April 2013

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Cover Story

Colombia's Ambassador Hopeful
Peace Talks Will End Rebel War

a5.colombia.urrutia.homeColombian Ambassador Carlos Urrutia says peace talks now under way are the country's best chance in decades to negotiate a settlement to end nearly 50 years of bloodshed once and for all. Read More

People of World Influence

Ex-State Department Spokesman:
A Communicator by Choice

a1.powi.crowley.homePhilip J. Crowley may have lost his job as State Department spokesman, but he hasn't lost his candor about the need for governments to be honest with their own citizens. Read More


Diplomacy

Tweet This: Embassies
Embrace Digital Diplomacy

a2.social.diplomat.facebook.homeEmbassies in Washington have waded into the interactive realm of social media to engage "friends," "followers" and "fans" in a conversation that's taking diplomacy to new places. Read More


The Rotunda: Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill

Race for Immigration Reform
May Face Hurdles in the House

a3.rotunda.immigration.sign.homeHow fast can a political issue go from third rail to full sail? We might soon find out as the push for immigration reform sinks or swims in the next few months. Read More


Politics

Former U.S. Envoy to Venezuela
Reflects on Hugo Chávez's Legacy

a4.venezuela.voting.homePatrick Duddy, the U.S. ambassador who was kicked out of Venezuela by the country's fiery anti-American president, reflects on Hugo Chávez's complicated legacy. Read More


International Affairs

Debate Over Legalizing Drugs
Grows Louder in Latin America

a6.legalization.marijuana.homeMore and more Americans are questioning the war on drugs, echoing their southern neighbors who say the U.S. government is waging a losing battle. Read More


Global Vantage Point

Op-Ed: 'A Misguided Attack
By Caribbean Ambassadors'

a6.oped.virgin.islands.homeJohn P. de Jongh Jr., governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, offers a rebuttal to Caribbean ambassadors who argue that U.S. rum excise taxes are an illegal subsidy. Read More


Diplomacy

International Photographer
Albert Mogzec Dies at 84

a7.albert.memoriam.homeLongtime diplomatic photographer Albert Francis Mogzec, 84, died March 2 in a North Carolina hospital after a long illness. Read More


Medical

The Childhood Ailment
No One Talks About

a8.medical.pinworms.homeParents are subject to an endless parade of messy moments, from poop to projectile vomiting, but that doesn't compare to a revolting yet common childhood ailment that no one likes to talk about. Read More


   

Ex-State Department Spokesman: A Communicator by Choice

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By Sean Lyngaas

"The United States is most effective when we lead by example. And this was a case where, whether or not our actions were legal, they weren't smart," former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip J. (P.J.) Crowley recently told The Washington Diplomat. He was speaking about the ongoing saga that led to his departure in 2011 as spokesman for the State Department, the saga of Private Bradley Manning versus the United States military.

A few days before our conversation, Manning pled guilty to providing the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks with hundreds of thousands of battlefield plans, State Department cables and other files in the biggest leak of classified information in American history.

Despite the voluntary guilty plea on 10 charges, Pfc. Manning still faces more serious charges that carry a sentence of life without parole. To his detractors, the Army intelligence analyst compromised national security and endangered American diplomacy. To his supporters, he's a persecuted whistleblower who sparked an overdue debate about U.S. foreign policy — and who's been subject to harsh treatment disproportionate to his crime, including long bouts of solitary confinement.

a1.powi.crowley.story
Photo: Pennsylvania State University
Philip J. (P.J.) Crowley

Crowley, a 26-year veteran of the Air Force, chuckled when asked if he stands by the comments — that Manning's treatment was "stupid" — that led to his sacking. "Of course," he stood by them because "the Bradley Manning case was a perfect example of" the United States needing to "recognize what we communicate. The last thing that the United States needed was another issue involving the U.S. military and detention policy," Crowley said with the conviction that first led him to government service.

"I walked into a government in 1973 that was unable or unwilling to communicate with its own people and people overseas. We're better than we were 40 years ago, but we're not as good as we need to be," he said. When told that this sounded like a good argument for his return to government, Crowley just wrinkled his eyes and smiled. His last act at the State Department may not be written, but he's right at home as a deliberate, loquacious professor at George Washington University.

Feeling Disconnect of Vietnam

Crowley hails from Needham, a quiet suburb of Boston, and his accent still shows a bit. He joined the Air Force 20 days after graduating college amid the national reckoning that was the Vietnam War. "The most influential element of my college experience was the turbulence that the Vietnam War caused on college campuses at that time," Crowley said.

Into that chasm between military and civilian life Crowley stepped in 1973. He said he "could see right away that a challenge for anyone who was going to make the military a career and be a strategic communicator is, how do you find a way to repair that breach?"

The Vietnam War was a Rorschach test for a generation of American leaders. Former Vice President Dick Cheney thought the war was lost because Congress undercut executive power. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) came to define American values by what he saw as their opposite in his torture at a Vietnamese prison camp. P.J. Crowley learned, among other things, that one of the biggest mistakes a government can make is to not be forthright with its people. And so, years later, at the State Department podium, Crowley made it his personal mission to "tell the people as much as you can about what's happening" behind government doors.

Crowley is quite familiar with what's behind those doors, both on the civilian and military side. He is a veteran of the 1990-91 Gulf War and worked with the NATO secretary-general during the 1998-99 Kosovo conflict, after which he retired from the Air Force with the rank of colonel. Crowley was also a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, with a focus on homeland security in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the 2011-12 General Omar N. Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership at Penn State's Dickinson School of Law.

