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Luxury Living Special Section Inside

Luxury Living

A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat



March 2018

MARCH 2018


Tech at Your Fingertips

In Today’s Digital World,


There Really Is an App for

That — And Everything

Else •



TAKING ON TRUMP ou know why the phrase for people to communicate, “there’s an app for thatâ€? shop, play, work and organize has become clichĂŠ? Because their lives, according to IndustryWeek. there really is an app Today, for pretty about 2.2 million apps much anything and everything. are available in the store, while Google Within five years of the Play for launch Android phones has of Apple’s App Store, 2.8 million, and mobile apthe number of mobile plications became a primary app downtool loads worldwide is expected to hit

352 billion by 2021, according to the — the same year the global app economy is expected to be worth $6.3 trillion, up from $1.3 trillion in 2016 an App Annie report states. SEE APPS • PAGE 26



| MARCH 2018 | 25

The last time Ambassador Paul Altidor graced our cover in 2012, Haiti was digging out from one of the worst earthquakes in modern history and Barack Obama was in the White House. Fast-forward to 2018. Haiti is still recovering from that earthquake and Donald Trump is cursing up a storm in the White House. But this time, Altidor says his country won’t remain silent in the face of slurs. / PAGE 13


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Culture Consumer Culture Meets Art in â&#x20AC;&#x2122;80s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Brand New: Art and Commodity in the 1980sâ&#x20AC;? blurs the lines between art, pop culture and commerce. / PAGE 30


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United States

When Trump Swears World Says WTF

U.S. Alone in Parental Leave

President Trumpâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s penchant for profanities has outraged parts of the world and further polarized a divided America, although his base seems to be eating up his vulgar vernacular. / PAGE 10

The U.S. stands alone among developed countries in not offering any kind of paid parental leave, although the dynamics may be shifting. / PAGE 18

Volume 25

Issue 3



March 2018



Victor Shiblie

Director of Operations

Fuad Shiblie

Managing Editor

Anna Gawel

News Editor

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Graphic Designer

Cari Henderson

Account Manager

Rod Carrasco Lawrence Ruggeri


Ambassador KĂĽre R. Aas, John Brinkley, Stephanie Kanowitz, Ryan R. Migeed, Kate Oczypok, Gail Scott, John Shaw, Brendan Smith, Aileen Torres-Bennett, Lisa Troshinsky, Mackenzie Weinger

Contributing Writers

Austin Mistretta, Nicole Schaller

Editorial Interns

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Photo taken at the Embassy of Haiti by Lawrence Ruggeri of The background collage shows emails sent to the embassy in support of Haiti following President Trumpâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reported remarks calling it a â&#x20AC;&#x153;shitholeâ&#x20AC;? country.


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WD | United States

Local-Federal Divide U.S. Mayors Diverge with Trump on Immigration, Climate Change BY AILEEN TORRES-BENNETT


n the issue of climate change, President Trump has been largely silent. On the issue of immigration, he has plenty to say — too much, according to his critics. The administration’s absent approach on climate and aggressive stance on immigration have frustrated Democrats and ramped up the political gridlock that has seized Washington. Stuck in the middle are U.S. cities that have found themselves picking up the slack on environmental issues while watching the contentious immigration debate play out on their doorsteps. With local governments taking the lead in the absence of federal leadership, the 86th Winter Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors from Jan. 24 to 26 in D.C. brought together nearly 250 mayors from almost every U.S. state and territory. The conference touched on a range of topics, both broad and specific, including: racial and economic inequality; preparing for natural disasters; innovative technologies for education and energy; the fate of brick and mortar stores; homelessness among veterans; childhood obesity; substance abuse; gun violence; and even the importance of sports leagues. In an awkward dance with the president, one in which mayors stepped forward as Trump stepped back, the meeting covered climate change initiatives that have been making significant strides in cities. Given that some of these American cities wield more economic clout than small nations, the cumulative effect of their efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions is particularly critical given the administration’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord. Infrastructure investment was another top note during the confab, but moves by the Trump administration at the start of the meeting shifted attention to immigration. On opening day, Trump fired off a volley by simultaneously subverting and taking advantage of protocol. The president, as is customary, invited mayors to the White House in acknowledgment of the U.S. mayoral meeting, but he didn’t invite the entire conference. Only some mayors were asked to attend while the majority of the conference was kept out of the loop. The disjointed invitations were naturally seen as a slight and, more significantly, as a ruse. The president, according to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, a Democrat, had invited certain mayors on the pretense of discussing infrastructure and the opioid epidemic, but on the day of the meeting, a letter from the Justice Department was sent to 23 jurisdictions asking for proof that they are not



From left, Federation of Canadian Municipalities CEO Brock Carlton; Mayor Don Iveson of Edmonton, Canada; New Orleans Mayor and President of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) Mitch Landrieu; Ambassador of Canada David MacNaughton; D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser; and USCM CEO Tom Cochran attend a networking reception at the Canadian Embassy during the 86th Winter Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors in D.C.

If the president of the United States and Congress would do their job, we wouldn’t be having this discussion at all. MITCH LANDRIEU, mayor of New Orleans

withholding information from federal immigration authorities. The letter targeted so-called “sanctuary cities” that limit their cooperation with federal authorities to enforce immigration rules, which city governments argue discourages immigrants from working with police and seeking out needed services. Those on the list include New York, Chicago, New Orleans and Los Angeles, the mayors of which did not attend the Jan. 24 meeting at the White House, put off by the Justice Department letter. The letter threatened to subpoena or withhold federal funds from those not complying with the Justice Department’s demand.

SETTING THE TONE ON IMMIGRATION While Landrieu said more than once that the conference did not agree as a whole on a path forward on immigration, the dominant tone at the meeting was one of defiance against the administration’s attempts to crack down on il-

legal immigrants. In a Jan. 24 press conference, Landrieu, who presided over the meeting, took Trump to task for what he and many other mayors saw as crude tactics, fear-mongering and unconstitutional behavior. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has essentially threatened to “put the mayors of America in jail for following the Constitution of the United States,” argued Landrieu in response to the Justice Department letter. “I can’t ever recall a time in the history of the United States of America where this has happened, number one. Number two, I can’t ever recall a situation where someone who professes to want to work with other people punches them in the face first and says, ‘Now I’d like to talk to you.’” Mayors who openly accept immigrants, regardless of status, used the term “welcoming city” as opposed to “sanctuary city,” and the opinion heard throughout the conference was one that staunchly supports all forms of immigration. Mayors discussed how immigrants are part of the economic and

social fabric of local communities. “There is no definition in federal law for the term sanctuary city. It does not exist,” said Landrieu. Members also took swings at the federal government, saying it’s mired in gridlock instead of getting things done. “If the president of the United States and Congress would do their job, we wouldn’t be having this discussion at all,” said Landrieu. “And if they enacted comprehensive immigration reform, the country would be better off for it.” Two issues were the focus of the immigration panel: the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and lawsuits related to the Trump administration’s toughened push to enforce immigration law. DACA was created under the Obama administration and gives a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, also known as “dreamers.” DACA has been granted to 800,000 people, according to Avideh Moussavian, a senior policy attorney at the National Immigration Law Center. (A total of about 1.8 million people are estimated to have been brought to the country illegally as children.) The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act is a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate in 2001 that has repeatedly failed to SEE MAYOR S • PAGE 6

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pass, even though as Moussavian pointed out, recent polling shows 87 percent of Americans nationwide support DACA. On the campaign trail, Trump promised a tough stance on immigration, and he made good by announcing in September that he would terminate DACA. But he left a door open by adding that Congress has the potential to save dreamers by coming up with a solution by March 5. Democrats fought to include DACA in the most recent federal budget showdown. Republicans countered with a proposal that would let Democrats have DACA in exchange for a wall along the Mexico border and more restrictive immigration measures, but lastminute talks between the White House and Congress collapsed, leading to a three-day shutdown. Democrats reluctantly dropped their DACA demands, and a sweeping budget deal that added tens of billions of dollars in domestic and defense spending and disaster relief was approved early last month. Weeks of negotiations in Congress failed to produce a proposal to save dreamers. Trump scuttled a Senate bipartisan plan that would’ve protected an estimated 1.8 million undocumented dreamers from deportation while providing $25 billion for border security. While the deal satisfied two of Trump’s top demands, it fell short on curbing family chain migration and the diversity visa lottery, both of which Republicans want to phase out in favor of a more limited, merit-based immigration system. So as of press time, the issue of the hundreds of thousands of dreamers who could now be deported remained unresolved heading into the self-imposed March deadline. Immigration continues to be a sticking point not just on the Hill, but also in the courts, where state and city governments are challenging the administration on DACA, its travel ban and various other immigration policies. An immigration panel at the mayors’ conference emphasized the case of the City of Chicago v. Sessions. Brian Haussmann, attorney for Chicago in the case, said at the panel that the issue is whether Attorney General Sessions can control federal law enforcement funding based on immigration enforcement-related conditions. This funding comes from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, typically referred to as “Byrne JAG.” The Trump administration argues that “sanctuary” cities are endangering public safety by refusing to share with federal authorities the immigration status of suspects in custody, unless the suspect is charged with a serious crime. These cities counter that enforcing federal


Cities such as San Francisco, above, and Chicago, right, have seen rapid urban growth and have become testing grounds for climate change initiatives and the debate over immigration.

immigration law — which includes detaining suspects solely based on their immigration status — is not the job of local officials. They also argue that reducing the fear of deportation increases cooperation between immigrants and local police — and that losing Byrne JAG funds, which support public safety, could actually lead to increased crime. As litigation winds its way through the courts, the Trump administration has continued to delay the release of almost $300 million in allocated funds to cities and states under Byrne JAG, Haussmann said. The Chicago case has implications for other “sanctuary cities” and has the potential to go up to the Supreme Court. Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles have similar litigation.

