May 2014

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Cover Story

Moldova Worries:
'Are We Next?'

a5.moldova.munteanu.homeMoldovan Ambassador Igor Munteanu warns that if Russian aggression against Ukraine is left unchecked, his tiny country might be the next victim of Moscow's territorial ambitions. Read More 

People of World Influence

Library of Congress Scholar
Dissects Return of 'Realpolitik'

a1.powi.bew.homeJohn Bew is only 33 years old but has already been described as "the best historian of his generation," and now the Belfast-born scholar is using his perch at the Library of Congress to study the resurgence of realpolitik. Read More


USAID Imitates CIA?

Experts Debate Repercussions
Of USAID's Cuba Democracy Push

a2.usaid.cuba.alan.homeRevelations that USAID created a secret Twitter-like phone service to undermine the communist regime in Cuba has sparked a debate over whether the humanitarian agency crossed the line. Read More


Social Secretary Icons

For Nearly 25 Years, British, Spanish
Social Secretaries Make It Look Easy

a3.secretaries.portrait.homeFrom late RSVPs to party crashers, Amanda Downes and Diane Flamini have seen it all and handled it with the consummate grace that comes from having nearly half a century of experience between them. Read More


The Rotunda: Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill

State Department Hopes Its Latest
Budget Escapes Congress Unscathed

a4.rotunda.budget.kerry.homeAfter years of budget battles, President Obama is hoping his newest foreign affairs budget escapes the congressional chopping block relatively unscathed. Read More


Passports for a Price

Passports for a Price: Nations
Sell Citizenship to Rich Investors

a6.citizenship.blue.lagoon.homeFrom Malta to St. Kitts and Nevis, nations are selling citizenship to lure big-time foreign investors. Read More


Pacific Pumas

Four Latin American Envoys
Tout Power of Pacific Pumas

a7.pacific.puma.chile.costanera.homeMove over, Asian tigers. It looks like the four so-called "Pacific Pumas" — Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru — have become the latest darlings of the investor crowd. Read More

 

   

Library of Congress Scholar Dissects Return of ‘Realpolitik’

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By Larry Luxner

He’s only 33 years old but has already been described as “the best historian of his generation” by British Education Secretary Michael Gove. He’s published two books on his own and has co-edited and co-authored four more; the Wall Street Journal and Sunday Telegraph named his most recent volume, “Castlereagh: A Life,” one of the best books of 2011.

Meet Belfast-born John Bew, a foreign policy expert and historian who enjoys watching the Netflix series “House of Cards” in his spare time. (“Most Americans prefer the BBC version, but I prefer the American version,” he says. “I suppose it’s escapism.”)

Bew’s official title is reader in history and foreign policy at the War Studies Department of King’s College London, where he’s also director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence. For the past seven months, he’s worn another hat as well: that of Henry A. Kissinger chair in foreign policy and international relations at the John W. Kluge Center, a division of the Library of Congress.

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Photo: Larry Luxner
John Bew, who holds the Henry A. Kissinger chair in foreign policy and international relations at the John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, speaks March 27 on "Realpolitik and American Exceptionalism" along with noted U.S. scholar Robert Kagan.

Bew is the 13th scholar to hold that distinguished position since the center’s establishment in 2000. He arrived here last October, in the midst of the federal government shutdown and bitter sniping between Democrats and Republicans.

Yet for all the talk about political gridlock, cynicism and hypocrisy, Bew says he likes Washington.

“It’s a very intellectual town,” he told us. “It’s like a liberal European city in some respects, with lots of bookshelves — a very reflective place, not quite the caricature that’s painted of it.”

Bew talked with The Washington Diplomat at length following a March 27 event at the Kluge Center on realpolitik and American exceptionalism. The seminar — in which Bew and fellow scholar Robert Kagan discussed how the United States positions itself globally in the 21st century — was the second in a three-part series titled “The Return of Realpolitik: A Window into the Soul of Anglo-American Foreign Policy.” A March 13 discussion examined America’s engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood since 1945, while on April 10, Bew talked about how realpolitik is ripe for rediscovery as it undergoes a renaissance in the English-speaking world.

The notion of realpolitik — that policies are formulated based more on practical geostrategic and national interests rather than lofty ideals — has experienced a resurgence of sorts as experts debate the Obama administration’s foreign policy in places like Syria, Ukraine, Egypt and elsewhere.

Bew is using his scholarship residence at the Kluge Center to examine the term in both the three-part lecture series that wrapped up last month and an upcoming history of Anglo-American realpolitik, to be published by Oxford University Press.

“My book will be the first on the concept of realpolitik in the English-speaking world: its origins as an idea; its practical application to statecraft; and its relevance to the foreign policy challenges facing the United States and its allies,” Bew explained.

It’s a topic that has long fascinated Bew, who did his undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Cambridge, as well as his doctoral thesis.

“I never expected to be a historian, but people presumed it was inevitable,” he told us, noting his father’s deep involvement in Irish politics. “Both my parents are historians, but that wasn’t really it. I think, in hindsight, that 9/11 was what kept me in academia. It sparked a greater interest in the world and foreign affairs — and also confirmed to me that ideas, knowledge and history mattered on the global stage.”

Growing up in Belfast, he said, “You get a sense of the resilience of history, and the grievances that have gone on for centuries.”

In fact, he said, people often think they’re living in a new era, watching as history is being made before their eyes.

“In October 1993, the Oslo Accords were signed, and people were talking about peace between Arabs and Israelis. That same month in Northern Ireland was one of the bloodiest and most horrific months ever,” Bew said.

“I was a teenager at the time,” he recalled, “and I remember people saying, ‘Why can’t you guys get along like the Arabs and Israelis?’ Five years later came the intifada — and the Northern Ireland peace accords.”

It was the tumultuous history of Ireland that gave rise to Bew’s first monograph, “The Glory of Being Britons: Civic Unionism in Nineteenth-Century Belfast.” That was followed the same year by “Talking to Terrorists: Making Peace in Northern Ireland and the Basque Country.”

“That book is a prime example of what I do, which is not to use history to offer simple lessons but to actually stress the importance of complexity and the messiness of history,” Bew said.

His most recent work is a 582-page account of the life of Irish aristocrat and British statesman Lord Castlereagh, who in the early 1800s dominated British politics. Bew’s deep interest in Irish issues serves as a backdrop to his larger overall study of realpolitik — a word he says is once again fashionable in Washington.

“It’s a term used by both scholars and practitioners in discussions of international affairs. Yet it is one of those words borrowed from another language that is much used but little understood,” he explained.

German in origin, realpolitik was first used in 1853 by the German revolutionary Ludwig August von Rochau, according to Bew, “to describe what he saw as a cynical and coercive form of domestic political statecraft.” In a modern context, realpolitik is the practice of diplomacy based primarily on power — and on practical and material considerations — rather than moral, ethical or utopian premises.

“Foreign policy has been a stick with which both parties have beaten each other over the last 10 years or so,” Bew said. “It’s been a real sore wound for a long time, but that’s partly because it was an argument over what America should do in the world.”

While at the Kluge Center, Bew is tapping the extensive collection of presidential papers and other research material at the Library of Congress to write his history of realpolitik. He describes the library’s manuscripts as among “the best resources in the world” and says he’s used the Kluge Center just about every day since his arrival in the United States.

“What’s really struck me since I’ve been here is the appetite for history to inform foreign policy” — and not just in Washington, he said. “I’ve been to Mississippi and Texas, too, and there’s been a real growth of grand strategy courses that are precisely about this, with the archetypal model [being] the one at Yale, which used to be a training school for diplomats and statesmen.”