Two of Crowley's mentors in building a career in public affairs were fellow wordsmiths Pete Williams and Ken Bacon, spokesmen for the Department of Defense under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, respectively. It was Bacon who recommended Crowley to serve as director of public affairs for Sandy Berger, President Clinton's national security adviser from 1997 to 2001. This stint made Crowley a natural addition to Hillary Clinton's team when her former political rival, President Obama, tapped her to be secretary of state in 2009.

"It took a little while for the stresses and strains and bruises from the campaign to heal," Crowley said. "They eventually did."

The staffs of the Obama and Clinton camps were more bitter about reconciling than the former candidates themselves, as the two indicated in a recent interview with CBS's "60 Minutes." And while President Obama and Hillary Clinton may now have a genuine friendship, there was at least one high-profile casualty of their campaign tension.

"We were all devoted to Richard and he was not treated well. The secretary [of state] had to protect him more than once," Crowley said of the late Richard Holbrooke, a hard-charging diplomat and close friend of Hillary Clinton whom Obama enlisted to broker a political resolution to the Afghan war. According to Crowley, the president never seemed to trust Holbrooke, repeatedly cutting him out of high-level meetings. Holbrooke was a "force of nature, and our policy [in Afghanistan] lost some momentum when we lost him," he said.

As State Department spokesman, Crowley was often tasked with briefing the irrepressible diplomat. One day in the briefing room, Holbrooke singled out an issue he was certain reporters would bring up. Crowley assured him they wouldn't. Holbrooke bet him a dollar they would. He then took the podium and gave an open-ended talk about the issue in a way that made it impossible for the press not to ask a question. When the press took the bait, Holbrooke turned to Crowley and said, "You owe me a dollar."

Sequester Speaks Volumes Overseas

Crowley was State Department spokesman at the height of the WikiLeaks scandal. Today, he's on the other side of the media coin, appearing as a national security commentator on TV networks such as Al Jazeera English and the BBC, along with penning a regular column for the Daily Beast.

At the moment, the airwaves in Washington are thick with chatter about the domestic political consequences of "the sequester," the automatic spending cuts of $85 billion that took effect March 1 because Congress could not reach a deal to trim the federal deficit. But more pundits have their eyes on how the perpetual fiscal impasses are playing in quaint congressional districts than with America's allies and adversaries abroad.

"One of the pillars of our foreign policy is to be able to go to other governments, particularly struggling governments, and say, 'You guys have to make difficult decisions, work together, solve problems, rise above your petty politics,'" Crowley said. "And we can only be credible and deliver that message if we are leading by example."

The sequester is not only bad press overseas, it's also "likely to exacerbate the imbalance between the military component and the diplomatic component for the foreseeable future," Crowley opined. "If you're whacking $45 billion out of a defense budget, you're whacking some fat, but with a tight budget like the diplomatic budget, you're hitting more muscle," he said. (Pentagon spending, including the Afghan war, comes to roughly $600 billion a year, while the entire foreign affairs budget is about one-tenth of that.)

Crowley's belief that just military force should be complemented by powerful and delicate words that communicate the strength of that force has been a constant throughout his career. It is what he teaches in his course on public diplomacy at George Washington University. And if there is one thing that Crowley wants to impress upon his students, some of them future diplomats and strategic communicators like him, it is that diplomacy is increasingly conducted not in smoke-filled rooms but out in the open, in front of a larger and more participatory audience.

"In some cases, there's an impulse within government today, particularly [an] impulse since 9/11, to communicate less," he said. "My argument, because of the global media environment, is we're going to have to communicate more."

He opened his laptop to reveal a map of the most active Twitter users on the subject of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's fall in February 2011. "That network is waiting for us," Crowley said, pointing at the screen. "We can try to put a fence around that network or we can try to engage that network. I think we're going to be far more effective in ... having our actions be seen as appropriate and legitimate if we engage that network."

Crowley himself has a robust Twitter presence, with more than 52,000 followers keeping up with his candid tweets. Among his recent musings: "The crazy comments in #Kabul reflect the simple fact the U.S. has been in #Afghanistan too long and #Karzai has been in office too long," and "'Dennis Rodman: I ate a lot of pig in North Korea...' He obviously swallowed a lot of it as well."

Crowley wouldn't have it any other way than to be competing in the contested space of billions of tweets. He says greater openness allows nations to reveal their true colors, and with WikiLeaks testing that openness like never before, he is comfortable with how he handled himself behind the podium in Washingon.

"There's no happy ending to WikiLeaks. It did do damage," Crowley reflected. "That said, I think, for the most part, the world was surprised that what we were saying in private and what we were saying in public were pretty consistent."


About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

   

Tweet This: Embassies Embrace Digital Diplomacy

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By Martin Austermuhle

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Race for Immigration Reform May Face Hurdles in the House

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By Luke Jerod Kummer

Read more: Race for Immigration Reform May Face Hurdles in the House
   

Former U.S. Envoy to Venezuela Reflects on Hugo Chávez’s Legacy

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By Larry Luxner

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Colombia’s Ambassador Hopeful Peace Talks Will End Rebel War

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By Larry Luxner

Read more: Colombia’s Ambassador Hopeful Peace Talks Will End Rebel War
   

Debate Over Legalizing Drugs Grows Louder in Latin America

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By Larry Luxner

Read more: Debate Over Legalizing Drugs Grows Louder in Latin America
   

Op-Ed: ‘A Misguided Attack By Caribbean Ambassadors’

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By John P. de Jongh Jr.

