Center for Southeast Asian Studies kicks off golden anniversary year with photo exhibition

Center for Southeast Asian Studies 50th Anniversary logoThe Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) will present a photographic exploration of Islamic cultures across Southeast Asia in “Islamic Cultures in Reflection,” an exhibit opening at 4 p.m. Monday, March 5, at the Holmes Student Center’s Gallery Lounge.

The exhibit will kick off a series of  events over the next year planned to mark  the 50th anniversary of CSEAS, established March 5, 1963, at NIU.

The traveling exhibit comes to NIU via the University of Hawaii’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies. It includes more than 70 images documenting the cultural diversity of Muslim culture, from Thailand on the mainland to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia (home to the largest Muslim population in the world).

Since it was first displayed at the University of Hawaii in 2007, the exhibit has traveled to several elementary schools in Hawaii, including President Barack Obama’s alma mater, and to four U.S. colleges before coming to NIU.

This photo of a Muslim family at a barbecue is part of a photographic exploration of Islamic cultures across Southeast Asia.
This photo of a Muslim family at a barbecue is part of a photographic exploration of Islamic cultures across Southeast Asia.

The photographers, mostly amateur, come from the United States and Southeast Asia. The photographs were curated for the exhibit by two UH graduate students at the time, Sabril Akhmady and Anthony Medrano. Medrano, now a doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be on hand to discuss the exhibit at the March 5 reception.

Also speaking will be Christopher McCord, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and CSEAS Interim Director Trude Jacobsen, who will officially launch the center’s anniversary year.

CSEAS plans a full slate of activities for the fall 2012 and spring 2013 semesters leading up to the official March 5, 2013 anniversary.

These include a Southeast Asia film series, an anniversary lecture program, several exhibits, the launch of a book on the center’s history and an alumni event March 1, 2013, followed by an anniversary gala and cultural performance night March 2.

A calendar of events will be posted on the CSEAS website in the near future.

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