FRONTLINES OF CLIMATE CHANGE In addition to fighting Trump on immigration, mayors across the U.S. are battling the administration’s stance on climate change. In his first year in office, Trump announced that he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, whereby countries voluntarily commit to limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The pullout has left the U.S. in the awkward position of being the only country in the world to reject the deal, while other governments say they will press ahead with the landmark pact. Leaders of U.S. cities reacted by renewing their commitment to progressive climate policies to make up for the president’s backtracking. Their efforts may not be at the federal level, but they have


potential national and international impact, given that, according to Landrieu, U.S. cities are 86 percent of the population, 91 percent of the GDP and hold 88 percent of U.S. jobs. Progressive climate programs in cities can serve as models for the nation and on a global scale. The largest U.S. cities are moving forward on climate action by slashing emissions and expanding the use of renewable energy. That includes New York, which continues to feel the $19 billion in economic losses it suffered from Hurricane Sandy, and Los Angeles, which increasingly faces the threat of wildfires, mudslides and drought. In January 2018, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took on the fossil fuel industry with a lawsuit against BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell for billions of dollars in damages to offset the city’s spending to deal with climate change. He also plans to divest city pension funds from 190 companies that own fossil fuel reserves, an amount that totals around $5 billion. On the policy side, he seeks to reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti has pushed to start transitioning the city’s bus fleet to electric vehicles. His goal is a fully electric, zeroemission bus fleet by 2030. The mayoral conference’s host city, the District of Columbia, is also on

board for climate change initiatives. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser told The Diplomat that the nation’s capital has committed to developing a pathway to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. All together, nearly 400 U.S. mayors — many of whose growing urban populations are on the frontlines of natural disasters, extreme weather patterns and rising sea levels — have vowed to adopt the climate targets agreed to in Paris. “The Paris Agreement is irreversible, and it is gaining speed,” said Ashok-Alexander Sridharan, the mayor of Bonn, Germany, at the climate change panel of the conference. “Still, there is a gap between existing national commitments and needed reductions. Cities and regions are an indispensable part of a grand coalition toward the full and rapid implementation of the Paris Agreement.” One of the key concerns in climate change initiatives is how to create public-private partnerships so that public policy dovetails with economic growth, instead of pitting business development against the environment. The mayor of Toronto, Canada, John Tory, shared his city’s success story of a 15 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction between 2007 and 2012 with a focus on jobs and the economy. “Today, we no longer need to accept the idea that economic success

requires pollution,” Tory declared. He said Toronto achieved GHG reduction by expanding public transit. The city rolled out new buses, streetcars and subway cars, all manufactured in Canada to support the domestic economy. Toronto also has a program that gives low-income people a chance to work in green jobs. Philips Lighting brought a big business perspective to the panel by acknowledging how the public sector has a strong leadership role to play in environmental initiatives. “Policy does matter,” said Susanne Seitinger on behalf of Philips, because it leads to industry changes. In the last year, Philips joined the Global Lighting Challenge and committed to selling more than 2 billion high-efficient LED light bulbs. The company is already at least halfway toward its goal, which is the equivalent to reducing GHG from 60 medium coal-fired power plants or 24 million cars between now and 2020, Seitinger said. Philips wants to achieve an industrial footprint of 100 percent renewable energy. The cost to consumers of protecting the environment was also addressed at the climate change panel. Robert Kennedy, mayor of Freeport, New York, pointed out that the increasing emphasis on renewable energy has translated into higher rates for some consumers. He proposed that attention be paid to parts of the country that need help transitioning to renewable energy in a way that doesn’t hurt consumers’ pockets. While Democrats are typically seen as the champions of the environment, bipartisanship was emphasized by the head of the panel, James Brainard, the Republican mayor of Carmel, Indiana. “If you talk to Republican mayors as well as Democratic mayors across the country, almost every one of them is committed to meeting the goals that we committed to in Paris,” said Brainard. “And given that mayors represent the vast, vast majority of the U.S. population, I suggest that mayors, without any help from the federal government — hopefully we’ll get it at some point — without any help can make certain that the United States meets their goals.” He added, “I think there’s a special responsibility that falls to people in the Republican party right now to get out and explain that when it comes down to the local level, our constituents don’t care which party we represent. They care about getting the job done. They see the floods, they see the changes in weather, they see all the impacts … caused by climate change and want us to do something.” WD Aileen Torres-Bennett is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.


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WD | Africa

Continent of Neglect Experts Urge Increased U.S. Engagement in Africa as China Fills the Void BY RYAN R. MIGEED


hile President Donald Trump’s recent “shithole” comment degrading Haiti and African countries roiled politics at home and abroad, some argue that it was also a statement emblematic of the West’s historical neglect of the 54 countries on the African continent. Experts see U.S. engagement in Africa as all the more urgent given China’s years-long investment in aid projects and commerce across the continent. But China also benefits from not having the long and complicated history that the U.S. has with the continent. During the Cold War, Africa was caught up in the geopolitical struggle between the United States and Soviet Union (along with Cuba). Proxy battles between pro-communist and pro-Western forces fueled conflicts from Angola to Zaire. After the Cold War, the U.S. was notoriously slow to respond to the Rwandan genocide in 1994, for example, and to the outbreak of violence in Sudan’s Darfur region in 2003, which saw a campaign of ethnic cleansing from the outset. East and southern Africa, the region hit hardest by the HIV epidemic, is home to over 50 percent of the total number of people living with HIV in the world, according to AVERT, a U.K.-based HIV education organization. Meanwhile, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa from 2014 to 2016 sparked mass hysteria in the U.S., with some calling for a quarantine on the three countries mainly affected — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — and a suspension of international flights into the U.S. And while more than 200 countries receive U.S. aid, the funds disproportionately go to five countries (Afghanistan, Israel, Iraq, Egypt and Jordan), according to a Council on Foreign Relations backgrounder by James McBride. Africa receives a larger share of economic and development aid, however, as opposed to the Middle East, where the focus is on military aid.

DOWNGRADED UNDER TRUMP To be sure, Africa has its fair share of problems, among them rampant poverty and corruption; entrenched strongmen and widespread human rights abuses; a lack of education, jobs and health care; tribal and military conflicts; exploding populations; environmental degradation; and some of the lowest development indicators in the world. At the same time, it is a highly diverse continent that is key to America’s global outreach given that it is home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world; a young, entrepreneurial labor force; emerging democracies; and critical counterterrorism operations. “Africa has never been high on anybody’s policy agenda when you look at the global agenda,” said Jennifer Cooke, the director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. But Cooke saw this changing over the course of the presidencies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. “Particularly in the last three administrations, you had an elevation of Africa,” Cooke told The Diplomat. She noted that major U.S. initiatives in Africa 8 | THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | MARCH 2018


For decades, China has invested heavily in Africa’s transportation, oil refinement, telecommunications and agriculture sectors. Its noninterventionist approach contrasts with that of the U.S., which tends to couple investment and aid with demands for democratic and human rights reforms.

Africa has never been high on anybody’s policy agenda when you look at the global agenda. JENNIFER COOKE director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

also had bipartisan support, whether it was the creation of a unified military command for Africa (AFRICOM) in 2007; the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) enacted in 2000 and extended by both Bush and Obama; or the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), carried out under Bush with congressional support from Democrats. “Africa is moving into the foreign policy mainstream,” Cooke said. Under Trump, however, Cooke says, “There has been a degrading of U.S. interest and engagement in Africa.” Cooke’s argument is echoed by many in the foreign policy establishment, who point to the dramatic budget cuts that Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have recommended for the State Department and development assistance through USAID. The Trump administration’s 2018 budget proposed cutting aid to developing countries by one-third. Trump’s recently released fiscal 2019 budget also slashes foreign aid, and the administration is threatening to make foreign assistance contingent on countries’ support for U.S. positions at the United Nations, according to a report by Carol Morello in The Washington Post. Congress overrode the president’s fiscal 2018 request and spared State from large cuts. The recent two-year budget deal reached by lawmakers last month also did not impose the draconian cuts that Trump called for, although the State Department

still faces a significant funding shortfall of nearly $9 billion. The cuts come amid sinking morale at the State Department, where Tillerson has pushed forward with plans to shrink the size of the U.S. Foreign Service. Over the objections of career diplomats and development professionals, the administration floated the idea of “consolidating” USAID and State as part of a review mandated by Trump to “streamline” the executive branch. Officials have since backed away from the proposal amid mounting criticism. Trump’s slow rate of filling diplomatic posts around the world is also causing concern. The vacancies are particularly stark in Africa. Trump has yet to name a permanent assistant secretary of state for African affairs. Due to a hiring freeze at State, embassies around the world and particularly in Africa are still understaffed in Trump’s second year in office. In November, USAID was forced to cancel dozens of Foreign Service jobs — for which applicants had already passed security and medical clearances — due to the hiring freeze, according to The Washington Post. Meanwhile, it is a time of historic upheaval in African politics. In September, Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos stepped down after 38 years in power. In November, Zimbabwe’s longtime ruler, Robert Mugabe, was ousted from his party and resigned. In December, Liberia experienced its first peaceful democratic transfer of pow-

er when George Weah defeated the sitting vice president in the country’s presidential election. In February, South Africa’s embattled president of nine years, Jacob Zuma, was replaced as leader of the African National Congress by Cyril Ramaphosa and resigned as president on the heels of a no-confidence vote. The next day, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned in the face of sustained protests while the government subsequently imposed a six-month state of emergency. As a younger generation rises to power across the continent and democracy appears to be rejuvenated, experts see U.S. engagement in Africa as all the more urgent. Instead, the Trump administration “has downgraded and hollowed out expertise at the State Department,” Cooke said. In the U.S. absence in Africa, regional experts see a more assertive China rushing to fill the void.

ASSESSING CHINA’S INFLUENCE For decades, China has invested in — and helped develop — Africa’s transportation, oil refinement, telecommunications and agriculture industries. While Western nations tend to couple investment with demands for democratic and human rights reforms, China believes in a hands-off economic approach buttressed by low-cost loans and labor. As a result, it surpassed the U.S. as Africa’s largest trading partner in 2009. “It’s much easier to do business with China [than the U.S.] in Africa,” said Will Guyster, a guest lecturer on emerging mar-


China built and financed a light-rail network in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, where it also constructed the African Union’s headquarters.

kets and a researcher in entrepreneurship and innovation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “They set up easily accessible trade offices in each country that they’re in. While it would take weeks to schedule an appointment with a U.S. trade representative, I could walk up to a Chinese trade representative and have a meeting that day,” said Guyster, who also founded a nonprofit in Ghana in



The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is now accepting applications from candidates who seek a deeper understanding of how politics, economics, and international relations drive global change.

2006 and managed a number of USAID education grants in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. China’s investments initially involved transactional loans in exchange for access to Africa’s natural resources, but have since expanded to establish a strategic presence on the continent. For example, Beijing has built and financed a light-rail project and entire neighborhoods in Ethiopia, Africa’s

second-largest country and one its poorest. It also built a $200 million African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa. That came on top of a $4 billion Chinese-funded railway in Kenya. The Nairobi-Mombasa line, the largest infrastructure project in Kenya in over 50 years, is designed to expand to other nations and eventually link East Africa. China is not building something for nothing, Guyster noted. Africa has a growing consumer market that could very soon be buying Chinese-made products on Alibaba, a Chinese-owned version of Amazon’s model of an online big-box store. In addition, Africa has the youngest population in the world, with 60 percent of its people under the age of 24, according to the U.N., further adding to its market potential It is also the fastest-growing mobile market in the world, with sub-Sahara Africa projected to have 500 million mobile phone subscribers by 2020, according to a report by Toby Shapshak in Forbes. By having a presence and active trade representatives, “China is cornering all of those markets,” Guyster said. “If you want to be able to compete with China, you have to be in Africa. You have to be in the markets they are in,” he said. But while China may have an advantage now, it may not last. China’s investments in Africa are strategic, not altruistic. Its efforts to help develop Africa’s oil and mining sectors are aimed at feeding China’s growing middle class, according to Eleanor Albert in a July 12, 2017, Council on Foreign Relations paper. That in SEE AFRICA • PAGE 45