With regard to foreign policy, Bew has found what he calls a “genuine plurality of voices and positions” on both sides of the aisle.

“A lot of shrill voices and sometimes silly things are said at the heat of the moment. But there are also deep reserves of intelligence, reflection and expertise,” he told us. “We seem to be entering a kind of managerial phase of foreign policy rather than a solutions-oriented approach, i.e., ‘We must stop genocide.’ This will require patience, but also a certain degree of fortitude.”

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Photo: The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress
The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress brings together scholars and researchers from around the world to capitalize on the library's wealth of resources and interact with policymakers and the public.

He added: “I don’t think people are ignoring suffering. We cannot ignore it. The question is, and has always been, what can we do about it? You can see that it’s a recurring dilemma in Western foreign policy. You could even see this dilemma among individuals in the Obama administration.”

For example, he said National Security Advisor Susan Rice “has been a very strong voice in the prevention of genocide,” while Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel “is much more skeptical about Washington’s role in solving the world’s problems.”

In an article published in the March-April 2014 issue of The National Interest, Bew explained why realpolitik is suddenly coming back into vogue.

“In the 1990s, some regarded realpolitik as a thing of the past — a relic of the Cold War and a ‘needs must’ approach to the world which could now be tossed into the dustbin of history. Even at the height of their influence, Western realpolitikers have often faced resistance and criticism from within their own societies. As a foreign import, lifted from the heart of the great Anglo-American bogeyman of the two world wars, the word does not sit comfortably alongside such soothing terms as ‘enlightenment,’ ‘morality’ and ‘virtue,’” he wrote. “In a world where great-power rivalries have returned, however, realpolitik is once more discovering a receptive audience. The chastening of American ambitions in the Middle East also allows realpolitikers to point out, with some justification, that idealism can lead to worse moral outcomes than the cool, circumspect approach to statecraft that they purport to employ.”

This theme is particularly timely given Russia’s recent annexation of Crimea, the Kremlin’s increasingly belligerent threats against Ukraine and Moldova (also see cover profile), and the way Obama has handled the situation. It was also a major topic during Bew’s well-attended discussion with Brookings scholar Kagan at the Kluge Center.

“There’s a Soviet aspect to this, but I don’t think this is a Cold War scenario,” Bew told us. “The reality is that nations pursue what they perceive to be in their interests. However, the whole question of national interest is such a controversial, ambiguous term. So [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has made a calculation that acting in this way is in Russia’s national interest.”

And, he adds, there may not be much Washington can do about it.

“History tells you that any time a powerful nation is seen to pull away from one region of the world in any form, what normally happens is another powerful nation fills the void,” he observed. “So while we’d like to have independent, flowering, peaceful democratic nations, that’s not always possible. The sad reality of power politics is that democratic nations sometimes need a guarantor. You can’t prevent every scenario.”

Bew is now at the end of his 10-month fellowship. The next Kissinger chair will arrive in October, following the recommendation of a selection committee made up of academics and foreign policy experts.

After a vacation to Nicaragua with his fiancée, Bew plans to return to King’s College London, where he’ll resume work on not only his upcoming history of realpolitik but also a biography of Clement Attlee, who was Great Britain’s prime minister from 1945 to 1951.

Given Washington’s culture of news-obsessed immediacy, we asked Bew if the latest headlines are really important in the long view of international politics.

“I think the way to approach these things is to be historically grounded, but not scared of being present-minded,” he replied. “It’s a bit of a dilemma for academics. If historians vacate the debate over foreign policy, then they can’t complain later if [decisions] are not informed by history.”


About the Author

Larry Luxner is news editor of The Washington Diplomat.

   

Experts Debate Repercussions Of USAID’s Cuba Democracy Push

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By Larry Luxner

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For Nearly 25 Years, British, Spanish Social Secretaries Make It Look Easy

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By Anna Gawel

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State Department Hopes Its Latest Budget Escapes Congress Unscathed

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By Eliza Krigman

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Moldova Worries: ‘Are We Next?’

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By Larry Luxner

 

Read more: Moldova Worries: ‘Are We Next?’
   

Global Standing of U.S. Leadership Rebounded in 2013, Gallup Finds

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By Larry Luxner

Read more: Global Standing of U.S. Leadership Rebounded in 2013, Gallup Finds
   

Passports for a Price: Nations Sell Citizenship to Rich Investors

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By Karin Zeitvogel

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Four Latin American Envoys Tout Power of Pacific Pumas

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By Larry Luxner

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Eclectic Programs Sneak in Learning To Prevent Summer Brain Drain

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By Stephanie Kanowitz

Read more: Eclectic Programs Sneak in Learning To Prevent Summer Brain Drain
   

Andrew Heiskell Awards Honor Innovators in International Education

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By Carolyn Cosmos

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Research Hammers Home The Power of Exercise

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By Carolyn Cosmos

Read more: Research Hammers Home The Power of Exercise
   

PostClassical Celebrates 10 Years of Putting Music in Context

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By Kate Oczypok

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Dominican Economist Advises on Sustainable Development

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By Gail Scott

As a consultant and economist, Sylvia Charles has traveled throughout the Caribbean, advising governments on ways to boost economic development while preserving their countries’ natural resources. Each step of the way, she has followed her husband, Dominican Ambassador Hubert John Charles, throughout his long career with UNESCO, the U.N. agency charged in part with protecting World Heritage Sites around the globe.

Perhaps that’s why Sylvia Charles views the Caribbean as more than just a sunny tourist destination, but as an environmental treasure that must be respected. That includes Dominica, a small island of just over 70,000 people located in the Lesser Antilles chain above the Venezuelan coast.

b2.spouses.dominica.family.story
Dominican Ambassador Hubert John Charles and his wife Sylvia Charles pose with their two daughters Kaia and Shani.

“We are the ‘nature island’ of the Caribbean,” she proudly said. “We have a very lush country … with one of the highest rainfalls in the world.

“We have fewer people than any other Caribbean nation,” added Sylvia, a native of Antigua who has called Dominica home for years. “We take care of our environment, including our forests. The area is pristine and we cherish our national parks.”

Dominica has three national parks, including Morne Trois Pitons, a World Heritage Site, and Morne Diablotin, which was created in 2000 primarily to protect the habitat of the endangered Imperial Amazon parrot, also known as the Sisserou, Dominica’s national symbol.

“This island is very careful about how it is developed,” said Sylvia, a mother of two and grandmother of three. “Dominica promotes eco-tourism based on its lush vegetation, rivers, flora and outdoor spas. The services sector — including tourism, private education and other business services — is the main foreign exchange earner.”

The island, a British Commonwealth, has successfully developed an offshore medical education sector while promoting itself as an ecotourism destination. The government is also working to build its offshore financial services and harness its geothermal energy resources.

“There is geothermal potential and production wells are being constructed,” Sylvia explained. “The intention is to supply the domestic market as well as to export energy to neighboring countries.”

Sylvia is intimately familiar with many of those countries, having worked with them throughout her career. Among her positions, she was a macroeconomist/planner at the Grenadian Agency for Reconstruction and Development; chief technical officer for the Dominican Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism; and research fellow at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of the West Indies.

Early in his career, her husband was a permanent secretary in the Dominican Ministry of Education and president of Dominica State College. He also worked for UNESCO for nearly 20 years until coming to Washington in 2010 for his first-ever ambassador posting.

With grown daughters, it’s now easier for Sylvia to travel as a consultant. While in Washington, she has returned to Dominica and Grenada for consulting assignments. Over the years, this seasoned economist has also been hired by St. Lucia, Antigua, Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique and Nigeria for advice on sustainable economic development and other matters. As her husband traveled for his UNESCO postings, she found a job pertaining to each location’s economy wherever they lived.

