2010 Colloquium Series

On Friday, April 9, Charlie Carroll (Ph.D. Candidate, Cultural Transformation, Political Economy, and Social Practice, UC Berkeley), will present a talk titled "Camping for the Production of Propogandists: Writer's Training in the Lao People's Democratic Republic." Location: Room 101, Archeological Research Facility, 2251 College Avenue (on the UC Berkeley campus). Time: 4pm.

Synopsis: In 2006, during the break between school years in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, forty-nine young people took part in the Sinxay Pen’s Camp.  The training camp, organized by the Lao Ministry of Information and Culture, was a venue where tensions played out between generations – as the older generation of Party propagandists labored to inculcate the future generation of writers for the Party.  Through the course of the camp the Sinxay students took part in tourism, camping, and museum visits combined with lectures, all aimed at bringing these young people into the practices of writing for the single-Party state.   That same year the labor of writing for the Party was undergoing a transformation, as the employees of the Ministry struggled to adapt their labor to a series of sweeping economic reforms aimed at a gradual transition from a revolutionary “centrally planned system” into a “market-based economy.”  With video clips, still images, and samples of student work I’ll present my insights into the social practices of camping for the production of propagandists in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.   
Speaker Bio:
Charlie Carroll is a PhD Candidate in Cultural Transformation, Political Economy and Social Practice at UC Berkeley, and co-founder of the Tourism Studies Working Group. He is currently finishing a dissertation based on two and a half years of ethnographic fieldwork in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

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