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WD | United States

Trump-Speak When the U.S. President Swears, the Rest of the World Says WTF BY KARIN ZEITVOGEL


n 2015, during the Republican primaries, Donald Trump used simple words and short phrases to help win the support of his GOP base. As we all know, he went on to win the Republican nomination and the presidency using speech that analysts have said was at the level of a fourth grader. It was, in fact, the lowest grade-level equivalent for speech of any candidate, Republican or Democrat, in the race, according to a 2015 analysis conducted by the Boston Globe newspaper. “Simpler language resonates with a broader swath of voters in an era of 140-character Twitter tweets and 10-second television sound bites,” wrote Matt Viser in the Globe, who noted that Hillary Clinton’s speeches were on par with an eighth-grader. But Trump’s talk beat out everyone in the race. “He used fewer characters per word in his announcement speech, fewer syllables per word and his sentences were shorter than all other candidates,” Viser wrote. “His vocabulary is filled with words like ‘huge,’ ‘terrible,’ ‘beautiful.’ He speaks in punchy bursts that lack nuance. It’s all easily grasped, whether it’s his campaign theme (‘Make America Great Again’), words about his wealth (‘I’m really rich’), or his disparagement of the Washington culture (‘Politicians are all talk, no action’).” Two and a bit years later, in January 2018, the language used by Trump the president had progressed beyond his winning fourth-grade level. That was the month when Trump is reported by lawmakers who were with him in a meeting to have used the word “shithole” to describe African countries and Haiti during contentious talks over immigration reform. According to psychological scientists Kristin Janschewitz of Marist College and Timothy Jay of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), who study swearing, among other things, we start to use curse words by age 2 and are swearing like grown-ups by ages 11 or 12, which is roughly the age of American fifth graders. So in that sense, Trump is showing progress. He’s advanced from fourth to fifth grade. The reaction from countries and an entire continent disparaged by the U.S. president was swift and had a common thread: Many saw the use of the word “shithole” as racist. Officials in Botswana said they viewed “the utterances by the current American President as highly irresponsible, reprehensible and racist.” The Haitian government also called Trump’s remarks racist, adding that “these insulting and reprehensible statements in no way reflect the virtues of wisdom, restraint and discernment that must be cultivated by any high political authority.” And the African Group of Ambassadors to the United Nations labeled Trump’s comment as “outrageous, racist and xenophobic,” and called for a retraction and apology. The ambassadors’ group also expressed concern “at the continuing and growing trend from the U.S. administration towards Africa and people of African descent to denigrate the continent and people of color.” Even Norway, whose people apparently Trump would like to have more of, wasn’t flattered. “Thanks, but no thanks,” tweeted one Norwegian politician. Christian Christensen, an American professor of journalism at Stockholm University in Sweden, was more explicit, tweeting: “Of course people from #Norway would love to move to a country where people are far more likely to be shot, live in poverty, get no healthcare because they’re poor, get no paid parental leave or



President Donald Trump gives his 2018 State of the Union address at Congress. Trump’s blunt, sometimes-profane remarks in public have rattled nerves, both at home and abroad.

The pussy-grabbing comment, calling Mexicans rapists, saying all Haitians have AIDS and Nigerians live in huts. ‘Shithole’ encapsulates Trump’s way of seeing much of the rest of the world. TIMOTHY JAY professor of psychology at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

subsidized daycare and see fewer women in political power. #Shithole.” Meanwhile, back at the White House, Trump denied using the word but admitted he’d used tough language during the meeting. A couple of Republican Party lawmakers and agency heads developed amnesia after that meeting and said they couldn’t remember if Trump had actually used the word. And aides to Trump were reportedly locked in a debate, not over whether Trump used the colorful description but which s-prefix he used: s---hole or s---house. “He said shithole,” said Jay, who has studied swearing for 40 years and even taught a class on the subject at MCLA. “We remember swear words when we hear them. We remember them better than we remember emotional words, like vomit.” Trump’s track record of saying racist and demeaning things about entire groups of people adds to Jay’s conviction that the president did indeed use a swear word to refer to a large part of the world. “The pussygrabbing comment, calling Mexicans rapists, saying all Haitians have AIDS and Nigerians live in huts. ‘Shithole’ encapsulates Trump’s way of seeing much of the rest of the world. It’s a word you might use to describe a dive bar or a messy house, not one that the president of the U.S. should ever use to describe dozens of countries.”


Many pundits say that while there is nothing wrong with using simple language to communicate with voters, oversimplification can obscure the nuance of complex issues and lead to a general dumbing-down of political debate. But Trump’s outspoken nature goes beyond basic vocabulary. Critics of Trump’s vulgarity say it not only offends key U.S. partners such as Nigeria and even Norway (whose economic and security cooperation we need), but it also reveals a fundamental lack of understanding and empathy. They also worry it demeans the office he holds and sets a dangerous precedent by slowly chipping away at our civil discourse, at a time when the country is more bitterly divided than ever. Trump’s supporters say his blunt talk cuts through the stilted platitudes of diplomacy and speaks directly to everyday people frustrated by immigration, globalization and the Beltway elites who have ignored their plight. According to a 2016 article in Time by Melissa Mohr, author of “Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing,” studies have shown that people who swear are more likely to be believed. “These psychologists had study participants read political blog posts with and without obscenities, and found that people had more favorable impressions of — and would be more likely

to vote for — the cursing candidates.” In his defense, Trump might note that swearing is correlated with an extrovert personality, like his, and is a defining feature of a Type A personality, which is characterized by competitiveness, drive and perfectionism. It is, however, also characterized by hostility, impatience, difficulty expressing emotions and an unhealthy dependence on external rewards such as wealth, status or power, according to Psychology Today. Inappropriate swearing has been associated with damage to the frontal lobe of the brain — sometimes referred to as our emotional control center — aphasia and Tourette’s disorder. “Brain activity in the frontal lobe acts as a brake on us saying something rash, like about grabbing women by the pussy or calling other countries shitholes,” said Jay. “You and I would stop and think of the consequences and significance attached to statements like those. I’m not a clinician but Trump doesn’t seem to do that.” Of course, Trump is hardly the only highranking official to ever swear. Vice President Joe Biden was picked up by a nearby mic saying to President Barack Obama in March 2010 when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, “This is a big fucking deal.” President George W. Bush was caught in another openmic snafu referring to a reporter as a “majorleague asshole.” In 2004, then-Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) explained in an interview with Rolling Stone why he voted to allow the U.S. to lead the invasion of Iraq a year earlier: “I voted for what I thought was best for the country,” he said. “Did I expect George Bush to fuck it up as badly as he did? I don’t think anybody did.” Lyndon B. Johnson’s language was “salted

didn’t endear him to Beijing’s leadership but resonated with many of his blue-collar fans.



President Trump walks with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Jan. 10. After reportedly saying that he did not want immigrants from “shithole countries” such as Haiti and African nations, Trump said he would welcome more immigrants from Norway, a comment widely interpreted as racist.

with profanity,” according to Rolling Stone magazine. The Watergate tapes that brought down Richard Nixon gave us the phrase “expletive deleted” because they were so laced with curse words. But those were all private, not public, moments. Trump has repeatedly used curse words in his public appearances and on Twitter. He

famously declared that he would bomb the shit out of ISIS. More recently, he tweeted that Moscow is “laughing their asses off ” over the probe into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin. And in a 2011 speech in Las Vegas, he blasted China by declaring, “Listen you motherf---ers, we’re going to tax you 25 percent!” — words that probably

American politicians aren’t the only ones with foul mouths. President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines famously called President Obama the “son of a whore” and the U.S. ambassador to Manila a “gay son of a whore.” He also told the Catholic Church, “Don’t fuck with me,” and when the United Nations chastised him for extrajudicial killings in his war on drugs in the Philippines, Duterte said the U.N. shouldn’t issue “shitting” statements about his policies. Most recently, he warned female communist guerillas that soldiers will “shoot you in the vagina.” Former French Prime Minister François Fillon, who was the frontrunner in last year’s race to be the presidential candidate for the center-right Les Républicains party until he was derailed by claims he gave his wife and kids very well-paid jobs that they didn’t actually do, spoke in a speech on the campaign trail of the passionate plea he heard from workers in every corner of France.“Laissez-nous travailler, laissez-nous réussir, qu’on nous fiche la paix, que l’Etat arrête de nous emmerder.” “Emmerder” derives from the French word “merde” (the “s” word), but many swear words in one language don’t translate directly into another. So in translation, Fillon’s quote of what French workers told him over and over might be, “Let us work, let us succeed, leave us alone, let the government stop fucking us around.” SEE T R U MP • PAGE 12

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‘testicles’ (and was considered standard until the 17th century), but it’s now used to mean ‘nonsense’, among other things,” he noted in an article in The Conversation. “It was also ruled un-obscene by a U.K. court in 1977,” so Thornberry can say it all she wants. She was reportedly seen mouthing the word when former Prime Minister David Cameron was speaking in the House of Commons. Politics is a deeply personal, rough-and-tumble sport, so it’s little surprise that coarse language is part of the game. But even in sports, where trash-talking is the norm, there are certain rules players must respect and boundaries they should not cross. Trump has erased a lot of conventional lines and even gotten the mainstream media (us included) to utter profanities it once considered too taboo to repeat. Most Americans aren’t shy about cursing in everyday life. But it remains to be seen if we accept unfiltered politicians cussing up a storm as part of our new national discourse. WD


Comedian Beppe Grillo, leader of Italy’s Five-Star Movement, has made a splash on the political scene with his colorful “parolacce,” or swear words in Italian. His graphic pronunciations have apparently rubbed off on average Italians, according to a Feb. 15, 2017, article in The New York Times by Beppe Severgnini, which noted that, “We used to be surprised by the number of ‘Fwords’ in American movies; now our own equivalent, ‘C-words’ — many of which refer to various parts of the human anatomy — are everywhere. Calling someone a ‘stronzo,’ Italian for ‘turd,’ is quite popular.” In Britain, swearing comes across as a milder endeavor than in the U.S. Prime Minister Theresa May, at the start of campaigning for the snap election she called in 2017 (the one that didn’t turn out too well for her), said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker would find he is dealing with “a bloody difficult woman” in Brexit talks. Although many Americans would find that fairly tame, “bloody” is considered a swear word in Britain. In the same campaign, actress Julie Hesmondhalgh — best known for starring in the soap opera “Corona-


A Nigerian man is seen outside of a market. President Trump reportedly said that people from Nigeria would never “go back to their huts” if they came to the United States, infuriating many in the African nation where the U.S. has key security and economic interests.

tion Street” between 1998 and 2014 — described Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as “a man who has dedicated his life to giving a toss about other people.” “Toss,” used in this context, does not mean flipping a coin. It’s often considered a euphe-

mism for masturbation. And in yet another incident, British Shadow First Secretary of State Emily Thornberry (where shadow refers to the opposition party) said on live television that Defense Secretary Michael Fallon was talking “bol-

locks” about something. To the British vernacular neophyte, this is not the cunning stunt it might appear to be. Newcastle University linguistics lecturer Damien Hall gave a very British explainer of what Thornberry meant. “‘Bollocks’ originally meant

Karin Zeitvogel (@Zeitvogel) is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

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Cover Prof ile | WD

Firing Back at Trump Haitian Ambassador Paul Altidor: Come Visit Our â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Shitholeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Country BY LARRY LUXNER Haitian Ambassador Paul Altidor says his embassy received hundreds of supportive emails


from Americans denouncing President Trumpâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s remarks about his Caribbean nation. he last time Paul Altidor graced our cover, back in September 2012, Haiti was digging out from one of the worst earthquakes in )   modern history, Barack Obama was in    the White House â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and reality