“Once, while we were sent to South Africa by UNESCO, our older daughter Kaia stayed home in Dominica to finish her IB [International Baccalaureate degree]. She stayed with a very good friend. Otherwise, the whole family relocated with my husband,” Sylvia told us.

Their girls are now grown and on their own. Older daughter Kaia, 34 — whose name is Ghanaian and means “lovable” — lives in London with her two children and works for the Victoria and Albert Museum. Shani, 32, works in Dominica’s Ministry of Education and has one daughter.

Education runs in the family. When Sylvia was young, she was attracted to numbers and anything even faintly related to economics. “Economics is what makes a country tick,” she said. “It is about scarcity and want and the allocation of resources among competing alternatives to promote growth and development and ultimately employment and income creation.

“I was good in history too, just like my husband, but I picked economics for my master’s degree and my doctorate and he picked history,” she added. “I went to the University of the West Indies in Barbados, then to Trinidad for my master’s and to the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom for my Ph.D.”

Meanwhile, her husband earned a bachelor’s in history and economics at the University of the West Indies — where the two met — and a master’s in Atlantic history and culture from Johns Hopkins University in the United States.

b2.spouses.dominica.water.story
Economist Sylvia Charles, right, and friends Robert Shumake and Natalie King enjoy the waters of Dominica.

Sylvia says part of their jobs now is teaching Americans about their island nation, which many people confuse with the Dominican Republic, located northwest of Dominica. “A lot of people get us mixed up but we are very different. We are much smaller with only 290 square miles and only 71,000 people,” she said.

To promote its volcanic peaks, waterfalls, rainforest canopies and other natural wonders — including the 115-mile Waitukubuli National Trail, the longest hiking trail in the Caribbean — Dominica held its annual Nature Island Challenge last month. Teams from different countries are invited to compete in the one-of-a-kind challenge, in which they race across Dominica, talking with islanders and experiencing local sports and culture.

The tourism campaign is intended to diversify Dominica’s economy, which has long been dependent on agriculture, primarily bananas, the country’s main export.

“Banana production has declined because of the removal of the preferential marketing arrangements with the United Kingdom,” Sylvia explained. “More recently, a leaf-spot disease — Black Sigatoka — has affected the industry. The government is promoting the diversification of the agricultural sector and the expansion of coffee production and processing,” she said, noting that several natural water sources are also being tapped for bottled water.

“There is a variety of manufactured items, but most are small scale,” she continued. “Soaps constitute the largest manufacturing export. A factory formerly owned by the government is now owned by Colgate Palmolive. There are also cottage-type soap-making operations. Dominica exports essential oils, sauces and paints.”

In 2003, the government began a comprehensive restructuring of the economy, including the elimination of price controls, privatization of the state banana company and tax increases, in part to meet IMF demands.

“We need more investments in order to retain our young people,” Sylvia said, noting that many college-age students go to other countries, set down roots and don’t come back.

For her part, while her home is Dominica, Sylvia is enjoying life in the Washington area and is busy with events showcasing her island.

On May 3, Dominica, along with the Embassy of St. Kitts and Nevis, will welcome guests to the historic Fraser Mansion, now run by the National Affairs Office of the Church of Scientology, as part of Passport DC’s annual day of embassy open houses known as the Around the World Embassy Tour. The embassy building that Dominica shares with St. Kitts on New Mexico Avenue is being refurbished, so both countries are working from rental space in Rosslyn, Va., and hold occasional events at Fraser Mansion.

Then, on May 18, she will be working at the Food Festival of the Americas, held at the Organization of American States and organized by the Organization of Women of the Americas, of which Sylvia is a member.

But she also enjoys slowing down from diplomacy to work in her garden and practice yoga every day she can.

Because the couple lives in Germantown, Md., she sometimes comes into D.C. with her husband and keeps her own schedule for the day. She and her husband also love to go to the ballet (“our daughter danced for a long time,” she said) and all types of performances and art shows. “You have such a rich cultural life in Washington — you can’t get bored here,” Sylvia said. “There is so much to do.”


About the Author

Gail Scott is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat and Diplomatic Pouch.

   

Oman’s Million-Dollar Gift Aims to Connect ‘Gems of Indian Ocean’

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By Stephanie Kanowitz

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Expansive Visions of Africa

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By Anna Gawel

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‘Master of the Night’ Sheds Light on City’s Transformation

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By Sarah Alaoui

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In Zeitgeist DC Festival, Audience Takes Center Stage

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By Lisa Troshinsky

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‘Territories and Subjectivities’ Erases Lines, Raises Questions

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By Gary Tischler

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Southern-Inspired Carolina Kitchen Lends Creativity to Comfort Foods

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By Rachel G. Hunt

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Eastern European Experimental Cinema

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By Ky N. Nguyen

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Music, Film, Creativity, Politics Merge at South By Southwest

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By Ky N. Nguyen

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Films - May 2014

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By Cari

Languages

English

Spanish


French


Japanese

Polish

English

 Alan Partridge
Directed by Declan Lowney
(U.K./France, 2013, 90 min.)
When famous DJ Alan Partridge's radio station is taken over by a new media conglomerate, it sets in motion a chain of events in which Alan must work with the police to defuse a potentially violent siege.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Belle
Directed by Amma Asante
(U.K., 2013, 105 min.)
Inspired by a true story, the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle, affording her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing.
Theater TBA
Opens Fri., May 9

Castle in the Sky
(Tenkû no Shiro Rapyuta)
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
(Japan, 1986, 124 min.)
When a girl mysteriously falls from the sky and directly into his arms, a boy becomes involved in a wild adventure involving a secret floating city, pirates, giant robots and amazing flying contraptions (English-dubbed version).
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., May 30, 4:30 p.m.

The Cat Returns
(Neko no Ongaeshi)
Directed by Hiroyuki Morita
(Japan, 2002, 75 min.)
After helping a cat, a young girl finds herself involuntarily engaged to a cat prince in a magical world where her only hope of freedom lies with a dapper cat statuette come to life (English-dubbed version).
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., May 23, 5:20 p.m.,
Sun., May 25, 11 a.m.,
Tue., May 27, 5:20 p.m.

City Lights
Directed by Charles Chaplin
(U.S., 1931, 83 min.)
In possibly the Tramp's greatest tale, Charlie Chaplin falls in love with a beautiful young blind woman who has mistaken him for a millionaire and resolves to raise the funds to pay for the operation that will restore her sight.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., May 17, 3:45 p.m.,
Sun., May 18, 9:45 p.m.

Dancing in Jaffa
Directed by Hilla Medalia
(U.S., 2013, 90 min.)
Renowned ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine takes his program back to his city of birth, Jaffa, to teach Jewish and Palestinian Israelis to dance and compete together (English, Arabic and Hebrew).
Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Dirty Pretty Things
Directed by Stephen Frears
(U.K., 2002, 97 min.)
A medically trained Nigerian forced to juggle two low-paying menial jobs in order to survive and a Turkish asylum seeker make a gruesome discovery and their already perilous, uncomfortable lives take a macabre turn for the worse.
AFI Silver Theatre
Mon., May 19, 7:30 p.m.

Don Hemingway
Directed by Richard Shepard
(U.K., 2013, 92 min.)
After spending 12 years in prison for keeping his mouth shut, notorious safe-cracker Dom Hemingway is back on the streets of London looking to collect what he's owed.
Angelika Mosaic
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Henry V
Directed by Kenneth Branagh
(U.K, 1989, 137 min.)
Kenneth Branagh rocketed to international stardom with this winning screen adaptation of Shakespeare's rousing "Henry V."
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., May 10, 4:45 p.m.,
Thu., May 15, 6:45 p.m.