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International Photographer Albert Mogzec Dies at 84

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By Anna Gawel

Read more: International Photographer Albert Mogzec Dies at 84
   

The Childhood Ailment No One Talks About

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By Gina Shaw

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Behind Flourish of Cherry Blossoms Lies Rainbow of Spectacular Sights

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By Karin Zeitvogel

Read more: Behind Flourish of Cherry Blossoms Lies Rainbow of Spectacular Sights
   

A Quick Jaunt from Washington, Montreal Has Francophone Flair

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By David Tobenkin

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‘Diplomatic Gardens’ Offers Lush Look At Privileged Backyards of Ambassadors

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By Audrey Hoffer

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First-Ever Festival Showcases Innovation of Industrial Design

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By Stephanie Kanowitz

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Finnish-Dutch Couple Perfect Their Work-Life Formula

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By Gail Scott

Read more: Finnish-Dutch Couple Perfect Their Work-Life Formula
   

Trio of Abstract Expressionists in ‘Angels, Demons, and Savages’

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By Michael Coleman

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Australian Embassy Aims to Dispel Down Under Clichés

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By Audrey Hoffer

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Led by Anna Ancher, Skagen Community Found Place in Art World

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By Gary Tischler

Read more: Led by Anna Ancher, Skagen Community Found Place in Art World
   

Jardenea’s Farm-to-Fork Approach Checks in to Rejuvenate Melrose Hotel

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By Rachel G. Hunt

Read more: Jardenea’s Farm-to-Fork Approach Checks in to Rejuvenate Melrose Hotel
   

‘War Witch’ Conjures Horrific Fable of African Child Soldiers

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By Ky N. Nguyen

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‘Trust No One: Espionage and Thrillers’ Among 80 Festival Screenings

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By Ky N. Nguyen

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Films - April 2013

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By Cari

Languages

Bengali

German

Korean


Czech

Hebrew

Norwegian


English

Italian

Romanian

French

Japanese

 

Bengali

The Cloud-Capped Star
(Meghe Dhaka Tara)
Directed by Ritwik Ghatak
(India, 1960, 143 min.)
Victims of the Partition of India in 1947, a refugee family from East Bengal forges a precarious existence on the outskirts of Calcutta.
Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., April 28, 2 p.m.

Czech

In the Shadow
(Vestinu)
Directed by David Ondricek
(Czech Republic/Poland/Slovakia/Israel, 2012, 106 min.)
In 1953 Prague, an honest and determined police captain uses good old-fashioned shoe leather to gradually uncover an elaborate plot by State Security forces to detain and eliminate Jewish citizens (Czech and German).
Filmfest DC
April 11 to 21

English

Ginger & Rosa
Directed by Sally Potter
(U.K./Denmark/Canada/Croatia, 2012, 90 min.)
In 1962 London, two teenage girls are inseparable, but, as the Cold War meets the sexual revolution, and the threat of nuclear holocaust escalates, the lifelong friendship of the two girls is shattered.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Inglourious Basterds
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
(U.S./Germany, 2009, 153 min.)
Brad Pitt leads "the Basterds," a group of hard-bitten, mainly Jewish Americans recruited for the Nazi killin' business, while fugitive French-Jewish cinephile Mélanie Laurent hatches her own plot to win the war.
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., April 12, 9:30 p.m.,
Sat., April 13, 7:30 p.m.

Midnight's Children
Directed by Deepa Mehta
(Canada/Sri Lanka, 2012, 148 min.)
Salman Rushdie's adaptation of his own magical realist novel follows the destinies of a pair of children born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the very moment that India claimed its independence from Great Britain — a coincidence of profound consequence for both (English, Hindi and Urdu).
Filmfest DC
April 11 to 21

Underground
Directed by Robert Connolly
(Australia, 2012, 89 min.)
Before Julian Assange became a world-famous whistleblower, before WikiLeaks, and before the Internet even existed, he was a teenage computer hacker in Melbourne who formed a group called the "International Subversives" (opening night of Filmfest DC).
Regal Cinemas Gallery Place

French

Golden Slumbers
(Le sommeil d'or)
Directed by Davy Chou
(France/Cambodia, 2011, 96 min.)
Davy Chou's exceptional documentary blends interviews with surviving filmmakers, classic songs and poetic examinations of former movie palaces to summon the spirits of Cambodian cinema's Golden Age, which ended during the Khmer Rouge's reign of terror (French and Khmer); screening includes a panel discussion with the filmmaker and other experts.
Hill Center at Old Naval Hospital
Sun., April 7, 12 and 4 p.m.

Laurence Anyways
Directed by Xavier Dolan
(Canada, 2012, 168 min.)
Set in 199's Montreal, Laurence has just told his girlfriend that he wants to become a woman. What follows is a tumultuous, decade-long odyssey during which the couple fights passionately to salvage their relationship.
Filmfest DC
April 11 to 21

Starbuck
Directed by Ken Scott
(Canada, 2011, 109 min.)
A 42-year-old lovable but perpetual screw-up who was a habitual sperm donor in his youth discovers that he's the biological father of 533 children, 142 of whom are trying to force the fertility clinic to reveal the true identity of the prolific donor code-named Starbuck.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

German

Jörg Ratgeb, Painter
(Jörg Ratgeb, Maler)
Directed by Bernhard Stefan
(East Germany, 1978, 100 min.)
This East German film, set in 1517, recounts painter Jörg Ratgeb's efforts as an ancient ally in struggles prefiguring the rise of communism and workers' movements.
Goethe-Institut
Mon., April 8, 6:30 p.m.