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M : OW +^ Z M> K^Q:leveled 7.0-magnitude earthquake that H UL N UNU = NU^ W<B N=^ ,^ T>^ OXK= ;J<SZHJTZN<LN<S<HUZ@JXZGJSTZ$G<NA:8HSZ><<E Z)HSU<8;Z X<Z=<<FZ:JGL8SSAJHZ :JGL8SSAJHZ Q>P ^VO B L:T ^ Q>T ^:= :Y> U^ Z KDJ> >JNZ'8AUA8HSZZ8EEZT@<ZUN8?A:ZH8UVN8FZ;AS8ST<NSZU@8UZYJVZ@8W<Z@8;ZTJZ?JZ TJZ?JZ Port-au-Prince, killing up to 300,000 >N MCQ ^ LON >>J ^ U^M >^ A^ ^ T@NJV?@ Z6<Z8ESJZ9<EA<W<ZU@8TZ<W<PYJH<ZAHZT@<ZXJOF;ZASZ :P<8U<;Z [^ ? 2K> people, Trump let loose again. As law- >>KCNA:^T>^ <MV8FZZJH<ZH8UAJHZASZHJUZAHH8U<EYZSVL<NAJPZUJZ8HJT@<NZJH< Z 3@<Z5HAU<;Z2U8U<SZX8SZ9VAFUZ9YZAGGA?N8HUSZJ>Z8FFZH8UAJH8FAUA<SZ makers were discussing preserving ZX<ZX<F:JG<Z8FFZ@JH<SUZ@8N;XJNDAH?ZL<JLF< Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 2CH:<N<FYZYJVNSZ people from Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, the 45th president blurted out: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?â&#x20AC;? But his comments â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which the White House did not initially dispute â&#x20AC;&#x201D; didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t end there. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why do we need more Haitians?â&#x20AC;? Trump demanded, according to Sen. Richard Durbin (DIll.), who was present. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Take them out.â&#x20AC;? The â&#x20AC;&#x153;shitholeâ&#x20AC;? comment infuriated Altidor, who, as the U.S. representaPAUL ALTIDOR tive of over 10 million Haitians, conambassador of Haiti to the United States demned it publicly and immediately. His government also summoned Robin Diallo, deputy chief of mission at the who were at the meeting, includ- office of the land, this is the direction U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, to ex- ing [Homeland Security Secretary such a conversation would take,â&#x20AC;? he plain Trumpâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s words â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but no public Kirstjen Nielsen], at her hearing on told The Diplomat. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is in line with apology was forthcoming. Capitol Hill, did not recall what was a pattern â&#x20AC;&#x201D; even though the White â&#x20AC;&#x153;It seems everybody stayed quiet or said. Our sense is that folks are afraid House denies it â&#x20AC;&#x201D; where the president distanced themselves,â&#x20AC;? Altidor told us to express what they witnessed. They has made other statements containing in a lengthy interview in early Febru- are fearful of the consequences if they clichĂŠs and stereotypes. I think heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ary. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you notice, even other people were to actually acknowledge what trying to appeal to his base, using the fact that Haiti has many immigrants was said.â&#x20AC;? The incendiary comment, which here under TPS.â&#x20AC;? ALSO SEE: He added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not one to use the received worldwide condemnation, still upsets Altidor more than a month word â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;racism,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; but the president cerEnd of Protected Status Could tainly seems to be targeting the Haitian later. Devastate Remittanceâ&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a conversation between the community.â&#x20AC;? Dependent Nations PAGE 14 Unlike Altidor, former Haitian president and a number of lawmakers. You wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think that, in the highest Ambassador Raymond Joseph has no


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I made the point of forcefully condemning and expressing our anger at what was said. Too often in the past, we Haitians would have remained silent. This time, we stand together as a community.



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problem using the â&#x20AC;&#x153;râ&#x20AC;? word. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Trumpâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comments just show that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really a racist. He said he wants people from Norway here,â&#x20AC;? noted Joseph, a veteran statesman who was Haitiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s envoy in Washington when the 2010 quake ripped apart Port-auPrince, toppling thousands of buildings including the National Palace. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When he was campaigning and needed the Haitian vote, he went to Little Haiti in Miami and told them, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I will be your biggest champion.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Then he turns around and does this.â&#x20AC;? Far more disturbing than the â&#x20AC;&#x153;shitholeâ&#x20AC;? remark, though, was the Trump administrationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s November 2017 decision to end TPS for about 59,000 Haitians living and working across the United States, along with nearly 200,000 immigrants from El Salvador and 2,500 Nicaraguans (tens of thousands of Hondurans are still awaiting a decision). So the bottom line is this: After eight years of being shielded from deportation following the quake and the economic chaos that ensued, TPS will terminate for Haitians on SEE HAIT I â&#x20AC;˘ PAGE 15 THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | MARCH 2018 | 13


End of Protected Status Could Devastate Remittance-Dependent Nations B

ananas, coffee, apparel manufacturing and tourism all generate significant foreign exchange for Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. But one of the biggest sources of income for these four countries has nothing to do with producing exports or providing services. We’re talking about remittances — money family members living in the United States and elsewhere send back home. And a recent U.S. decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua and possibly Honduras could devastate their fragile economies, warns a new study. The Inter-American Dialogue, in an extensive report issued Jan. 24, details the likely consequences of an end to TPS for each of the countries affected. The numbers don’t look encouraging. The irony is that family remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean grew by over 8 percent from 2016 to 2017, exceeding $75 billion. This increase far exceeds the World Bank’s estimated 1.2 percent GDP growth. In absolute numbers, the top recipient of remittances last year was Mexico, with $28.6 billion. But that accounts for just 2.7 percent of the Mexican economy. By contrast, family remittances make up 10.2 percent of Nicaraguan GDP, 19.5 percent of Honduran GDP and 33.6 percent of Haitian GDP. Last year, Haitians living in the United States sent home $1.27 billion, roughly half of the $2.77 billion sent to Haiti worldwide. Other key sources of remittance money in 2017 came from Haitians living in the neighboring Dominican Republic, Canada, France and Chile. “Every dollar counts in an economy that basically lives off migrants,” said Manuel Orozco, director of the Migration, Remittances and Development Program at the Inter-American Dialogue and author of the report. “One out of every three dollars comes from remittances, and you have a state that is nearly collapsing, with very little productive capacity outside of tourism or the free trade zones.” Out of the 59,000 Haitians living in the U.S. under TPS, about 40,000 are wage-earners who send money home. Last year, Orozco estimates, those 40,000 Haitians sent back $84.9 million — a significant chunk of Haiti’s GDP. “You’re talking about the loss of income in 40,000 households. If they were to return, it would be devastating,” Orozco told The Diplomat in a phone interview. “They’ve been outside of Haiti for years. They have no idea what the place looks like, and they have families here and have made lives here. So returning is not an option. And by changing their status from legal to undocumented means they’ll make 20 to 25 percent less, and they’ll lose insurance rights.” This, he said, is why “most people on TPS probably won’t return to their countries — and in the case of Haitians, many have been going to Canada looking for



Haitians board boats leaving their earthquake-stricken capital of Port-au-Prince in January 2010. Many sought refuge in the United States, where they were offered Temporary Protected Status, which was recently revoked by President Trump.

asylum or refugee status. That might set a trend to move to other countries, which in itself is unsettling.” In El Salvador’s case, the country’s 146,250 remitters under TPS sent home $628.9 million last year. This accounts for 12 percent of all transfers to El Salvador and is equal to 2 percent of the country’s GDP. El Salvador was originally granted TPS in 2001 following two major earthquakes. The George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations extended TPS for El Salvadorans several times, but the Trump administration said the original conditions under which TPS was granted in 2001 no longer exist. Critics counter, however, that these immigrants have planted deep roots in the U.S. and that El Salvador continues to be wracked by crime, drug violence and poverty — conditions that will ironically worsen if these TPS holders, who send significant funds to prop up their nation’s economy, return home. “While for the most part migrants continue to remit like they did in previous years, their remitting behavior is now hampered by greater fears of deportation amid concerns about a remittance tax,” said Orozco, whose team surveyed 500 migrants in New York, Washington, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles between March and August 2017. Among other things, the survey revealed that: • 64 percent say that in the event of a tax on remittances, they’d change their sending behavior; of those, 41 percent would use informal services, and 26 percent would send less money. • 55 percent believe the Trump administration may affect them through the deportation of people in their community, while 31 percent of respondents think

they themselves may be deported. • 60 percent don’t expect any support from their home countries; only 8 percent think these governments may offer immigration assistance or seek to negotiate with the U.S. on their behalf. • In the event they get the chance to regularize their status through immigration reform, 55 percent said they’d be prepared to pay a fine, while 14 percent would agree to formalize their status and commit to return in five years. • 22 percent said they migrated due to insecurity and violence in their home countries. • 59 percent believe the new policies will make it harder for them to find jobs Orozco, a native of Nicaragua, said that “in some countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, remittances may be responsible for half of overall economic growth. Their increase in 2017 amounted to 50 to 78 percent of total growth in these three countries.” El Salvador’s predicament is particularly cruel. In a just-released report, “Towards an Adjustment of Status for Salvadorans with TPS,” Orozco argues that providing legal permanent residency for these people is a “logical, humane and politically important and defensible” step. “For 18 consecutive years, four administrations continued the TPS designation for Salvadorans. As a result of these extensions of TPS, Salvadorans have gradually set down roots in the United States,” he wrote. “Although they arrived with so-called temporary status, 18 years is a long time for anything to be temporary. Seeing the way that over 200,000 Salvadorans with TPS have built lives for themselves over the past two decades is

a testament to their hard work and their commitment to core American values. Their time in the United States indicates that they have appreciated and taken advantage of the opportunities presented to them by TPS, and in doing so have fully integrated into American society.” Among other things, the Salvadorans currently protected under TPS are for the most part hardworking and law-abiding. Nine out of 10 Salvadorans under TPS are in the labor force, and only 5 percent are unemployed. Orozco argues that Salvadorans with TPS have “higher employment rates among women and higher earnings among men” and are firmly established in the American middle class, with median household incomes of $50,000 a year. More significantly, he writes, “Salvadorans with TPS typically work in sectors that complement the U.S. labor force. For example, while 4 percent of the U.S. labor force works in construction, 22 percent of Salvadorans with TPS work in that sector. Similarly, while less than 1 percent of the general labor force works in housekeeping and cleaning, 20 percent of Salvadorans with TPS work in that sector. What is important to note here is that Salvadorans with TPS are complementing the U.S. labor force by filling in where needed, rather than competing with U.S. workers for jobs. In addition, he said, 78 percent have a U.S. bank account (compared to 40 percent of undocumented migrants), while 36 percent have a home mortgage. “They are neither a burden nor financially vulnerable,” he concluded. But ending TPS is going to particularly hurt cities with large Salvadoran immigrant populations, such as Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. “As the U.S. economy continues to show steady growth, with unemployment at 4 percent, the disruption caused by a loss of 195,000 workers in the labor force would be significant,” he said. “Given the fact that Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries work in economic sectors different than those of native-born U.S. citizens, the loss of jobs will affect performance in construction and other services.” Finally, says the report, ending TPS will be a “major blow” to El Salvador’s struggling economy, which has been weakened by natural disasters, gang violence and the drug trade. “The return of Salvadorans with TPS would have dramatic impacts on the labor market of a country that is already economically fragile,” the report concluded. “El Salvador is a small country, with an estimated 4 million people in the labor market, and the return of some 230,000 workers amounts to nearly 6 percent of the labor force. Whether Salvadorans with TPS will be able to find jobs upon their return, or whether the jobs they find will displace other workers, remain troubling questions.” WD — Larry Luxner