The Hornet's Nest
Directed by David Salzberg and Christian Tureaud
(Afghanistan/U.S., 2014, 97 min.)
Armed only with their cameras, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning conflict Journalist Mike Boettcher, and his son, Carlos, provide unprecedented access into the longest war in U.S. history.
Theater TBA
Opens Fri., May 16

Jodorowsky's Dune
Directed by Frank Pavich
(U.S./France, 2013, 90 min.)
Cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky embarks on an ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science fiction novel.
Theater TBA
Opens Fri., May 2

Lost in Translation
Directed by Sofia Coppola
(U.S./Japan, 2003, 101 min.)
A faded movie star and a neglected young wife form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.
Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., May 4, 2 p.m.

Naked
Directed by Mike Leigh
(U.K., 1993, 131 min.)
A troubled, motor-mouthed rogue on the run from Manchester shows up at a friend's London apartment, seduces and abandons her roommate, and roams the city in search of stimulation for his addled brain.
Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., May 16, 7 p.m.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
(Kaze no Tani no Nausicaä)
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
(Japan, 1984, 116 min.)
Warrior-pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet (English-dubbed version).
AFI Silver Theatre
May 16 to 19

Night and the City
Directed by Jules Dassin
(U.K., 1950, 96 min.)
An American grifter who prowls the London night pulling small-time scams tries to set himself up for a big payday as a professional wrestling promoter, but the gangster who controls the racket proves to be a dangerous foe.
Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., May 2, 8:30 p.m.

Objective, Burma!
Directed by Raoul Walsh
(U.S., 1945, 142 min.)
On a dangerous mission to destroy a Japanese radar station in the jungles of Burma, Errol Flynn must lead his team of paratroopers on a 150-mile march out of enemy territory to safety.
AFI Silver Theatre
May 26 to 29

Only Lovers Left Alive
Directed by Jim Jarmusch
(U.K./Germany/France/Cyprus/U.S., 2013, 123 min.)
Two fragile and sensitive vampires who have been lovers for centuries have evolved to a level where they no longer kill for sustenance, but still retain their innate wildness.
Angelika Mosaic
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Poroco Rosso
(Kurenai no Buta)
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
(Japan, 1992, 94 min.)
A swashbuckling tough guy aviator who just happens to be a pig battles pirates and other evildoers in this eccentric adventure set in 1920s Italy (English-dubbed version).
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., May 31, 11:05 a.m.

Princess Mononoke
(Mononoke Hime)
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
(Japan, 1997, 134 min.)
A pack of wolf-gods and their titular warrior princess, a girl they raised from a foundling, defend their forest home from the encroachment of humans and the malefaction of marauding demons (Japanese-language version with English subtitles screens May 29).
AFI Silver Theatre
May 23 to 29

The Railway Man
Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky
(Australia/U.K., 2013, 108 min.)
A former British Army officer, who was tormented at a Japanese labor camp during World War II, discovers that the man responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him.
Angelika Mosaic
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Romeo and Juliet
Directed by Franco Zeffirelli
(U.K./Italy, 1968, 138 min.)
Franco Zeffirelli's lush, romantic and wildly popular 1960s adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet," at the time the most successful Shakespeare screen adaptation, struck a chord with youth audiences around the world, breaking with stage tradition to cast younger actors.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., May 4, 8:45 p.m.

Salt of the Earth
Directed by Herbert J. Biberman
(U.S., 1954, 94 min.)
Originally banned by the U.S. government, this film tells the story of Mexican-American workers who strike to attain wage parity with Anglo workers and the pivotal role their wives play in the strike.
AFI Silver Theatre
Mon., May 5, 7:30 p.m.

The Train
Directed by John Frankenheimer
(U.S./France/Italy, 1964, 133 min.)
With the Allies on the march to Paris in August 1944, things become personal for French Resistance fighter Labiche after France's priceless art treasures, looted from museums, are ordered to be loaded on to a train and spirited off to Germany.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., May 11, 5 p.m.,
Wed., May 14, 7:10 p.m.

Under the Skin
Directed by Jonathan Glazer
(U.K., 2013, 107 min.)
A voluptuous woman of unknown origin combs the highways of Scotland in search of isolated or forsaken men, luring a succession of lost souls into an otherworldly lair
Angelika Mosaic
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Watermark
Directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky
(Canada, 2013, 90 min.)
This feature documentary brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it and the consequences of that use (English, Mandarin, Bengali, Hindi and Spanish).
Landmark's E Street Cinema

French

 Alan Partridge
Directed by Declan Lowney
(U.K./France, 2013, 90 min.)
When famous DJ Alan Partridge's radio station is taken over by a new media conglomerate, it sets in motion a chain of events in which Alan must work with the police to defuse a potentially violent siege.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Belle
Directed by Amma Asante
(U.K., 2013, 105 min.)
Inspired by a true story, the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle, affording her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing.
Theater TBA
Opens Fri., May 9

Castle in the Sky
(Tenkû no Shiro Rapyuta)
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
(Japan, 1986, 124 min.)
When a girl mysteriously falls from the sky and directly into his arms, a boy becomes involved in a wild adventure involving a secret floating city, pirates, giant robots and amazing flying contraptions (English-dubbed version).
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., May 30, 4:30 p.m.

The Cat Returns
(Neko no Ongaeshi)
Directed by Hiroyuki Morita
(Japan, 2002, 75 min.)
After helping a cat, a young girl finds herself involuntarily engaged to a cat prince in a magical world where her only hope of freedom lies with a dapper cat statuette come to life (English-dubbed version).
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., May 23, 5:20 p.m.,
Sun., May 25, 11 a.m.,
Tue., May 27, 5:20 p.m.

City Lights
Directed by Charles Chaplin
(U.S., 1931, 83 min.)
In possibly the Tramp's greatest tale, Charlie Chaplin falls in love with a beautiful young blind woman who has mistaken him for a millionaire and resolves to raise the funds to pay for the operation that will restore her sight.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., May 17, 3:45 p.m.,
Sun., May 18, 9:45 p.m.

Dancing in Jaffa
Directed by Hilla Medalia
(U.S., 2013, 90 min.)
Renowned ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine takes his program back to his city of birth, Jaffa, to teach Jewish and Palestinian Israelis to dance and compete together (English, Arabic and Hebrew).
Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema

Dirty Pretty Things
Directed by Stephen Frears
(U.K., 2002, 97 min.)
A medically trained Nigerian forced to juggle two low-paying menial jobs in order to survive and a Turkish asylum seeker make a gruesome discovery and their already perilous, uncomfortable lives take a macabre turn for the worse.
AFI Silver Theatre
Mon., May 19, 7:30 p.m.

Don Hemingway
Directed by Richard Shepard
(U.K., 2013, 92 min.)
After spending 12 years in prison for keeping his mouth shut, notorious safe-cracker Dom Hemingway is back on the streets of London looking to collect what he's owed.
Angelika Mosaic
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Henry V
Directed by Kenneth Branagh
(U.K, 1989, 137 min.)
Kenneth Branagh rocketed to international stardom with this winning screen adaptation of Shakespeare's rousing "Henry V."
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., May 10, 4:45 p.m.,
Thu., May 15, 6:45 p.m.