Paradise: Faith
(Paradies: Glaube)
Directed by Ulrich Seidl
(Austria/Germany/France, 2012, 113 min.)
In this unsparing look at religion, sexuality and marriage, an Austrian medical technician and fundamentalist Catholic spends her days in intimate contact with patients at their most vulnerable times, but at home, she will not share a bed with her invalid husband.
Filmfest DC
April 11 to 21

Paradise: Hope
(Paradies: Hoffnung)
Paradies: Liebe)
Directed by Ulrich Seidl
(Austria/Germany/France, 2013, 91 min.)
The Austrian medical technician from "Paradise: Faith" brings her overweight, 13-year-old niece to a diet camp in the mountains, where she enters into an increasingly intimate relationship with the camp doctor, a man more than three times her age.
Filmfest DC
April 11 to 21

Paradise: Love
(Paradies: Liebe)
Directed by Ulrich Seidl
(Austria/Germany/France, 2012, 120 min.)
The first film in the Paradise trilogy, "Paradise: Love" gives us an unlikely, unexpected protagonist in Teresa, a middle-age woman who leaves her staid home life in Austria for a vacation that becomes a sex tour of Mombasa, Kenya, where she's not alone on the journey (German, English and Swahili).
Filmfest DC
April 11 to 21

The Silence
(Das letzte Schweigen)
Directed by Baran bo Odar
(Germany, 2010, 111 min.)
On a hot summer day, a bicycle is found in a field of wheat—the exact scene of an unsolved crime committed 23 years ago. Just as before, a 13-year-old girl is missing, bringing back horrific memories to the mother of the first victim and the now-retired investigating officer of that case.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Hebrew

Fill the Void
Directed by Rama Burshtein
(Israel, 2012, 90 min.)
In Tel Aviv's ultra-orthodox Hasidic community, where strict social codes and rabbinical decrees govern the way all members interact, especially men and women — 18-year-old Shira's cloistered life takes a dramatic turn when her sister suddenly dies, leaving behind a newborn and a bereaved husband.
Washington DCJCC
Tue., April 23, 7:30 p.m.

Six Million and One
Directed by David Fisher
(Israel, 2011, 97 min.)
Past, present and future mix in this eloquent, intense and surprisingly humorous portrait of documentary filmmaker David Fisher and his siblings, as they retrace the footsteps of their late father, a Holocaust survivor who was interned in Austria.
Washington DCJCC
Mon., April 8, 7:30 p.m.

Italian

The Mercenary aka A Professional Gun
(Il mercenario)
Directed by Sergio Corbucci
(Italy/Spain, 1968, 110 min.)
A Polish mercenary, sensing a business opportunity, falls in with a Mexican revolutionary and over the years, the unlikely pair fight alongside and feud against one another, roaming the country fomenting revolution, liberating money, guns and horses from the Federales, and battling outlaw nemesis Curly.
AFI Silver Theatre
Thu., April 4, 9:30 p.m.

Reality
Directed by Matteo Garrone
(Italy/France, 2012, 115 min.)
Luciano is a charming fishmonger whose unexpected and sudden obsession with being a contestant on a reality show leads him down a rabbit hole of skewed perceptions and paranoia.
Landmark's E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., April 5

Japanese

Like Someone in Love
Directed by Abbas Kiarostami
(France/Japan, 2012, 109 min.)
An elderly professor and a beautiful sociology student who moonlights as a high-end escort develop an unexpected connection.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Sanguivorous: Film and Performance
Directed by Naoki Yoshimoto
(Japan, 2009, 56 min.)
A young woman suffering from mysterious physical ailments is horrified to discover she's descended from generations of vampires. Starring renowned avant-garde butoh dancer Ko Murobushi, this transfixing film is accompanied live by Japanese percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani and Chicago-based saxophonist Edward Wilkerson, Jr.
Freer Gallery of Art
Wed., April 3, 7 p.m.

Korean

A Company Man
(Hoi-sa-won)
Directed by Im Sang-yun
(South Korea, 2012, 97 min.)
TV and film heartthrob So Ji-seop plays a hit man who works for an assassination agency structured like a corporate workplace in this sly, action-packed commentary on South Korea's ruthless business culture.
AFI Silver Theatre
Tue., April 2, 9:30 p.m.,
Wed., April 3, 9:20 p.m.

I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK
(Ssa-i-bo-geu-ji-man-gwen-chan-a)
Directed by Park Chan-wook
(South Korea, 2006, 105 min.)
Veering away from his usual stylized violence, director Park Chan-wook takes a lighter turn with a whimsical tale of love in a mental institution between a boy who thinks he's disappearing and a girl who thinks she's a robot.
AFI Silver Theatre
Tue., April 9, 7 p.m.,
Wed., April 10, 9:15 p.m.

JSA: Joint Security Area
(Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA)
Directed by Park Chan-wook
(South Korea, 2000, 110 min.)
Structured as a classic whodunit, "JSA" begins with a U.N. investigator looking into the killing of two North Korean soldiers by a South Korean soldier. But flashbacks reveal a surprising truth: The soldiers had developed a cross-border friendship.
AFI Silver Theatre
Thu., April 4, 7 p.m.

Juvenile Offender
(Beom-joe-so-nyeon)
Directed by Kang Yik-wan
(South Korea, 2012, 107 min.)
Good-intentioned but unable to resist getting into a trouble, a teen is reunited with his mother, who gave him up for adoption. Together they try to pick up the pieces of their broken lives, but when the boy reveals that his girlfriend is pregnant, his mother can't help but wonder whether a vicious circle is starting again.
Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., April 21, 2:30 p.m.

Nameless Gangster: Rules of Time
(Bumchoiwaui junjaeng)
Directed by Yoon Jong-bin
(South Korea, 2012, 133 min.)
In this gangland epic set in and around the port city of Busan in the 1980s and 1990s, a corrupt customs inspector stumbles upon a wayward drug shipment and leverages it into a business partnership with the city's biggest crime boss.
Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., April 5, 7 p.m.