protest rally in Brooklyn. This one is being organized by Theodore Fayette, producer of the Haiti Premiere Classe TV show. CONTINUED • PAGE 13 “It will be very difficult for these people to reorganize their lives in Haiti,” Fayette said of the 59,000 Haitians set to lose their protected status in less than 17 months. “We July 22, 2019. After that date, warned DHS hope they’ll take the opportunity to legalize Deputy Secretary Elaine Duke, Haitians who themselves before that date, [such as] findstay in the country illegally will be subject to ing employers to apply for them. They’re deportation (also see “TPS Ends for Haiti, frightened and looking for alternatives.” Nicaragua; El Salvador, Honduras Still in Meanwhile, Haitians and their friends Question” in the January 2018 issue of The are taking their battle to court. A January Washington Diplomat). lawsuit filed by the NAACP is asking a fed“Unconscionable,” tweeted Sen. Bill Neleral judge in Baltimore, Md., to nullify the son (D-Fla.), following the DHS announceTrump administration’s end of TPS protecment. And departing Rep. Ileana Rostions for Haitians, arguing that the decision Lehtinen (R-Fla.) told the Miami Herald is “irrational and discriminatory,” and influthat most of her fellow Republicans in Conenced by Trump’s “public hostility toward gress couldn’t care less. “There’s just no inimmigrants of color.” terest for immigration reform generally, and But the administration counters that I don’t think there’s much appetite to help Temporary Protection Status was meant to [Haitians and Salvadorans]. It hurts to say it, be just that — temporary — and not a probut it’s the political reality.” gram that allowed recipients to repeatedly extend their stays for decades on end. It also ‘IRRATIONAL AND says conditions on the ground in countries CREDIT: UN PHOTO / MARCO DORMINO like Haiti have improved enough for immiDISCRIMINATORY’ A U.S. helicopter prepares to land on the lawn of Haiti’s Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince — left in a state grants to return. Altidor, 45, said the latest barrage of in- of near-collapse after the January 2010 earthquake. Many Haitians, including Altidor, dispute sults coming from the Oval Office is part of that argument, pointing out that Haiti is still a “long history of Haiti being stigmatized” Joseph, who said he was “flabbergasted” homosexuals, hemophiliacs and heroin ad- recovering from a massive cholera epidemic every effort is made by to Trump’s assure your ad is free insults, of mistakes in spelling it is for ultimately to the customer to make the final proof. whenNOTE: it comesAlthough to the immigration debate. “foul-smelling” recalled dicts asand beingcontent responsible the AIDSupepiand damage from Hurricane Matthew in “Going back to the 1980s and ’90s, Haiti the last time Haitians gathered en masse to demic and had forbidden them from donat2016. The Signed back-to-back disasters have only The first two faxed changes will be made at no cost to the advertiser, subsequent changes will be billed at a rate of $75 per faxed alteration. ads are considered approved. has been an easy target,” he told us. “I made protest official discrimination from Wash- ing blood. compounded the economic misery in Haiti, the point of forcefully condemning and ex- ington: April check 20, 1990.this Thatad wascarefully. the date Mark Eventually, the FDA backed down Please any changes to your ad. and where 2.5 million people still need humanipressing our anger at what was said. Too when more than 75,000 Haitians marched withdrew Haitians from the list of risk fac- tarian assistance and nearly 60 percent of If the ad signweand fax to: (301) 949-0065 needs changes oftis encorrect in the past, Haitians would have re- across New York’s Brooklyn Bridge to shame tors behind the virus that causes AIDS. Haitians live below the national poverty line mained silent. This time, we stand together the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, On April 20 — exactly 28 years later — The Washington Diplomat (301) 933-3552 __________________________________________________ as a community. ” which hadApproved classified Haitians along with Haitian-American activists plan another SEE HAIT I • PAGE 16 Changes ______________________________________________________________________________________________________


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of $2.41 a day. “The challenges that warranted TPS in the first place continue because of subsequent natural disasters, including three major hurricanes and a cholera outbreak. For a long time, Haiti has had to face those challenges on its own,” Altidor said. “We understand that the administration — rather than looking at the actual conditions — was trying to make a political statement by ending TPS. This decision was not based on reality.” He added: “There are specific reasons under the law why TPS was granted to a country like Haiti. Most of these folks do not constitute a national security threat to the United States. Those who are here are contributing to the U.S. economy, they send millions of dollars every year to Haiti and they’re not a burden to the Haitian economy. We’re not going to turn our backs on them, but why go to that? TPS could have been extended for another 18 months.” No less than 40 congressional leaders including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) publicly expressed support for keeping TPS in place for Haitians — all to no avail. “There could have been a more structured process in place, rather than an abrupt end to a program that has been in existence for so long,” the ambassador said. “Many of the TPS recipients have children who are U.S. citizens. Families are going to be torn apart.” Nearly 1 million Haitian passport holders live in the United States; including second-generation Haitians brings the size of the community to nearly 2 million. Most Haitians live in the New York and Miami metro areas, with sizeable communities in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and even Salt Lake City, Utah. Haitians living abroad sent back $2.78 billion in remittances last year to their homeland, according to a Jan. 24 report issued by the Inter-American Dialogue. About half that amount

Tourists enjoy the resort destination of Labadee on the northern coast of Haiti. The government is banking on tourism to improve its aid-dependent economy.



A man carries a coffin through a street in downtown Port-au-Prince. Behind him, a toppled building testifies to the strength of the earthquake that struck the capital on Jan. 12, 2010.


came from Haitians living in the United States. In fact, remittances comprise 33.6 percent of Haiti’s GDP — by far a higher percentage than for any other country in the Western Hemisphere (also see sidebar on page 14). Michael Shifter, president of the Washington-based think tank, said he doubts many of the Haitians living here under protected status will ever return to the country of their birth if forced to leave the United States. “They’re even less likely to go back than the Salvadorans,” Shifter told us. “Conditions in Haiti are not favorable, so the practical consequence is that they’ll stay here and live in the shadows — and be in sort of limbo because they’ll lose their protective status.” Shifter added that Trump’s comments and the loss of TPS


The Haitian government commemorates the third anniversary of the 2010 7.0-magnitude earthquake, which devastated the poverty-stricken nation and left hundreds of thousands dead.

will cause “a lot of damage” to U.S.-Haitian bilateral ties. “It’s not irreparable, but it certainly sets back the relationship considerably, and it’s going to make any kind of future cooperation based on trust much more difficult,” he predicted. “This was a way of talking we’ve never heard before from a president.”

HUGE CHALLENGES AHEAD Even though Trump never apologized for his hurtful comments, “a lot of people in the U.S. government, including a person from the White House, have said that what the president said does not reflect the view of the U.S. gov-

ernment or what we believe as Americans,” Altidor told us. “We take comfort in the hundreds and thousands of emails and calls from Americans who expressed anger at what the president said, and also to apologize on behalf of their government. We have binders full of emails that we printed out.” In a strange irony, he said “the country-to-country relationship between Haiti and the United States has grown stronger” in the wake of Trump’s invective. “All of a sudden, more Americans are trying to visit Haiti. They want to see this ‘shithole country.’ We’ve seen overwhelming support,” he said. “A lot of people are reaching out to the embassy, which


Hurricane Matthew makes landfall in Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince on Oct. 4, 2016, complicating recovery efforts from previous disasters.

is what we’ve been trying to do from the beginning.” In January, Haiti assumed the rotating six-month presidency of the 15-member Caribbean Community (Caricom). On Feb. 26 and 27, it will host Caricom’s annual heads of government meeting for the first time ever. And on May 2, Altidor — who was born in the Ca-

ribbean port city of Jérémie — will mark his sixth anniversary as Haiti’s ambassador to the United States. Under Altidor’s leadership, the Embassy of Haiti fronting Massachusetts Avenue has become one of the most visited in Washington. The $4 million renovation project included a dramatic facelift of the stately man-

Haiti at a Glance Location Caribbean, western one-third of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of the Dominican Republic

GDP growth 1 percent (2017 estimate)

Capital Port-au-Prince

Population below poverty line 58.5 percent (2012 estimate)

Population 10.6 million (July 2017 estimate)

Unemployment 40.6 percent (2010 estimate)

Ethnic groups Black 95 percent, mulatto and white 5 percent

Industries Textiles, sugar refining, flour milling, cement, light assembly using imported parts

GDP (purchasing power parity) $19.8 billion (2017 estimate)

GDP per-capita (PPP) $1,800 (2017 estimate)

sion, which was constructed in 1907, acquired by China and then Taiwan before being sold to Haiti in 1979. “Under my tenure, we’ve been pushing so many different events here. We have art exhibits, trivia nights, pop-up shows, business roundtables and lecture series,” he said. “Recently I brought a Haitian chef to the Smithsonian, and hundreds of people showed up for a demonstration of Haitian cuisine. We have cooking classes at the embassy. We’ve been on this crusade, trying to educate the American public to Haiti in its entirety — not just Haiti the poor country, but also showing them the richness of Haiti.” Last year, the embassy also sponsored “Haiti Week in DC” in partnership with Busboys and Poets. It receives frequent visits from high school students and congressional leaders. In the same vein, Altidor has been pushing tourism hard. “One of the ways we hope to reboot our economy is to have people come for leisure travel rather than for charitable purposes,” he said. “We want to make it less cumbersome for them to come than for missionary travelers. We’re trying to shift the paradigm and encourage people to go to Haiti to explore.” Yet Haiti is still wracked by poverty, crime, corruption and political infighting. Even outside forces with good intentions have piled on to the country’s woes. Despite the October 2017 departure of the widely discredited United Nations peacekeeping force, MINUSTAH, after a 13-year presence, a cholera epidemic blamed on U.N. troops continues to sicken people throughout the Maryland-size country. About 10,000 Haitians have died and nearly 1 million have fallen ill from the disease since 2010, when it was introduced to Haiti by U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal. And a $400 million voluntary trust fund set up by the United Nations to battle cholera has barely been funded and largely dried up.

Photo: The Umbrella Syndicate

Independence Day Jan. 1, 1804 (from France))


Besides bringing cholera to Haiti, MINUSTAH was also involved in various sex scandals; at least 134 peacekeepers were involved in the sexual exploitation of nine children from 2004 to 2007. Likewise, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in early February accused British charity Oxfam of sexual misconduct, alleging that Oxfam is only “the visible part of the iceberg” and that Doctors Without Borders should be investigated as well. Crime and violence levels, meanwhile, remain high, and the political situation is unstable. Even though Moïse, a 48-year-old banana exporter, was sworn in Feb. 7, 2017, as president — and the handpicked successor to former President Michel Martelly — the transfer of power took place only after a long-delayed electoral process that included allegations of money laundering. Haiti’s perennial political upheaval and economic mismanagement, coupled with worldwide donor fatigue and Trump’s TPS decision, have made it that much harder to recover from the devastation of the 2010 earthquake. Eight years after the worst tragedy in Haitian history, thousands of people in and around Port-au-Prince are still living in temporary shelters, despite the billions of dollars that poured in after the disaster. Altidor acknowledges Haiti’s huge obstacles but says his country is doing the best it can. “We’re moving forward and keeping our heads up. Haiti still faces challenges, but it’s also taking a new turn,” he told us. “We have a new administration on the ground and we’re determined to make our economy less dependent on foreign assistance and charity. For that to happen, we’re creating incentives for investors to come and discover the potential Haiti offers.” WD


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Tel Aviv-based journalist Larry Luxner is news editor of The Washington Diplomat. Haitian chef Cynthia “Thia” Vernam and Ambassador of Haiti Paul Altidor prepare Haitian chiquetaille de morue (salted codfish marinated in a peppery vinaigrette) during a culinary event last year at the Haitian Embassy. PHOTO: EMBASSY OF HAITI

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Benefits of Leave U.S. Stands Alone Among Developed Nations in Not Offering Paid Leave for Mothers and Fathers BY JOHN BRINKLEY


he U.S. government is inching toward joining the rest of the developed world in allowing fathers to take time off from work upon the birth or adoption of their children without a loss of income — a policy that would not only help growing families, but also help mothers re-enter the workforce and benefit the economy as a whole. At present, there is no federal requirement that U.S. employers offer paid medical or parental leave to anyone for any reason. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 requires businesses with 50 or more employees to offer 12 weeks of unpaid medical or parental leave to workers who have accrued 1,250 hours on the job. In this, the United States stands alone among developed countries. Among 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a grouping of democratic countries that support free market economies, all nations from Australia to Mexico to Slovakia offer some form of paid maternal and home care leave, except for the U.S. The OECD average is about 37 weeks of paid leave for new mothers. Far fewer countries offer paid leave for fathers, with the OECD average at 7 weeks. During his 2016 campaign, and as president, Donald Trump has said he supports the idea of paid family and medical leave. In his January 2018 State of the Union Address, he said, “Let us support working families by supporting paid family leave.” And in his most recent budget proposal, he called for states to create six weeks of paid leave for both mothers and fathers. But finding the money to fund the initiative could face resistance among voters if it raises payroll taxes, and it also faces an uphill battle in Congress, where Republicans are wary of more government spending. Some states such as California and New Jersey offer their own leave benefits, and many private businesses, especially large tech companies, offer paid leave to retain employees, though the benefits tend to go toward highincome workers. But there is no federal policy mandating paid leave. Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said there was a growing realization among family policy researchers that children of heterosexual couples benefit emotionally and developmentally from having their fathers at home. In the United States, “the idea that workers should receive paid leave for different purposes has broad public support, with 82 percent favorable



Among 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, all nations from Australia to Mexico to Slovakia offer some form of paid maternal and home care leave, except for the U.S.