The Hornet's Nest
Directed by David Salzberg and Christian Tureaud
(Afghanistan/U.S., 2014, 97 min.)
Armed only with their cameras, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning conflict Journalist Mike Boettcher, and his son, Carlos, provide unprecedented access into the longest war in U.S. history.
Theater TBA
Opens Fri., May 16

Jodorowsky's Dune
Directed by Frank Pavich
(U.S./France, 2013, 90 min.)
Cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky embarks on an ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science fiction novel.
Theater TBA
Opens Fri., May 2

Lost in Translation
Directed by Sofia Coppola
(U.S./Japan, 2003, 101 min.)
A faded movie star and a neglected young wife form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.
Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., May 4, 2 p.m.

Naked
Directed by Mike Leigh
(U.K., 1993, 131 min.)
A troubled, motor-mouthed rogue on the run from Manchester shows up at a friend's London apartment, seduces and abandons her roommate, and roams the city in search of stimulation for his addled brain.
Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., May 16, 7 p.m.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
(Kaze no Tani no Nausicaä)
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
(Japan, 1984, 116 min.)
Warrior-pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet (English-dubbed version).
AFI Silver Theatre
May 16 to 19

Night and the City
Directed by Jules Dassin
(U.K., 1950, 96 min.)
An American grifter who prowls the London night pulling small-time scams tries to set himself up for a big payday as a professional wrestling promoter, but the gangster who controls the racket proves to be a dangerous foe.
Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., May 2, 8:30 p.m.

Objective, Burma!
Directed by Raoul Walsh
(U.S., 1945, 142 min.)
On a dangerous mission to destroy a Japanese radar station in the jungles of Burma, Errol Flynn must lead his team of paratroopers on a 150-mile march out of enemy territory to safety.
AFI Silver Theatre
May 26 to 29

Only Lovers Left Alive
Directed by Jim Jarmusch
(U.K./Germany/France/Cyprus/U.S., 2013, 123 min.)
Two fragile and sensitive vampires who have been lovers for centuries have evolved to a level where they no longer kill for sustenance, but still retain their innate wildness.
Angelika Mosaic
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Poroco Rosso
(Kurenai no Buta)
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
(Japan, 1992, 94 min.)
A swashbuckling tough guy aviator who just happens to be a pig battles pirates and other evildoers in this eccentric adventure set in 1920s Italy (English-dubbed version).
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., May 31, 11:05 a.m.

Princess Mononoke
(Mononoke Hime)
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
(Japan, 1997, 134 min.)
A pack of wolf-gods and their titular warrior princess, a girl they raised from a foundling, defend their forest home from the encroachment of humans and the malefaction of marauding demons (Japanese-language version with English subtitles screens May 29).
AFI Silver Theatre
May 23 to 29

The Railway Man
Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky
(Australia/U.K., 2013, 108 min.)
A former British Army officer, who was tormented at a Japanese labor camp during World War II, discovers that the man responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him.
Angelika Mosaic
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Romeo and Juliet
Directed by Franco Zeffirelli
(U.K./Italy, 1968, 138 min.)
Franco Zeffirelli's lush, romantic and wildly popular 1960s adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet," at the time the most successful Shakespeare screen adaptation, struck a chord with youth audiences around the world, breaking with stage tradition to cast younger actors.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., May 4, 8:45 p.m.

Salt of the Earth
Directed by Herbert J. Biberman
(U.S., 1954, 94 min.)
Originally banned by the U.S. government, this film tells the story of Mexican-American workers who strike to attain wage parity with Anglo workers and the pivotal role their wives play in the strike.
AFI Silver Theatre
Mon., May 5, 7:30 p.m.

The Train
Directed by John Frankenheimer
(U.S./France/Italy, 1964, 133 min.)
With the Allies on the march to Paris in August 1944, things become personal for French Resistance fighter Labiche after France's priceless art treasures, looted from museums, are ordered to be loaded on to a train and spirited off to Germany.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., May 11, 5 p.m.,
Wed., May 14, 7:10 p.m.

Under the Skin
Directed by Jonathan Glazer
(U.K., 2013, 107 min.)
A voluptuous woman of unknown origin combs the highways of Scotland in search of isolated or forsaken men, luring a succession of lost souls into an otherworldly lair.
Angelika Mosaic
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Watermark
Directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky
(Canada, 2013, 90 min.)
This feature documentary brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it and the consequences of that use (English, Mandarin, Bengali, Hindi and Spanish).
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Japanese

Jellyfish Eyes
(Mememe no Kurage)
Directed by Takashi Murakami
(Japan, 2013, 101 min.)
Takashi Murakami introduces and discusses his first feature, which blends his celebrated mash-up of cute, trippy animated imagery with live action. Developed as a fable spun around childhood fears — monsters, ostracism, bullying — this metaphorical phantasmagoria also references the Fukushima catastrophe.
Hirshhorn Museum Ring Auditorium
Thu., May 22, 8 p.m.

Ponyo
(Gake no Ue no Ponyo)
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
(Japan, 2008, 101 min.)
In the magical world of Ponyo, a goldfish princess forms a friendship with a land-dwelling boy.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., May 3, 11:05 a.m.,
Sun., May 4, 11:05 a.m.,
Mon., May 5, 5:15 p.m.

Rikyu
Directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara
(Japan, 1989, 116 min.)
Legendary tea master Sen no Rikyu becomes the tea instructor to a warlord who rose from peasant roots to become Japan's second "great unifier." (Screening preceded by a tea tasting of the same variety of whisked green tea (matcha) that is prepared in "Rikyu.")
Freer Gallery of Art
Sun., May 18, 1 p.m.

The Secret World of Arrietty
(Karigurashi no Arrietty)
Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi
(Japan, 2010, 94 min.)
A mouse-size family of four-inch people lives in the shadow of a human home, occasionally surfacing to borrow simple items, but the two worlds collide when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.
AFI Silver Theatre
May 9 to 12

Throne of Blood
(Kumonosu-jô)
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
(Japan, 1957, 110 min.)
A war-hardened general, egged on by his ambitious wife, works to fulfill a prophecy that he will take the throne in this feudal Japanese adaptation of "Macbeth."
AFI Silver Theatre
Mon., May 12, 9:20 p.m.,
Wed., May 14, 9:45 p.m.,
Thu., May 15, 9:30 p.m.

Polish

Austeria
Directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz
(Poland, 1982, 107 min.)
At a roadside inn (austeria) in Galicia, a group of Jews fleeing an invading army of Cossacks in 1914 is joined by a Hungarian hussar, an Austrian baroness, and sundry Ukrainians and Poles.
National Gallery of Art
Sun., May 11, 4 p.m.

Black Cross (Knight of the Teutonic Order)
Directed by Aleksander Ford
(Poland, 1960, 173 min.)
A young impoverished nobleman returns from a war against the order of the Teutonic Knights in Lithuania, falls in love with a beautiful woman, and pledges an oath to bring her "three trophies" from the Teutonic Knights.
National Gallery of Art
Sat., May 31, 2 p.m.

The Hourglass Sanatorium
(Sanatorium pod Klepsydrą)
Directed by Wojciech Has
(Poland, 1973, 124 min.)
Set in the pre-World War II, a young man is on a strange train to see his dying father in a decaying sanatorium in this visionary, poetic reflection on the nature of time and the irreversibility of death.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., May 17, 5:30 p.m.

Ida
Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski
(Poland, 2013, 80 min.)
Anna, an 18-year-old sheltered orphan raised in a convent, is preparing to become a nun when she first meets her only living relative, a Communist Party insider who shocks Anna with the declaration that her her Jewish parents were murdered during the Nazi occupation.
Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema
Opens Fri., May 23

Innocent Sorcerers
(Niewinni czarodzieje)
Directed by Andrzej Wajda
(Poland, 1960, 87 min.)
A love story and a portrait of young Poles in the 1950s, this film tells the tale of two people who meet at a bar and go home together, but as dawn approaches, what starts as a simple one-night encounter grows in meaning.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., May 11, 9:45 p.m.,
Mon., May 12, 7:15 p.m.