Oldboy
(Oldeuboi)
Directed by Park Chan-wook
(South Korea, 2003, 120 min.)
A man who is mysteriously imprisoned for 15 years and then just as mysteriously released searches for his tormentor in this visually stunning, hyper-violent neo-noir with echoes of classical tragedy that come to a head in its shocking climax.
Angelika Mosaic
Fri., April 5, 11:45 p.m.,
Sat., April 6, 11:45 p.m.

Sleepless Night
(Jam-mot deun-eun bam)
Directed by Jang Kun-jae
(South Korea, 2012, 65 min.)
This intimate portrait of a marriage follows a couple as they contemplate, dream and sometimes argue about bringing a child into their settled life.
Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., April 21, 1 p.m.

A Werewolf Boy
(Neuk-dae-so-nyeon)
Directed by Jo Sung-hee
(South Korea, 2012, 126 min.)
When a family discovers a feral teenager living in their barn, they take the boy in and train him, but soon his superhuman strength and odd behavior indicate that he is the product of a shady scientific experiment.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., April 14, 7:45 p.m.,
Mon., April 15, 7:10 p.m.

Norwegian

Kon-Tiki
Directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg
(Norway/Denmark/U.K., 2012, 118 min.)
Rebuffed by academia, young researcher and explorer Heyerdahl gathers five friends and strangers — none of them sailors — to prove the Polynesian Islands were first settled by Peruvians, not Asians.
Filmfest DC
April 11 to 21

Romanian

Beyond the Hills
(Dupa dealuri)
Directed by Cristian Mungiu
(Romania/France/Belgium, 2012, 152 min.)
Alina tries to convince her childhood friend Voichita to abandon her cloistered life in a remote convent and return with her to Germany in this portrait of dogma at odds with personal liberty in a society still emerging from the shadow of communism.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

   

Events - April 2013

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EVENT CATEGORIES

Art

Dance

Discussions

Festivals

Theater

Galas

Music


ART

Opens March 22
Codex Mexico: The Book as Art
This exposition of artisanal books and printed art showcases both Mexico's enormous heritage in the arts of printing, and the Mexicans currently working to renew and enrich such an important legacy.
Mexican Cultural Institute

April 4 to May 12
LATINO/US Cotidiano
Literally meaning "everyday life," "Cotidiano" is a dynamic look at the rapidly changing nature of the Latino experience in America, where out of every six Americans is now of Hispanic origin, an impressive social transformation with enormous political, economic and cultural consequences.
Spanish Cultural Center

April 6 to May 26
Painting Borges: Art Interpreting Literature
Sixteen visual artists interpret 12 stories by Argentinean Jorge Luis Borges, one of the most prominent and profoundly philosophical literary figures of the 20th century, organized according to three topics: identity and memory, freedom and destiny, and faith and divinity.
American University Katzen Arts Museum

April 6 to Aug. 11
Hand-Held: Gerhard Pulverer's Japanese Illustrated Books
More than 100 volumes reflect on the Edo period Japan (1615-1868) as an age of great social and political change that gave rise to an unprecedented "reading culture" of artists, writers and publishers. Similar to blogging and e-publication in the 21st century, illustrated books (ehon) in Edo Japan opened up a new avenue with which to share ideas, marked by epic levels of publishing and book consumption.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through April 7
Architecture / Landscape
Eight Austrian artists examine the perception and manipulation of our daily surroundings — worlds at once graspable and utterly alien, in part constructed (or perhaps in turn destroyed) by man, or ones artificially generated, seemingly infinite in their reproducibility.
The Mansion at Strathmore

Through April 7
Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s
"Pump Me Up" is the first exhibition to explore the thriving underground of Washington, D.C., during the 1980s, giving visual form to the raucous energy of graffiti, Go-Go music, and a world-renowned punk and hardcore scene — demonstrating D.C.'s place in the history of street art as well as that of America's capital city.
Corcoran Gallery of Art

April 10 to Aug. 4
Views of Panama
Photographers Gabriel Benaim, José Manuel Castrellón and Lorena Endara examine the stunning transformation Panama has undertaken in the last few years, manifested into a real estate and building boom that has changed Panama City's skyline.
OAS Art Museum of the Americas
F Street Gallery

Through April 12
gute aussichten: new german photography 2012/2013
Works by seven winners of "gute aussichten 2012/2013," the ninth annual German competition for graduate photography students, are distinguished by their highly diverse aesthetics and conceptual approaches, providing an insight into the multifaceted themes that form the focus of young artists' interests today.
Goethe-Institut

Through April 12
Seven Points (part one)
The timely and vibrant exhibition "Seven Points (part one): Marley Dawson, Anna Kristensen, Angelica Mesiti" launches the Australian Embassy's 2013 cultural programming and is the first in a series of exhibitions showcasing the work of dynamic and accomplished Australian contemporary artists: Daniel Boyd, Marley Dawson, Newell Harry, Anna Kristensen, Angelica Mesiti, Kate Mitchell, and Tim Silver. Gallery hours are from Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., by appointment (202-797-3383).
Embassy of Australia

April 12 to Oct. 13
Out of Southeast Asia: Art that Sustains
The last exhibition presented in the Textile Museum's historic location before the museum's 2014 reopening promises to be a beautiful pairing of tradition and innovation, demonstrating how four artists are reinventing traditional Southeast Asian textile techniques, designs and ideology in new and meaningful ways.
The Textile Museum

April 18 to May 18
The Fallen Gods
Béatrice Lampla Mellinger integrates her diverse heritage and extensive travels into her vibrant and richly textured paintings. In her newest series, she explores the historical roots of Caribbean society, structuring a lineage that affirms the Amerindian origins of the culture and repudiates the arrival of the Conquistadors as its starting point.
International Visions Gallery