Paid family leave affects children and families, it affects women’s ability to participate in the labor market, and it affects economic growth.

Brookings Institution-American Enterprise Institute study ‘Paid Family and Medical Leave: An Issue Whose Time Has Come’

toward paid maternity leave [and] 69 percent toward paid paternity leave,” according to a joint study by the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) titled “Paid Family and Medical Leave: An Issue Whose Time Has Come.” “Paid family leave affects children and families, it affects women’s ability to participate in the labor market, and it affects economic growth. Recent research suggests that when compared to other countries in the [OECD], women’s labor force participation in the U.S. has stalled, and nearly a third of the gap can be explained by the lack of family-friendly policies such as paid leave,” the study said. “If women are unable to continue their careers because their workplaces are less accommodating of their need for time off, this limits their ability to remain in the labor force and move up the income ladder. This is not just an issue for women, but for families as a whole, as women are now the primary breadwinners in more than 40 percent of all families, according to the Pew

Research Center.” The study says that “parental leave benefits in most OECD countries have evolved over time — from mostly maternity-only policies to the gradual introduction of a paternity leave benefit and, in some cases, a parental leave benefit that follows these preceding periods of leave.” However, it says, “a substantial gap remains between the leave benefits available to mothers and those available to fathers.” Most OECD countries allow “a little less time for fathers,” said Aparna Mathur of AEI, who co-authored the study with Sawhill. A 2015 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Economics found that allowing paid paternity leave “greatly increases the share of men taking paternity leave. We find evidence that children’s school performance improves as a result, particularly in families where the father has higher education than the mother.” Giving fathers paid leave to spend time at home with their children is

also seen as a matter of fairness; the work of feeding and bathing babies, changing their diapers, taking them to doctor’s appointments and so on is not left entirely to the mother. “By drawing fathers into the daily realities of childcare, free of workplace constraints, extended time off provides the space necessary for fathers to develop the parenting skills and sense of responsibility that then allows them to be active co-parents rather than helpers to their female partners,” says a 2013 study by Youngstown State University professor Erin Rehel. Paternal leave entitlements are not limited to developed countries. “Paternity leave entitlements can be found in the national legislation of at least 79 countries out of 167 for which data are available,” says a 2014 report by the International Labour Organization (ILO). Norway and Sweden are among the most generous developed countries in terms of paid paternal leave. In Sweden, parents are entitled to 68 weeks SEE LEAVE • PAGE 20


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The U.S. government is inching toward joining the rest of the developed world in allowing fathers to take time off from work upon the birth or adoption of their children.


of paid parental leave when a child is born or adopted (at about 80 percent of the parents’ income), with 12 weeks of paid leave reserved exclusively for fathers that cannot be transferred to the mother. As a result of its child-friendly policies, Sweden has one of the highest birthrates in Europe, especially among highly educated women. Similarly, Norway allows fathers to take 10 weeks off from work to care for children and still earn 97.9 percent of their income (along with 78 weeks for the mother, with a little less than half her income guaranteed). Japan and South Korea are the most generous in the amount of paid leave time they give new father — 52 weeks — but fathers only earn 58.4 percent and 32 percent, respectively, of their working income. That is in keeping with an international trend: the more leave time one takes, the less s/he earns in monthly benefits. In Germany, mothers and fathers of newborn children can earn up to €1,800 ($2,204) per month and still work up to 30 hours per week. In Canada, parents can take 18 months of paid leave after child-


birth and mothers can start taking maternity leave up to 12 weeks before the birth. During the first 12 months of post-natal leave, parents earn 55 percent of their working wages or $543 (Canadian) per week, whichever is higher. The benefit applies to the parents’ combined income, so there is one check


for both parents. “Paid leave policies abroad are diverse regarding eligibility criteria, length of leave, reimbursement rates, [and] financing mechanisms,” says the Brookings-AEI study. As for financing, in 58 percent of the 79 countries that provide for paternal leave, the employer pays

the entitlement, according to the ILO. “It’s pretty common, I think, to have employers and employees contributing” to the parental leave benefit, Mathur said. The U.S. president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, has been working with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and

others on a proposal that reportedly would impose no costs on employers or taxpayers; leave-takers would support themselves by drawing money from their Social Security accounts. A father who takes, say, eight weeks of paternal leave would then have his eligibility for Social Security benefits postponed for eight weeks after he retires. Mathur said other countries had varied ways of paying parental leave benefits, but “I’ve never heard of a situation” similar to what Trump and Rubio are considering. Rubio has also floated the idea of offering businesses a 25 percent tax credit for giving employees at least four weeks of paid leave. The question of whether the United States will join the rest of the developed world in offering paid maternal and paternal leave will ultimately rest in Congress’s hands, as Congress would have to authorize it via legislation. And that, in turn, will depend in part on lawmakers’ appetite for increased federal spending following major tax reform and a two-year budget deal that is projected to balloon the national deficit, as well as the outcome of the November 2018 midterm elections. WD John Brinkley is a freelance writer and was chief speechwriter for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in the Obama administration.

Nordic Vantage Point | WD

Common Sense Equality On International Women’s Day, Strides Have Been Made but Equality Gaps Persist BY NORWEGIAN AMBASSADOR KÅRE R. AAS


n March 8 we celebrate International Women’s Day, highlighting the rights of women and girls all over the world. The #MeToo campaign is a forceful reminder of the importance of one of the many aspects of such rights. Other reminders include the increased participation of women in the workforce — and in politics. Roughly until my childhood in the 1960s, few married women in Norway worked outside the home. That would change quickly with the introduction of time-saving household appliances and improved access to daycare. Back then, it was also not common for women to enter politics. The share of women in the Norwegian Parliament stayed below 10 percent until 1973. Change, once underway, happened quickly on both fronts. Previously seen as unsuitable for married women or an inevitable part of life for poor folks, work outside of the home soon came to symbolize women’s freedom and independence. Women’s share of the workforce rose quickly. In Norway today there are nearly as many women as men working outside the home. In politics, the share of women in parliament quadrupled between 1973 and 1993, to nearly 40 percent. Over the past few decades, all Western countries have seen an increase in women’s participation both in the workforce and in politics. In some countries, however, the trend has recently slowed, or even reversed. This is unfortunate, not only for the women themselves, but also for society. Equal participation and equal opportunity isn’t only about justice; it’s about common sense. The benefits to the country are tangible, economically as well as socially and culturally. Ten of the 20 government ministers in Norway are women, including the prime minister, foreign minister and minister of finance. When Prime Minister Erna Solberg recently visited Washington, D.C., she was asked by Ari Shapiro of NPR’s “All Things Considered” what difference it makes to have women in leadership roles. Solberg said that several decades of women’s participation in Norwegian politics have provided a broad recruitment base for the top positions in government. She also talked about the importance of managing the work-family balance, and the need for families to have support networks so women don’t have to choose between a career and motherhood. So which measures and policies most effectively increase the share of women in the workforce? Norway’s experience is that paid parental leave, access to affordable childcare, favorable tax policies and employer-led initiatives such as


Ten of the 20 government ministers in Norway are women, including, from left: Minister of Finance Siv Jensen, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide and Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

Equal participation and equal opportunity isn’t only about justice; it’s about common sense. The benefits to the country are tangible, economically as well as socially and culturally. KÅRE R. AAS

ambassador of Norway to the United States

workplace flexibility are at the top of the list. Role models are also important. Research has found that female leadership has a powerful and inspirational effect: Girls set higher educational goals for themselves when they live in areas that have long-serving female leaders. These are all areas that require strategic thinking and political will at the highest levels. Non-politicians can make important contributions, too. Last year Norway’s soccer association and the country’s international players signed a historic agreement, which secured equal pay for

the men and women representing Norway in international soccer. The male athletes committed to making a financial contribution to the lowerpaid women’s team to make up the difference. Through the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, leaders from all over the world have committed to promote gender equality and empower all women and girls. We know from experience that having more women in the workforce leads to increased economic growth, something that is much needed in many economies. The Norwegian government takes this commitment seriously. That is why, in our international development efforts, we are keeping a special focus on equal access to education — an important booster for equality. Much has been achieved on gender equality during my lifetime. International Women’s Day is, however, not a time to rest on our laurels. Instead, we should focus on the gaps that remain. There’s unfinished business with regard to equal access, equal participation, and equal pay. Happy celebrations on March 8. Personally, I’m looking forward to hosting hundreds of enthusiastic guests at my residence in the nation’s capital that evening, in celebration of International Women’s Day. WD Nordic Vantage Point is a series of columns written by Kåre R. Aas, who has served as Norway’s ambassador to the U.S. since September 2013, prior to which he was political director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo.