Pharaoh
Directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz
(Poland, 1966, 152 min.)
Young Pharaoh Ramses XIII clashes with Egypt's clergy in this dramatization of ancient Egyptian intrigue that mixes archeologically precise reproduction with a riveting narrative of raw power politics.
National Gallery of Art
Sun., May 18, 4 p.m.

The Saragossa Manuscript
(Rękopis znaleziony w Saragossie)
Directed by Wojciech Has
(Poland, 1965, 182 min.)
In Spain during the Napoleonic Wars, two enemy officers form an uneasy truce at a deserted Saragossa inn as they pore over a mysterious book recounting the amazing tales of a Walloon officer who came to Spain in 1739.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., May 3, 7:15 p.m.
Sun., May 4, 5:15 p.m.

A Short Film about Killing
Directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski
(Poland, 1988, 84 min.)
A new lawyer must defend a young man who brutally murdered a taxi driver in this grim meditation on both the act of murder and the ordeal of capital punishment.
National Gallery of Art
Sun., May 25, 4:30 p.m.

The Wedding
(Wesele)
Directed by Andrzej Wajda
(Poland, 1973, 106 min.)
An intellectual from a big town comes to marry a simple country girl, as families and friends from both sides regard the alliance with skepticism and curiosity.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., May 25, 7 p.m.,
Mon., May 26, 7 p.m.

Spanish

The German Doctor
(Wakolda)
Directed by Lucía Puenzo
(Argentina/France/Spain/Norway, 2013, 93 min.)
In 1960 Patagonia, a family starting a new life in a small town welcomes a German doctor into their home, not knowing they are harboring one of the world's most dangerous criminals (Spanish, German and Hebrew).
The Avalon Theatre
Opens Fri., May 23

   

Events - May 2014

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EVENT CATEGORIES

Art

Dance

Discussions

 

Galas

Music

Theater


ART 

May 2 to May 31

A Latvian Voice in Glass

The fascinating glasswork of Latvian artist Artis Nimanis plays with the multifaceted nature of glass — its plasticity, graphics, contrast, optics, reflection and mirroring. An award-winning glass designer and creator of the glass brand an&angel (Angel Glass Design Ltd), Nimanis uses minimalism and strict geometry with the latest technology to create striking objects that blend form, function and fun. The exhibit, part of “Riga 2014 - European Capital of Culture,” is open on Fridays and Saturday.

Embassy of Latvia Art Space

May 2 to 30

Paper: Korean to American

Two artists explore the diversity of artistic expression possible through Korean traditional paper, known as Hanji. Lee Jongkuk uses humorous and witty folk subjects like birds and wild animals on Hanji made from Korean Mulberry tree fibers, while professor Lee Yongtaek works with modern, sensuous colors to show Hanji’s infinite contemporary artistry.

Korean Cultural Center

May 3 to Aug. 17

An American in London: Whistler and the Thames

American artist James McNeill Whistler arrived in London in 1859 and discovered in its neighborhoods and inhabitants an inexhaustible source of aesthetic inspiration. His images of the city created over the next two decades represent one of his most successful assaults on the contemporary art establishment.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through May 4

In Focus: Ara Güler’s Anatolia

Ara Güler, the “Eye of Istanbul,” is famous for his iconic snapshots of the city in the 1950s and ’60s, but with an archive of more than 800,000 photographs, Güler's body of work contains far more than these emblematic images — as seen in this exhibition of never-before-shown works by the legendary photographer.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

May 8 to 24

Critters and Doodles (Alicángaras y Mamarrachos)

Marta L. Gutierrez’s playful drawings, paintings and characters, whose suggestive names tell us stories, invite audiences to experience the ordinary as extraordinary in a whimsical alternative universe.

Embassy of Colombia

May 9 to Aug. 1

American States in Yuan Xikun’s Eyes: Preservation and Transformation

In this collaboration between China and OAS member countries, Yuan Xikun uses cross-disciplinary art and modern context to energize trans-Pacific dialogue.

Organization of American States Sculpture Garden

May 11 to Oct. 5

Degas/Cassatt

Although Edgar Degas’s influence upon Mary Cassatt has long been acknowledged, the extent to which Cassatt shaped Degas’s artistic production and prepared the way for his warm reception by American audiences is fully examined in this exhibition for the first time.

National Gallery of Art

May 12 to Nov. 14

The First Woman Graphic Novelist: Helena Bochořáková-Dittrichová

Helena Bochořáková-Dittrichová (1894–1980) was a Czech graphic artist whose 1929 novel “Zmého dětství (From My Childhood)” is widely acknowledged to be the first wordless novel created by a woman.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through May 16

Abstraction, Abstracción, Abstração

Paintings by 16 of Brazil’s most well-known 20th-century abstract artists — eight women and eight men — were done purely for aesthetic reasons using practiced painting or printmaking skills, creating visually interesting and thought-provoking works that search for a deeper understanding of light, color, textures and technical processes.

Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center

Through May 17

Man at the Crossroads: Diego Rivera’s Mural at Rockefeller Center

This exposition centers around the mural that Mexican artist Diego Rivera painted in New York City, reconstructing its history with unedited material, including reproduced letters, telegrams, contracts, sketches, and documents, following Rivera’s commission, subsequent tension and conflict, and finally, the mural’s destruction.

Mexican Cultural Institute

Through May 22

Unanswered Prayers

The photographs of Anna Paola Pizzocaro, a renowned New York-based artist from Milan, carry traces of her collaborations with Luc Besson and David La Chappelle and tell the story of a dream-like trip between reality and imagination, as oceanic images combined with wildlife and human figures in urban settings become one.

Embassy of Italy

Through May 23

Retrato en Voz Alta

Portraits of contemporary Mexican artists by photographer Allan Fis includes subjects such as revered Mexican visual artists Pedro Friedeberg and José Luis Cuevas in a resounding visual essay on those who have dedicated their lives to art.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas

Through May 26

Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950

The first in-depth exploration of the theme of destruction in international contemporary visual culture, this groundbreaking exhibition includes works by a diverse range of international artists working in painting, sculpture, photography, film, installation and performance.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through May 30

Latitude Malbec: A Journey through Rouge Senses

Argentinean artist Miguel Perez Lem combines several mediums with images from the Andes to recreate the immense beauty of the mountain range through deep reds, evoking the various hues of the distinctive Malbec wine that is produced in that particular region of Argentina.

Embassy of Argentina

Through June 1

Double Mirror

Paintings, drawings, photography, reliefs, video projection and other installations by 30 Korean and Korean-American artists convey the complexity and richness of being a creative wanderer in the mainstream art world, while also exploring the challenges of being a minority in the United States.

American University Katzen Arts Center

Through June 6

Sequester

Six Australian contemporary artists working out of New York City and London were selected based on an empirical set of rules. In an act of sequestering the artists, each has adopted a system of constraint to structure their experiments, elucidating the vast complexities of lived experience with a remarkable economy of means.

Embassy of Australia Art Gallery

Through June 8

Garry Winogrand

A renowned photographer of New York City and American life from the 1950s through the early 1980s, Garry Winogrand worked with dazzling energy and a voracious appetite. In the first retrospective of his work in 25 years, some 180 photographs in the exhibition and more than 350 in the accompanying catalogue will reveal for the first time the full breadth of Winogrand’s art.