April 18 to Sept. 8
Over, Under, Next: Experiments in Mixed Media, 1913-Present
Butterfly wings, glass shards, doll parts, crumpled automotive metal, jigsaw puzzle pieces, clothing, straight pins, furniture, and colored sand — these are just some of the materials in "Over, Under, Next," an exhibition of approximately 100 examples of collage and assemblage, primarily drawn from the Hirshhorn's collection.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through April 21
Orchids of Latin America
"Orchids of Latin America" highlights the importance of Latin American orchids in local culture and folklore through live flower displays and examines ways in which biological reserves are working to preserve orchid species and habitats today.
National Museum of Natural History

April 22 to Jan. 5
Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa
Some 100 exceptional works of art from the late 18th to 21st centuries come together for the first major exhibition and scholarly endeavor to comprehensively examine the rich relationship between African artists and the land upon which they live, work and frame their days.
National Museum of African Art

April 27 to Sept. 2
Nine Deaths, Two Births: Xu Bing's Phoenix Project
Chinese artist Xu Bing spent more than two years creating his newest work, "Phoenix Project," a massive installation that comprises two birds fabricated entirely from materials found at construction sites in Beijing.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through April 28
Next Stop: Italy
Following a promotional campaign on city buses as part of "The Year of Italian Culture," photographic works by both established and up-and-coming Italian artists have been paired with a quintessential selection of lines from highly regarded Italian poets.
The Phillips Collection

Through May 5
Faking It: Manipulated Photography before Photoshop
In the first major exhibition devoted to the history of manipulated photographs before the digital age, some 200 works will demonstrate that today's digitally altered photographs are part of a tradition that extends back to the beginning of photography.
National Gallery of Art

Through May 12
Angels, Demons, and Savages: Pollock, Ossorio, Dubuffet
This exhibition reveals a rare cross-cultural artistic dialogue between American painter Jackson Pollock (1912-56), American artist and patron of European and American postwar art Alfonso Ossorio (1916-90), and French painter Jean Dubuffet (1901-85). Approximately 53 paintings and works on paper from 1945 to 1958 highlight visual affinities and inspired friendships among the artists at pivotal moments in their careers.
The Phillips Collection

Through May 12
Memories of Stones
Photographer Åsa Nyhlén's moss-covered stone walls are a testament to an era of profound change in Swedish history. Today, the forest has reclaimed the walls, which echo the exodus of one third of the population to try their luck in the New World, creating a Swedish Diaspora in the Americas.
House of Sweden

Through May 12
A World Apart: Anna Ancher and the Skagen Art Colony
The first exhibition in the United States to focus on Danish modern painter Anna Ancher (1859-1935) and the artist colony at Skagen, Denmark, features 41 paintings and oil sketches by Ancher and more than 20 by her fellow Skagen artists.
National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through May 19
Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland
Focusing mainly on the Irish upper-class, their cultural exchange with England, and their struggle for power during a time of great change, "Nobility and Newcomers" underscores why Irish cultural identity is challenging to define.
Folger Shakespeare Library

Through May 26
Color, Line, Light: French Drawings, Watercolors, and Pastels from Delacroix to Signac
Some 100 drawings and watercolors from the collection of James T. Dyke showcase the broad development of modern draftsmanship in France, from romanticism and realism through the impressionists, Nabis and neo-impressionists.
National Gallery of Art

Through May 26
On Common Ground: Dominican Republic + Haiti
In conjunction with the Embassies of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, this exhibition of works by emerging artists of Hispaniola, the island that these two countries share, offers fresh perspectives on Hispaniola's cultural scene and addresses misconceptions surrounding the two nations' complex relationship with one another, imagining a brighter future.
OAS Art Museum of the Americas

Through May 26
Un Lugar Sin Reposo | A Place with No Rest
In conjunction with the 43rd regular session of the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly in Guatemala in June, this exhibition of artwork by one of the host country's finest artists, Luis González Palma, examines the power of communication through the gaze and body language.
OAS Art Museum of the Americas

Through May 31
Perceptive Strokes
In honor of the Inter-American Development Bank's annual meeting in Panama in March, the IDB Cultural Center presents artwork by women Panamanian artists.
IDB Cultural Center

Through June 8
Pageant of the Tsars: The Romanov Coronation Albums
Marking the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Romanov dynasty in 1613, the history and spectacle of Russian tsars' coronations are revealed through lavish, rarely seen albums and objects from Hillwood's Russian collection.
Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Through June 9
Albrecht Dürer: Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina
Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) has long been considered the greatest German artist, uniquely combining the status held in Italian art by Michelangelo in the 16th century, by Raphael in the 18th and 19th centuries, and by Leonardo da Vinci in our own day. But while Dürer's paintings were prized, his most influential works were actually his drawings, watercolors, engravings and woodcuts.
National Gallery of Art

Through June 30
The Enduring Designs of Josef Frank
Designer and architect Josef Frank, born 1885, was a leading pioneer in modern Swedish design, leaving behind about 200 textile and 2,000 furniture designs, a portion of which are on display in this exhibit.
House of Sweden

Through June 30
The Third Room
Maja Salomonsson, in collaboration with Swedish Radio's Youth Radio Drama Department, has created the sound walk "The Third Room," a play area that welcomes children into a dream world where time is fluid and the laws of gravity are suspended.
House of Sweden