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Medical | WD

Aging with Grace Your Attitude About Getting Older Might Affect Your Odds for Dementia BY AMY NORTON


f you hope to avoid dementia in old age, having an upbeat view on aging itself might help, new research suggests. Researchers found that people with positive beliefs about aging had a nearly 44 percent lower risk of developing dementia over the next four years than those with a dimmer outlook. The protective link was seen even among people who carried a gene variant called APOE4, which raises the risk for dementia. However, the findings do not prove that negative attitudes about aging lead to mental decline. Rather, the study shows only an association between people’s beliefs and their dementia risk, said Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association. Those beliefs also could reflect other things. For instance, Fargo said, it’s possible that some people with a negative outlook were in the earliest stages of dementia — before it could be recognized. “It’s easy to see how someone in the early stages of dementia could be feeling bad about aging,” said Fargo, who wasn’t involved with the study. Having a positive attitude, though, certainly could have an effect on your health, he said. Still, it’s hard to tease out any effects of beliefs about aging from other aspects of a person’s mindset and behavior, Fargo said. Studies do suggest that a number of lifestyle factors can help lower dementia risk, he said. Those include maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly and staying socially active and mentally engaged — reading or learning new skills, for instance. “We do think it’s important for people to stay socially engaged, to be active, to have hobbies,” Fargo said. Those behaviors are key — versus simply trying to change your attitude, he added. Becca Levy, a professor at the Yale School of Public Health, led the new study. She said she’s long been interested in the ways that people’s beliefs about aging might affect their health as they grow older. Some research has hinted that those beliefs can influence brain function, Levy said. For instance, research that exposed older adults to negative stereotypes about aging found that their performance on memory tests tended to dip. The new findings, published online Feb. 7 in the journal PLOS ONE, are based on 4,765 older adults who were dementia-free at the start of the study. They answered a standard set of questions that gauged their attitudes about their own aging. For instance, they were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with statements like, “The older I get, the more useless I feel.” A question like that, Levy said, gets into not only how people feel about their own health, but also how they think they fit into society. Overall, the study found that older adults with


Researchers found that people with positive beliefs about aging had a nearly 44 percent lower risk of developing dementia over the next four years than those with a dimmer outlook. a positive outlook were less likely to develop dementia over the next four years: 2.6 percent did, compared with 4.6 percent of those with negative views. The difference was greater when the researchers focused on the 1,250 study participants with the APOE4 gene. In that group, 2.7 percent of positive-minded people developed dementia, compared with 6.1 percent of those with a negative outlook. Levy’s team did account for some other factors, including participants’ memory performance at the study’s start. The researchers also factored in age, race, education levels and whether people had heart disease or diabetes. Still, Levy said, positive beliefs were connected to a lower dementia risk. Why would those beliefs matter?

LEARN MORE: The Alzheimer’s Association has advice on lifestyle and brain health at

That’s not completely clear, according to Levy. But negative views can breed chronic stress, which might contribute to dementia risk, the researchers said. None of that means that people can “think their way” into, or out of, dementia, Fargo stressed. “We don’t want people to think that if they have dementia, it’s because they had a negative attitude,” he said. Similarly, he added, older adults with memory issues or other symptoms should not simply rely on positive thinking to deal with it. “Talk to your doctor,” Fargo advised. One reason to do that, he said, is because those symptoms might have a treatable cause, such as depression or sleep apnea. Ultimately, Fargo said, clinical trials are needed to show whether any lifestyle measures can stave off dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association is launching one such trial called POINTER, which will test a combination of tactics, including diet changes, exercise and mental and social engagement. WD Amy Norton is a HealthDay reporter. Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | MARCH 2018 | 23

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March 2018

Tech at Your Fingertips In Today’s Digital World, There Really Is an App for That — And Everything Else •


ou know why the phrase “there’s an app for that” has become cliché? Because there really is an app for pretty much anything and everything. Within five years of the launch of Apple’s App Store, mobile applications became a primary tool

for people to communicate, shop, play, work and organize their lives, according to IndustryWeek. Today, about 2.2 million apps are available in the store, while Google Play for Android phones has 2.8 million, and the number of mobile app downloads worldwide is expected to hit



352 billion by 2021, according to the — the same year the global app economy is expected to be worth $6.3 trillion, up from $1.3 trillion in 2016 an App Annie report states. SEE APPS • PAGE 26 THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | MARCH 2018 | 25


By now, most of us are familiar with gaming apps such as Angry Birds, which has been downloaded at least 3 billion times, and social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram. But there are plenty of apps out there that can make life not just more fun, but a little easier. Here’s a look at 14 apps to help you meet your goals of living healthier, parenting from afar, keeping better track your finances and taking control of your home.

FITNESS It’s March, and that means many of us have given up on our New Year’s resolutions to get or stay in shape. Luckily, we can jump back on the bandwagon at any time, and Studio SWEAT on Demand can help heave us up. Watch instructors from an actual class at Studio SWEAT in San Diego work on six areas — abs and core, mind and body, sculpt, spin, TRX, and floor exercises. Get unlimited access for $19.99 per month or download a single class for $7.88.

HEALTHY LIVING Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal app is free to download and offers a calorie counter that taps a database of more than 5 million foods to let you know just how many calories you’re putting in. It can also tell you how many calories you’re burning PHOTO: off when you perform LIETTE PARENT / DREAMSTIME certain exercises. Additionally, if you want to know what chemicals are in a food you’re thinking about eating, check out Healthy Living from the Environmental Working Group Search for a product by name, scan a bar code or just browse the database’s more than 120,000 food and personal care products.

DOWNTIME Personally, we like to spend a few minutes playing Candy Crush when we need a breather, but meditation works, too. The Headspace app has more than 10 million users, including notables such as Richard Branson and Arianna Huffington. The app provides guided meditation, which studies have shown can reduce stress, increase focus and promote sleep. Meditation sessions range from a few minutes to one hour, and the app recently added a Sleep Sounds function for when you need help nodding off. It’s free to download, and subscriptions cost $12.99 per month or $94.99 per year.

FINANCE Simplify money management with the Mint app, which PC Magazine named the best mobile finance app of 2017. It connects to accounts directly and offers a web version for those times when tiny screens won’t cut it. The app provides a big-picture view of all your finances while also tracking each transaction that posts to your accounts. It also offers budgeting tools and bill reminders, so you won’t have to worry about late fees.



CHILD TRACKER You don’t have to be a helicopter parent or tiger mom or whatever the name of the day is to want your children to be safe. Androids and iPhones have Find My Friends apps, but there’s also Family Tracker This app, which costs $3.99 in the Apple App Store, lets you not only find friends and family — who must accept a tracking request first — but send and receive PHOTO: DEBI BISHOP / ISTOCK notifications of safe arrivals. Users can also see where their loved ones have been in the past few days and send a ping to another device to get that owner’s attention. A subscription is $1.99 per month, $5.99 for three months, $9.99 for six months or $19.99 per year.

PARENTAL CONTROL It’s not just physical safety we parents need to think about these days. We need look no further than the latest information breach report to understand how crucial cyber safety is, or the latest headline about cyber bullying, sexting and other online dangers. Not to mention the fact that with kids more glued to their devices than ever, parents struggle to find a healthy balance between letting them live in the virtual world as opposed to the real world. The Qustodio app gives caregivers a dashboard that lets them see at a glance all recent mobile activity for any connection device. Users can set time limits on devices or specific game usage, track texts and block inappropriate sites. Bonus: You can also track your children’s location and they can send you panic alerts in an emergency. Three subscription plans are available from $54.95 per year for up to five devices to $137.95 per year for up to 15 devices.

SAFETY The free First Aid by American Red Cross app redcross. PHOTO: AERO17 / ISTOCK org/get-help/how-to-preparefor-emergencies/mobile-apps quickly provides information on how to handle a medical emergency, such as anaphylaxis, burns, choking and poisoning, or prepare for natural disasters, earthquakes, flooding or winter weather. The app also explains how to perform CPR and offers quizzes so you can test your knowledge. Additionally, you can type your location into a query field to get results on the locations of the nearest hospitals.

PARKING Those of us in the D.C. area know the pain of searching for parking only to have to pay ungodly sums for a tiny spot on the bottom level of a garage. The free



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Today, about 2.2 million apps are available in Apple’s App Store, while Google Play for Android phones has 2.8 million, and the number of mobile app downloads worldwide is expected to hit 352 billion by 2021 — the same year the global app economy is expected to be worth $6.3 trillion.


newly smart home useful. You can turn on lights, adjust the thermostat and start the coffeemaker in the morning or turn on the stereo before you get home from work.

“squat” if it’s, well, not. Users can rate the bathrooms, too, and add new ones to the database. Search using criteria such as location, rating, extras such as baby changing tables and cost, meaning is it inside a restaurant that expects you to buy something in exchange for use of its facilities. A map displays the nearby bathrooms with red (squat) or green (sit) toilet paper rolls. Clicking one brings up the name and address of the place, and the option of getting driving, walking, biking or bus directions.

LIGHTING CONTROL OK, so this one isn’t a life-changer, but it could be lots of fun. Philips Hue meethue. com is a personal wireless lighting system that lets you set the tone, contrast and color of light to create the right ambience for the moment. Starter kits are available for $34.99 to $199.99. Depending on the package, they come with white and colored lightbulbs and a bridge. Once set up, you can control the lights through your smartphone. Friends of Hue are devices that work with the Philips Hue system, and they include the Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.

TRIP PREP So rarely do we hear someone say, “Oh, I just love packing for trips.” Usually, it’s a job left to the last minute, completed in a rush and followed by stress over what was forgotten. Enter the PackPoint app to the rescue. Program in your destination, departure date, length of stay and trip type — business or leisure — and this free app will tell you what you need in your suitcase(s). You can customize the list, too, by adding or removing items and repeating basics if you’re willing to wear the same thing twice. If you plan to do


certain activities while you’re away, such as snow sports or sunning, tell the app and it will adjust the list. Plus, PackPoint can tell you what the weather will be while you’re there so you won’t forget a sweater, poncho or sunscreen.

BATHROOM FINDER Using public restrooms isn’t the most fun thing ever, but the free Sit or Squat app from Charmin (yes, the toilet paper maker) can help you pinpoint the cleanest bathrooms near you. It’s loaded with more than 100,000 public restrooms and rates them with a “sit” if it’s clean or

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Save money while you shop with the Ebates app. Free to download, this app gives you cash back for purchases you make at your favorite stores. To do it, you search for the store and click “shop now.” It routes you to the store’s website, where you proceed as you normally would. Ebates tracks your spending and cuts you a check periodically for a portion of your total. Stores include Bloomingdale’s, Amazon, Saks Fifth Avenue and Gap. Check for extra deals such as double cash back days. Clicking on a store will also bring up a list of specials the shop is running. WD Stephanie Kanowitz is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

Culture arts & entertainment art

diplomatic spouses



Namibia, Not Nambia Last September, “President Trump came up with a new African country,” smiled Caroline Andjaba, wife of Namibian Ambassador Martin Andjaba. “He called us ‘Nambia’ and we’ve been getting all sorts of attention and press ever since.” / PAGE 31



The Washington Diplomat





March 2018




Confronting War History textbooks have a way of glossing over tragedy and confining the truth inside neat timelines. But history is messier and bloodier than that, especially during the Civil War when a young nation was nearly torn asunder. Mark Bradford confronts this tragic legacy in his largest work to date, “Pickett’s Charge.” / PAGE 32


‘Familiar’ Tensions “Familiar,” the latest play by playwright powerhouse Danai Gurira, performed at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, brings to life the cultural struggles of a Zimbabwean clan turned Midwestern Yankees. / PAGE 34


The Hirshhorn Museum celebrates an iconic, decadent decade in all its neon glory with “Brand New: Art and Commodity in the 1980s,” an evocative time capsule of a show that examines the rise of a new generation of artists who blurred the lines between art, entertainment and commerce. / PAGE 30 THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | MARCH 2018 | 29

WD | Culture | Art

Consumer-Driven Art Hirshhorn Looks Back at Iconic Decade When Art Became a Marketable Commodity •



