that but he liked his back in it. for today's kids whether he is saying all law or of love is
critical. this is the debate among muslim youth and jazz critics on whether he is actually saying ala. if he is saying that, it would mean one of the greatest jazz compositions of the 20th century, the manuscript of the album is one of the national museum of american history at treasuries, is a tribute or was inspired by islam. the last living member of the jazz messengers, and the saxophonist's use of latin with the african-american community. .. world ride athletic community. between 1963 and 1966, he was experimenting with eastern sounds with this jazz free recording. every unified speech in milwaukee and the convention suggested i talk -- call and ask about a love supreme. in 2009 i got to meet him.
i arrived in man and. musicians were in place, the audience, dressed in a gray robe and this was to the right of the stage, saying evening prayers, he broke it with the drink of water and keep played various instruments, saxophone and eastern instruments. he softly sang spiritualss accompanied by a three string instrument made of camel skin. as he autograph record for a line of fans i asked about the instrument that accompanied his -- is a spiritual instrument, he whispered. and his physical self which was what he called jazz. when i mentioned the love supreme, he had the same response in the memoir, the inspiration for the composition came from his late muslim wife
and the fact that five times ed day, he said i can only say john and i were dear friends, trying to advance our music together. >> guess is his wife and i appreciate this. the prior that john wrote in the love supreme repeats the phrase all praise belongs to god no matter what. >> should i continue? >> more. okay. let me see. let me mention one thing we have not spoken about and that is i have a couple chapters on jud music in south africa and i tried to tell the stories.
the music of north african jews is being revised in france for all kinds of reason. i talk about a man who is almost 90 and an algeria jew and was a french citizen and came to power in 1940 and was stripped of his french citizenship. he told me about what happened when the americans landed and the creativity released. when they landed in 1948, he was a 14-year-old playing piano for tips at cafes. they landed and moved