National Gallery of Art

Through June 8, 2014

Perspectives: Rina Banerjee

Born in India and based in New York City, artist Rina Banerjee draws on her background as a scientist and her experience as an immigrant in her richly textured works that complicate the role of objects as representations of cultures and invite viewers to share her fascination in materials.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through June 15

Gravity’s Edge

One of a series of exhibitions drawn from the collection of the Hirshhorn in celebration of the museum’s 40th anniversary, “Gravity’s Edge” offers an expanded view of Color Field painting, which spanned from 1959 to 1978.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through June 15

Rineke Dijkstra: The Krazyhouse

“The Krazyhouse” is a four-channel video installation by Rineke Dijkstra created in 2009 at a popular dance club in Liverpool that presents a group of five young people in their teens and early 20s dancing and singing.

Corcoran Gallery of Art

Through June 15

Shakespeare’s the Thing

Marking the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, this exhibition presents a miscellany of treasures in the Folger collection from Shakespeare’s 1623 First Folio to modern fine art prints, revealing the Bard’s influence on performance, adaptation, scholarship, printing, fine art and even in mild obsession.

Folger Shakespeare Library

Through June 21

Light Touch

The Cultural Service of the Embassy of France, in partnership with Maryland Art Place (MAP), features the work of five artists who explore aspects of the physical world through the lens of light as both a medium and a resource of value to our natural environment.

BWI Airport

Through June 29

Modern German Prints and Drawings from the Kainen Collection

Ruth Kainen’s love of German expressionism, first displayed at the gallery in the 1985 exhibition “German Expressionist Prints from the Collection of Ruth and Jacob Kainen,” will be celebrated with 123 works recently donated to the gallery through her bequest, as well as with a few of her earlier gifts.

National Gallery of Art

Through July 7

Territories and Subjectivities: Contemporary Art from Argentina

This exhibition featuring 33 innovative artists presents a vigorous panorama of fresh trends from various regions of the country, examining the very notion of territory not as an inherent condition of the world that we share, but as something that humans define for themselves through subjective means.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas

Through July 13

Dancing the Dream

From the late 19th century to today, dance has captured this nation’s culture in motion, as seen in photos that showcase generations of performers, choreographers and impresarios.

National Portrait Gallery

Through July 27

Chigusa and the Art of Tea

“Chigusa” tells the story of a 700-year-old ordinary tea jar that rose to become one of the most famous and revered objects in the Japanese “art of tea” — so much so that it was granted a name, luxurious accessories and a devoted following.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through July 27

Kiyochika: Master of the Night

On Sept. 3, 1868, the city called Edo ceased to exist. Renamed Tokyo by Japan’s new rulers, the city became the primary experiment in a national drive toward modernization. Kobayashi Kiyochika, a self-trained artist, set out to record his views of Tokyo in an ambitious and auspicious series of 100 prints.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through Aug. 17

An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle

Jess Collins and his partner, the poet Robert Duncan, merged their personal and artistic lives by exploring their mutual interest in cultural mythologies, transformative narrative and the appropriation of images.

American University Katzen Arts Center

Through Aug. 17

Visions from the Forests: The Art of Liberia and Sierra Leone

The exhibition features some 70 artworks from the collection of William Siegmann (1943–2011) — a former curator of African art at the Brooklyn Museum who lived and worked in Liberia for more than two decades — that survey the traditional arts of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

National Museum of African Art

Through Aug. 24

Africa ReViewed: The Photographic Legacy of Eliot Elisofon

“Africa ReViewed” showcases the African photography of celebrated Life magazine photographer Eliot Elisofon and explores the intricate relationships between his photographic archives and art collection at the National Museum of African Art. Elisofon's images had a huge impact in framing America's perceptions of Africa and its diverse cultures during the 20th century.

National Museum of African Art

Through Aug. 31

Made in the USA: American Masters from The Phillips Collection, 1850–1970

Following an acclaimed four-year world tour, the Phillips’s renowned collection of American masterworks returns to the museum to tell the story of American art from the late 19th-century to the mid-20th century, when it became a significant global force after World War II.

The Phillips Collection

Through Sept. 2

Peruvian Gold: Ancient Treasures Unearthed

This exhibition journeys through civilizations from 1250 B.C. to 1450, learning through the ceremonial gold, silver, ceramics and textiles created by the complex Andean civilizations in ancient Peru that rival anything made by the ancient Egyptians.

National Geographic Museum

Through Sept. 7

Small Guide to Homeownership: Photography by Alejandro Cartagena of Mexico

This selection from Alejandro Cartagena’s “Mexicana Suburbia” series considers the interdependence of humans and landscape in the face of urban expansion.

Art Museum of the Americas

Through Sept. 14

Bountiful Waters: Aquatic Life in Japanese Art

This exhibition features a selection of prints, paintings, illustrated books and ceramics that depict the Japanese appreciation for the beauty and variety of fish and other species.

Freer Gallery of Art

Through Sept. 14

Meret Oppenheim: Tender Friendships

More than 20 artworks and archival papers by Swiss surrealist Meret Oppenheim (1913-85) explore friendship as a source of support and inspiration, as seen through two 18th-century poets, Bettina von Brentano and Karoline von Günderode.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through Sept. 21

Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence

A community of women living and working together in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, has developed a new form of bead art — using black fabric as a canvas and different colored Czech glass beads as the medium of expression — to empower local women.

The Anacostia Community Museum

DANCE

Through May 3

Urban Corps 2014: A Transatlantic Urban Dance Festival

The Alliance Française’s annual transatlantic urban dance festival comes back to D.C. for its third year with powerful performances from urban dancers, musicians and speakers whose distinct backgrounds in arts such as miming, acrobatics, DJ, video and American urban dance present an unrivaled vantage point on metropolitan culture and identity. For information, visit www.francedc.org.

Various locations

May 20 to 25

Bolshoi Ballet: Giselle

Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet returns with “unparalleled intensity and brilliance” (Washington Post) to the Opera House to dance “Giselle,” one of the most romantic and visually striking works in the classical canon. Tickets are $34 to $165.

Kennedy Center Opera House

DISCUSSIONS

Wed., May 7, 7 p.m.

Beneath the Lion’s Gaze

Ethiopian-American writer and human rights activist Maaza Mengiste discusses her debut novel, “Beneath the Lion’s Gaze,” the story of a family’s struggle for freedom in 1974 on the eve of the Ethiopian revolution and the larger plight of sub-Sahara immigrants arriving in Europe. Admission is first come first served.

University of the District of Columbia
Theater of the Arts

Wed., May 7, 6:45 p.m.

Revueltas and Mexican Identity

As part of the PostClassical Ensemble’s Mexican Revolution programming, Roberto Kolb of the National University of Mexico, today’s leading Revueltas authority, discusses the legacy of Silvestre Revueltas Sánchez, a Mexican violinist, conductor and composer of classical music. Admission is free; reservations can be made by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Mexican Cultural Institute

Thu., May 8, 7:30 p.m.

Modernism in 1914

To mark the centenary of World War I, Steven Beller discusses how the violence of the First World War kick-started many of the changes that created the modern world we live in today.

Embassy of Austria

Wed., May 21, 4 p.m.

Tarfia Faizullah

Bangladeshi-American poet Tarfia Faizullah discusses her first collection of poetry, “Seam,” which explores the history of the Birangona, Bangladeshi women raped by Pakistani soldiers during the Liberation War of 1971, and the ethics of interviewing.

Library of Congress
James Madison Building

GALAS

Fri., May 2, 6:30 p.m.

Roger Nakazawa Art Reception

Join alumni from Princeton University, Johns Hopkins and other universities for an evening of wine and hors d’oeuvres that features the art of physiognomy (face reading), a silent auction and the work of six artists. Tickets are $35; 30 percent of all art sales will be donated to Charlies Place, a homeless service center in D.C. For information, visit http://mcbarnette.com/events.html.