Through July 7
One Man's Search for Ancient China: The Paul Singer Collection
New Jersey psychiatrist-turned-collector Paul Singer's bequest to the Sackler Gallery created one of the largest Chinese archaeological collections in the United States. This exhibition looks at the collector's contributions to Chinese art history — made largely at a time when contact between China and the West was heavily restricted — and examines how landmark archaeological discoveries have shed new light on his acquisitions and on ancient China.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through Aug. 4
Arts of Japan: Edo Aviary and Poetic License
Complementary but distinct installations examine two themes of Edo period art: "Edo Aviary," which traces how depictions of birds were influenced by natural history painting, and "Poetic License: Making Old Words New," which shows how classical Japanese and Chinese literary traditions were absorbed into the merchant and artisan classes.
Freer Gallery of Art

DANCE

Sat., April 6, 8 p.m.
Russian National Ballet Theatre: Giselle
Experience one of the most venerated works in the classical ballet canon as performed by this celebrated Russian ensemble. Tickets are $27, $46 or $54.
George Mason University Center for the Performing Arts

Sun., April 7, 8 p.m.
Russian National Ballet Theatre: Swan Lake
The esteemed Russian National Ballet performs one of the most magical and well-known works from the classical ballet repertoire, a stunning fantasy inspired by the German legend of Odette, a beautiful princess turned into a swan at the hand of an evil sorcerer. Tickets are $27, $46 or $54.
George Mason University Center for the Performing Arts

Fri., April 12, 8 p.m.
Russian National Ballet Theatre: Romeo and Juliet & Chopiniana
In the grand tradition of Russian ballet, this delightful ensemble performs two of the most romantic classical ballets in one spectacular evening. Tickets are $38, $46 or $54.
George Mason University Hylton Performing Arts Center

DISCUSSIONS

Tue., April 16, 6:30 p.m.
Found in Translation
A renowned author, Huffington Post contributor and Fulbright scholar in sociolinguistics, Nataly Kelly discusses her new book "Found in Translation," which examines how translation affects every aspects of our lives. Tickets are $20 (includes a copy of the book).
La Maison Française

Wed., April 17, 6:45 p.m.
Hot Flare-Ups in the Cold War
The Cold War was anything but cold when it came to Cuba. The action was hot and heavy over two administrations, with the ill-fated 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, followed the next year by the Cuban Missile Crisis. Chief CIA Historian David Robarge explores the parts played by Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy and their advisors during these critical moments in U.S. history. Tickets are $35; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.
S. Dillon Ripley Center

Thu., April 25, 6:45 p.m.
The Peruvian Amazon Forest: A Tropical Hotspot
Conservation biologist Alfonso Alonso investigates the effects of development on the tropical forests in eastern Peru's Lower Urubamba Region, home to some of the most species-rich and biologically diverse forests in the world. Tickets are $42; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.
S. Dillon Ripley Center


FESTIVALS

Through April 13
2013 Francophonie Cultural Festival
The annual Francophonie Cultural Festival celebrates the creativity, passions and intellectual variety of the nations of the French-speaking world. It's a global fusion of modern literature, contemporary and traditional music, cuisine, visual arts, films and family events — presented by the embassies of more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.francophoniedc.org.
Various locations

Through April 19
Dvorak and America
Through a series of five concerts, PostClassical Ensemble's "Dvorak and America" festival argues that Czech composer Antonín Dvorak acquired a distinctive and influential "American style" during his time in the United States that was fundamentally different in style from that of the music he had previously composed. The centerpiece is a March 1 concert at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center featuring the "Hiawatha Melodrama" alongside Dvorak's "String Serenade" and his little-known "American Suite." For information, visit http://postclassical.com.
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
Duke Ellington School of the Arts

Through May 19
The Washington DC International Design Festival
Artisphere and Apartment Zero present this free three-month-long multidisciplinary celebration of design, anchored by "The Next Wave: Industrial Design in the 21st Century," a 4,000-square-foot exhibition exploring innovation in product design over the last 13 years. The exhibit of more than 100 objects from around the world will be complemented by a series of public programs. For information, visit www.artisphere.com or www.apartmentzero.com.
Artisphere

GALAS

Wed., April 3, 6 p.m.
South African Art Fundraising Reception
Proceeds of this silent auction on South African art go toward the costs of erecting a statue honoring anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela in front of the South African Embassy in Washington. To RSVP, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

Sat., April 6
Opera Ball
This annual prestigious black-tie celebration, chaired by Washington National Opera board member Constance Milstein de La Haye St. Hilaire, begins with intimate, pre-ball dinners hosted by ambassadors at their elegant residences and embassies around town and continues at Villa Firenze, Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero's residence, where guests will be treated to an evening of dessert, dancing and opera performances. For ticket information, call (202) 416-8496.
Villa Firenze

Fri., April 12, 8 p.m.
88th Annual Diplomatic Ball
The Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service's Diplomatic Ball is an annual black tie affair uniting students of international affairs, distinguished faculty and diplomats from around the world for an elegant evening of conversation and community-building. Tickets are $75; for information, visit http://dipball.wordpress.com.
Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium

Fri., April 12, 7 p.m.
A Moveable Feast: The Hemingway in Paris Ball
The Washington Ballet marks the world premiere of Septime Webre's "Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises" with "The Hemingway in Paris Ball," its annual fundraising gala that celebrates the Washington Ballet's deep ties with the community and raises critical funds for the ballet's training and outreach programs. Tickets start at $1,000; for information, contact Elizabeth Sizer at (202) 362-3606 ext. 123 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Library of Congress Jefferson Building

Sat., April 13, 6 p.m.
WPAS Annual Gala & Auction
A highlight of the spring gala season, the WPAS Gala raises funds to support the Washington Performing Arts Society's main stage and education programs, with an auction, dinner, dancing and headline performance. The diplomatic chair of this year's gala is Irish Ambassador Michael Collins and the headline performer is Broadway star Matthew Morrison of the show "Glee." For ticket information, call (202) 533-1891.
Ritz-Carlton Washington, D.C.

Tue., April 16, 6 p.m.
For the Love of Sight Visionary Awards Dinner
The Foundation Fighting Blindness, a nonprofit dedicated to sight-saving retinal research, will honor former Ambassador Tom Korologos and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Ann McLaughlin Korologos with its Visionary Award, in recognition of the couple's leadership in government and the business and nonprofit sectors, as well as their ongoing support for blindness research, at the 11th annual "For the Love of Sight" Visionary Awards Dinner. Tickets are $1,000; for information, contact Dina Beaumont at (202) 530-4672 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C.

Sat., April 27, 6:30 p.m.
The Magic Flute
The Opera Camerata of Washington, D.C., presents a gala reception, dinner and performance of "The Magic Flute" featuring, among others, Jose Sacin and Elizabeth Treat under the patronage of Colombian Ambassador and Mrs. Carlos Urrutia. Tickets are $150 or $175 after April 15; for information, visit www.operacamerata.org.
Colombian Residence

MUSIC

Mon., April 8, 8 p.m.
Diana Damrau
Possessing a "lustrous, agile coloratura soprano voice, and charisma galore" (The New York Times), Diana Damrau makes her Washington National Opera debut with an evening of intimate music accompanied by harpist Xavier de Maistre. Tickets are $40 to $180.
Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater

Tue., April 9, 7:30 p.m.
Gülsin Onay, Piano
Gülsin Onay, who holds the title of "state artist" in her native Turkey and is a soloist for the Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Ankara, performs a program of Beethoven and Chopin. Tickets are $125, including buffet dinner and valet parking; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.
Turkish Residence

Fri., April 12, 7:30 p.m.
Christophe Rousset, Harpsichord
A renowned harpsichordist, conductor, and expert of all things Baroque, Christophe Rousset has gained the intriguing reputation of a musical archaeologist who proclaims that, "There is no greater feeling than to revive works that have never been heard for centuries." Tickets are $25.
La Maison Française

Wed., April 17, 7:30 p.m.,
Thu., April 18, 7:30 p.m.
Rafal Bartminski, Tenor
George Peachey, Piano
Rising Polish tenor Rafal Bartminski,, accompanied by pianist George Peachey, performs a concert of songs and arias by Schubert, Strauss, Mozart, Verdi and others. Tickets are $85 or $60; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.
Embassy of Poland (April 17)
Embassy of Austria (April 18)

Sat., April 27, 7:30 p.m.
Rafal Blechacz, Piano
The Washington Performing Arts Society presents pianist Rafal Blechacz, first Polish pianist in 30 years to win the International Chopin Competition. Tickets are $55.
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

THEATER

April 4 to 28
Neville's Island
Four out-of-condition, middle-age businessmen are sent off on a team-building exercise in England's Lake District and succeed in being the first people ever to get shipwrecked inland in a tiny island — discovering that their corporate know-how leaves them ill-equipped for survival, from both the elements and each other. Tickets are $35.50 to $65.
Olney Theatre Center

April 8 to 20
Histoires Exquises
For the first time, the Alliance Française de Washington (AFDC) is bringing "Histoires Exquises" — an ever-changing performance project that invites French choreographers, visual artists and/or directors to create performances inspired by unusual stories shared by residents of the cities the show visits — to the nation's capital. The D.C. edition will translate local stories into two dance and two theater pieces under the direction of choreographer Emmanuelle Vo-Dinh and director Charlie Windelschmidt. For ticket information, visit www.francedc.org.
Atlas Performing Arts Center

April 10 to May 5
How to Write a New Book for the Bible
A man moves in with his ailing but always funny mother when she becomes too frail to care for herself, resulting in a reunion that heals old wounds and opens a heartfelt new chapter in their relationship. Tickets are $10 to $61.
Round House Theatre Bethesda

April 18 to May 26
DC-7: The Roberto Clemente Story
From the barrios of Puerto Rico to his successful seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, to the fateful flight to Nicaragua to deliver humanitarian aid, this insightful musical reveals the man who battled triumphantly on the baseball field and against discrimination. Tickets are $20 to $42.
GALA Hispanic Theatre

Through April 28
4000 Miles
This gentle, well-observed drama explores the relationship between a grandson who can't face his life and a grandmother who is starting to forget hers. Tickets are $39 to $82.
Studio Theatre

Through April 28
Mary T. and Lizzy K.
Writer-director Tazewell Thompson stitches together an insider's look at the unlikely friendship between first lady Mary Todd Lincoln and her talented seamstress, the successful freed slave Elizabeth Keckly. Please call for ticket information.
Arena Stage

April 30 to June 9
Twelfth Night
Director Robert Richmond returns to Folger Theatre to direct this romantic and whimsical of tales filled with lovers, lunatics, poets, drunkards, and clowns in the quixotic land of Illyria. Tickets are $30 to $68.
Folger Shakespeare Library

Through May 18
Hello, Dolly!
In a bold new production, Signature Theatre joins forces with Ford's Theatre to reinterpret one of the greatest musicals ever written, which brings to life the tale of Dolly Levi and celebrates the search for love. Please call for ticket information.
Signature Theatre

Through June 2
Hero/Traitor Repertory of Coriolanus and Wallenstein
In the Shakespeare Theatre Company's repertory of "Coriolanus" and "Wallenstein," both plays revolve around military leaders who've gained fame through deadly prowess — in Shakespeare's "Coriolanus," the title character must re-examine his loyalties when the country he championed turns against him; in Friedrich Schiller's "Wallenstein," the main character must choose between the ideal for which he fights and his government's agenda. Tickets are $43 to $105.
Sidney Harman Hall

   

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