Embassy of Austria

Through May 3

Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting & Auction

Heart’s Delight, widely recognized as a premier destination event where master winemakers, culinary greats and distinguished guests gather to play and bid in the nation’s capital, features four days of exceptional food and wine with unique touches woven throughout, including a series of ambassador-hosted dinners and a Vintners Dinner at Mellon Auditorium. Over the past 14 years, Heart’s Delight has raised more than $12 million for the American Heart Association. For information, visit http://heartsdelightwineauction.org.

Various locations

Sat., May 10, 6:30 p.m.

WPAS Annual Gala and Auction

A highlight of the spring gala season, the Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS) Gala and Auction raises funds to support the organization’s main stage and education programs. This year’s gala is hosted by South African Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool and features Vusi Mahlasela. Known as “The Voice” of South Africa, Mahlasela’s songs, themed around the struggle for freedom, forgiveness and reconciliation, inspired many in the South African anti-apartheid movement. Tickets start at $1,600; for information, call (202) 293-9325 or Helen Aberger at (202) 533-1891.

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

Fri., May 16, 6:30 p.m.

Viennese Opera Ball

Enjoy a delightful evening of Austrian music as you indulge in the cuisine, culture, art and wine of Vienna hosted by the International Club of DC and Lyrica Artists, including a classical music and opera concert performance featuring rising stars of the operatic stage. Tickets are $65; for information, visit http://acfdc.org.

Embassy of Austria

MUSIC

Mon., May 5, 7 p.m.

Georgetown University and a coalition of partners from around the world will present a historic musical celebration of the canonizations of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII in the spirit of Pope Francis. Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero will attend together with Cardinal Donald Wuer and the ambassadors of Poland and Argentina. To register, visit www.iicwashington.esteri.it.

DAR Constitution Hall

Wed., May 7, 7:30 p.m.

Aima Labra-Makk and Florian Kitt

To mark the centenary of the start of World War I in 1914, pianist Aima Labra-Makk and violoncello Florian Kitt play a selection of music that was written just before and after the war, along with more recent works. Admission is free but registration is required and can be made at http://labrakitt.eventbrite.com.

Embassy of Austria

Sat., May 10, 2:30 p.m.

Eurovision Song Contest

Join the Embassy of Denmark to celebrate the grand finale of the World’s largest music contest, featuring 37 countries and 600 million viewers — all broadcast live from Copenhagen, the host city of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Tickets are $15; for information, visit www.EurovisionUSLive.eventbrite.com.

Embassy of Denmark

Thu., May 15, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., May 16, 7:30 p.m.

Operetta Evening

Hungarian soprano Krisztina David teams up with Austrian tenor Michael Heim in a thrilling array of arias and duets from beloved operettas in this two-night event hosted by the Embassy Series. Tickets are $65, including reception; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

Embassy of Austria

Tue., May 20, 7:30 p.m.

The Arabella String Quartet

At their debut concert in Boston two years ago, the Arabella Quartet received a glowing review from the Boston Musical Intelligencer, which said, “The group played like they had been together for years … with freedom, drive and risk-taking that were quite astonishing in a debut performance.” Tickets are $150, including buffet; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

European Union Residence

Thu., May 22, 7:30 p.m.

Chamber Music of Ravel and Debussy

Pianist Ann Schein — whom the Washington Post says “reaches right into the heart of whatever she is playing and creates music so powerful you cannot tear yourself away” — joins violinist Earl Carlyss and cellist Darret Adkins in a program of Debussy and Ravel. Tickets are $65, including reception; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

Embassy of France

THEATER

May 3 to 18

Washington National Opera: The Magic Flute

A love-struck prince sets out on a fantastic adventure to rescue the Queen of the Night’s daughter in Mozart’s final opera. Tickets are $25 to $305.

Kennedy Center Opera House

Through May 4

Camp David

Nestled in Catoctin Mountain Park lies the clandestine retreat known as Camp David, where for 13 tumultuous days, President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn host Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in an attempt to create the impossible: peace in the Middle East. Please call for ticket information.

Arena Stage

Through May 4

Moth

Anime-obsessed Sebastian and emo-Wiccan Claryssa survive high school with a mix of imagination and belligerence, but then a horrific event sends Sebastian on an apocalyptic mission, changing their friendship forever. Tickets are $30 to $35.

Studio Theatre

May 7 to 18

The Václav Havel Project

Alliance for New Music-Theatre presents “The Václav Havel Project,” a double bill that pairs the irreverent “Unveiling,” one of the Czech playwright’s most popular plays, with the world premiere of “Vaněk Unleashed,” a hilarious companion piece of original music-theatre by D.C.’s Maurice Saylor and Susan Galbraith. Post-performance discussions at all performances will allow audience members to share their interpretations of Václav Havel and these works. The production will also be accompanied by an exhibit of photographs by Jan Kašpar, a family friend of Havel’s. Tickets are $30; for information, visit www.newmusictheatre.org.

Artisphere Black Box Theatre

May 8 to June 8

Three Men in a Boat (To say nothing of the dog)

Still fresh and witty after more than a century, Jerome K. Jerome's delightful travelogue tells the story of three young men suffering from a severe case of “overwork” who take a boating holiday through the English countryside, getting into one satirically hilarious predicament after another. Tickets start at $35.

Synetic Theater

Through May 11

Tender Napalm

A pair of young lovers creates a fantastical, often violent world through an interweaving dialogue of increasing perplexity. At the heart of their fantasies lies an unimaginable tragedy that both bonds and breaks the two. Please call for ticket information. 

Signature Theatre

May 14 to June 22

Cock

John breaks up with his long-term boyfriend. Two weeks later, he’s grateful to be accepted back — and haunted by a passionate and unshakable encounter with a woman that detonates a love triangle of attraction, ambivalence and commitment. Please call for ticket information.

Studio Theatre 

Through May 18

Living Out

Ana, a Salvadoran nanny and a mother of two, and Nancy, a lawyer challenged by fulfilling both personal and professional goals, are two working mothers who make difficult choices so they can provide a better life for their children. Please call for ticket information.

GALA Hispanic Theatre

Through May 18

Tango Turco (Turkish Tango)

In this comedy by Teatro de la Luna, two lovers and tango dancers from Argentina must escape after committing an uncertain and painful act, eventually teaming up with a Lebanese guitarist. Tickets are $25 or $35.

Gunston Arts Center – Theater Two

Through May 25

Fiasco Theater’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona

New York’s inventive Fiasco Theater has established its reputation for bringing Shakespeare’s most whimsical and timeless tales to the stage. This dizzying romantic adventure is a comedy filled with bandits, mistaken identity and also the “sourest-natured” dog Crab. Tickets are $30 to $72.

Folger Shakespeare Library

Through June 1

The Threepenny Opera

The haves clash with the have-nots while MacHeath, the ultimate sneering antihero, perches in the middle of the storm in this futuristic dystopia set in London’s gritty underworld. Please call for ticket information. 

Signature Theatre

Through June 7

Henry IV, Part 1

A young prince must decide between tavern roughhousing and the burden of his father’s legacy in the coming-of-age story of heroism, corruption and war, directed by Shakespeare Theatre Artistic Director Michael Kahn and starring Stacy Keach. Tickets start at $20.

Shakespeare Theatre Harman Hall

Through June 8

Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller

Stuffed with nearly 40 popular hits from the golden age of rock, rhythm and blues, this longest-running musical revue in Broadway history will prove that Smokey Joe’s Café is the place to be. Please call for ticket information.

Arena Stage

   

Classifieds - May 2014

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Real Estate Classifieds - May 2014

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