(202) 633-1000



or many of us, it’s hard to believe that the 1980s are now considered a historical decade. It seems as if just yesterday we were sporting permed, puffy hair, oversize shoulder pads and preppy polo shirts with upturned collars. It was a time of MTV pop music videos, yuppies, Reaganomics, the Cold War, Wall Street materialism and a culture seemingly built around me, me, me. But the ’80s also marked a fundamental shift in the art world, where artwork was considered a commodity and the artist became a brand to be marketed and sold to avid consumers. The Hirshhorn Museum celebrates this decadent decade in all its neon glory with “Brand New: PHOTO: HIRSHHORN MUSEUM AND SCULPTURE GARDEN / PHOTO BY CATHY CARVER Art and Commodity in the 1980s,” an evocative “Brand New: Art and Commodity in the 1980s,” seen above, looks time capsule of a show that examines the rise of back at the iconic decade with an array of works such as, from bottom a new generation of artists in New York City who clockwise: ACT UP (Gran Fury)’s “SILENCE = DEATH”; Haim Steinbach’s blurred the lines between art, entertainment and “Shelf with Ajax”; and Krzysztof Wodiczko’s “Homeless Vehicle in New commerce, a trend that continues in contempoYork City”; as well as Ashley Bickerton’s “Tormented Self-Portrait (Susie rary art today. at Arles) No. 2,” pictured on the culture cover. The exhibit showcases nearly 70 artists, both known and relatively unknown, and almost 150 rarely displayed works from U.S. and European collections, together for the first time since the ’80s. Hirshhorn curator-at-large Gianni Jetzer turned 16 years old in 1985, calling the decade a large part of his youth. PHOTO: © KRZYSZTOF WODICZKO / COURTESY GALERIE LELONG & CO., NY “It was such an ambivalent decade with pop and consumer culture being the new mainstream, spread widely by cable TV, and then again by the growing anxiety about a nuclear attack, financial crises or AIDS,” he said. “The complexity of the decade is mirrored in ‘Brand New’ through the placement of controversial subjects side by side, such as hedonism and political activism.” PHOTO: COURTESY NEW MUSEUM, NY / WILLIAM OLANDER MEMORIAL FUND “Brand New” is a particularly vivid show, with a kitschy product advertisement feel punctuated by an undercurrent of satire and rebellion. “‘Brand New’ mercial material to deconstruct and demysintroduces an alternative view of the ’80s, tracing how a pioneering group tify the use of computer-generated graphics. of young artists in New York appropriated the tools and psychology of the She called the pioneering installations “elecdecade’s pervasive commercial culture, especially advertising, branding and tronic theater,” which Jetzer said is a truly manufactured objects,” according to a museum press release. “Fueled by radigroundbreaking invention. cal changes in politics, the economy and technology, they exploited the growOther noteworthy pieces include Ashley ing culture of consumerism to redefine art’s position within it.” Bickerton’s “Tormented Self-Portrait” showPHOTO: COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND TANYA BONAKDAR GALLERY, NY Jetzer hoped to present the ’80s as a decade that is still relevant to this day. ing a collage of product logos from Fruit of It was a time when the information age began to fully develop. “From then on, the Loom underwear to Marlboro cigarettes. In an MTV “Art Break” video the message became the relevant commodity,” he said. “It’s all about creative spot, Richard Prince shows himself as a tongue-in-cheek “art world’s best-kept ideas and what they stand for — that applies equally to advertisement and art.” secret.” And the neon sign by ACT UP that reads “SILENCE=DEATH” in the That modern-day relevance is most starkly seen in Krzysztof Wodiczko’s lobby of the Hirshhorn mimics many shop signs but a more in-depth reading “Homeless Vehicle in New York City,” which depicts a steel-looking contrap- reveals it was a call for New York to face the HIV/AIDS crisis head on. tion that he created to conceptualize the marginalization of people. The scene Jetzer’s next project will be curating a second chapter of his focus on conshows a homeless man pushing the wheeled metal cart behind a smartly temporary art and consumerism called “What Absence Is Made Of ” on the dressed businesswoman as they both walk by the gilded front entrance of third floor of the Hirshhorn. The exhibit, which begins in October, spans Trump Tower. This glimpse of wealth and power — and pointed reference more than seven decades and 70 works to explore how artists express what to Trump — juxtaposed with the image of a poor, ragged black man is just as absence looks like and how it transcends the limits of our material world. powerful, if not more so, today than it was 30 years ago. “Now that a D.C. cocktail bar acknowledged the curatorial concept by creatJetzer is particularly fond of Gretchen Bender’s “Dumping Core,” a 13-mon- ing a menu inspired by the show, I better make it nice!” he quipped. WD itor video installation with an upbeat soundtrack. It hasn’t been shown in three decades. Bender, a D.C. artist, developed logo animations for television Kate Oczypok (@OczyKate) is a contributing writer stations in New York and also created art by recycling bits and pieces of com- for The Washington Diplomat.


Diplomatic Spouses | Culture | WD

Fortuitous Flub Trump’s Gaffe Spotlighted Relatively Unknown Nation of Namibia •



ast September, during a meeting with African leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, “President Trump came up with a new African country,” smiled Caroline Andjaba, wife of Namibian Ambassador Martin Andjaba. “He called us ‘Nambia’ and we’ve been getting all sorts of attention and press ever since.” Officials largely did not comment on the president’s snafu, in which he likely mixed up Zambia and Namibia in talking about the latter’s revamped health care system, although some lamented that the gaffe reflected Trump’s general lack of interest in Africa. On Twitter, however, some Namibians expressed optimism that Westerners might learn more about their sparsely populated country of just 2 million off the coast of southwestern Africa. Caroline Andjaba said that Namibians cherish their independence, which they formally gained from South Africa in 1990 after a long fight. In the late 19th century, Germans colonized the land, but after World War I, South Africa took de facto control of the country, where an armed struggle for independence culminated in an end to the occupation in 1988. Since then, Namibia has navigated the transition from white apartheid minority rule to parliamentary democracy, with elections held regularly. “We are very peaceful. We want partnerships, not aid,” Andjaba said, noting that Cuba helped Namibia achieve its independence. Caroline Andjaba, bottom, is pictured with her husband, Ambassador of Namibia Martin Andjaba, right, her 9-year old son Martin Jr., Mining is critical to the country’s and stepsons John, 23, and David, 25. economy, known for its large output of diamonds, uranium and other minerals. en Locks Elementary. “He’s naughty, likes to play and Agriculture, fishing, manufacturing and loves gadgets. He asked to stay home from school tourism are other key sectors. Namibia today to join me in this interview,” she said. Instead, has also been named a top emerging marhe left a response for us to the question of what it’s ket economy in Africa and is classified as like to be an ambassador’s son. “It feels good to be an upper middle income country by the an ambassador’s son,” he said, “because I get to meet World Bank. But widespread poverty and [Namibian] President Hage Geingob and his family inequality remain persistent problems — when they visit, and I get to tour the White House a legacy of the apartheid system — despite for Christmas.” generous spending on social programs. “The other two boys are my husband’s children CAROLINE ANDJABA To address some of those problems, in from another marriage,” Andjaba explained. “John, 2016 Caroline Andjaba founded Lift Up! wife of Namibian Ambassador Martin Andjaba 23, is at Purdue working toward his Ph.D. in chemisNamibia, a D.C-registered nonprofit cretry. David, 25, is studying for his master’s in architecated to mobilize support for educational ture at UDC. He lives at home. The two older boys are good boys and have been facilities in Namibia and help her country respond to natural disasters. Among with us since 2011 when they were teenagers,” she said. “My husband’s daughter, its programs, it provides school supplies, computers, tutoring and transportation; Monica, is the oldest at 28 and is not with us.” renovates and constructs schools; establishes community centers and libraries; Before coming to Washington, Caroline worked in Namibia’s Social Security and offers emergency services such as food, water, sanitation, temporary shelter, Commission from 1996 to 2011. “In fact, that’s how I met my husband. He needhygiene kits, medicine, mosquito nets and repellants. ed some help with his Social Security and a friend of his told him to call me. He “I can’t accept the status quo,” she told us. “I want some positive change.” has a beautiful voice. Finally, we put our voices to our faces and got together. I She likes to keep busy. From March 2013 to March 2015, she served as presi- wasn’t looking for a relationship; I was only 19 … who ever thought I’d be here in dent of the Spouses of African Ambassadors in D.C. She currently is president Washington as an ambassador’s wife?” of the Diplomatic Spouses of the Southern African Development Community The ambassador came to Washington in August 2010 and she arrived in 2011. (SADC), a 15-member grouping of states working to improve security and devel- Earlier, he had represented his country at the United Nations for 10 years, where opment and alleviate poverty in the region. he served two stints as president of the U.N. Security Council and led a delegation In 2014, Andjaba graduated from the University of the District of Columbia to East Timor. Prior to that, he worked at the Department of Foreign Affairs of (UDC) with an associate’s degree in liberal arts and is currently a third-year stu- SWAPO (South West Africa People’s Organization), the party that sought Nadent pursuing a law degree at the University of South Africa. mibian independence from South Africa. “I find D.C. fascinating. I knew it would be interesting. First, I had to decide “He had started his career as a military man. At 17, he went into exile to fight what role I would play. I checked with the other ladies,” she said. “I decided on on the frontline for the liberation struggle. He was a trained soldier. My husband a supportive role. I want others to be able to look back and say, ‘Oh, thank God, and I are part of Namibia’s biggest tribe, the Aawambo,” Andjaba said. Caroline was here and that’s what she did.” In the meantime, she oversees their 9-year old son Martin Jr. who attends SevSEE DIPLOMATIC SPOUSES • PAGE 45

President Trump came up with a new African country…. He called us ‘Nambia’ and we’ve been getting all sorts of attention and press ever since.


WD | Culture | Art

Deconstructing History Mark Bradford Confronts Bloody Legacy of the Civil War at Hirshhorn •




(202) 633-1000


“Pickett’s Charge” at the Hirshhorn Museum, above, features eight large mixed-media panels by Mark Bradford, seen at left, inspired by “The Battle of Gettysburg.” A detail of the installation called “The Thunderous Cannonade” is seen at the bottom.

the glorification of war. In one panel, a once valiant battlefield scene looks like cheap peeling wallpaper in a house destined for deistory textbooks have a way of glossing struction. Only dark shadowy over tragedy and confining the truth fragments of two soldiers on inside neat timelines and orderly rows horseback are visible on anof facts and figures. other panel, creating an ill But history is messier and bloodier than that, sense of foreboding about especially during the Civil War when a young nation was nearly whether they are friend or foe or just mysterious aptorn asunder, leaving deep wounds that still haven’t healed more paritions. Across the eight winding panels, the neat than a century and a half later. The Civil War, and the racism and and tidy historical narrative of Pickett’s Charge has hatred that triggered it, is still claiming victims today in angry been demolished, and the facts and figures won’t fit in and sometimes fatal clashes over the removal of Confederate their narrow rows any more. monuments across the country. In Philippoteaux’s cyclorama, visitors could stand Mark Bradford confronts this tragic legacy at the Hirshhorn on a central platform and turn in a full circle to see Museum in his largest work to date. “Pickett’s Charge” features the grand sweep of the illusory world surrounding eight mixed-media panels, each more than 45 feet long, stretchthem. In the Hirshhorn, the entire installation can’t ing in a massive panorama across the entire inner ring of the be seen at any one place or time. Visitors must walk museum’s third floor. The work was inspired by “The Bataround the museum’s unique circular tle of Gettysburg,” the epic 1883 cyclorama by French artarchitecture, with one panel appearist Paul Dominique Philippoteaux that depicted Pickett’s ing ahead as the previous disappears Charge, the final ill-fated Confederate attack led in part by behind. The beginning and end are Maj. Gen. George Pickett that ended with a decisive defeat lost, mirroring our collective history. for the Confederacy from which it never recovered. What lies ahead can’t be seen and Philippoteaux interviewed survivors and reconstructed what lies behind has been forgotten scenes of the battlefield with a photographer before paintor misremembered. ing his truly staggering work, which was two stories tall The deconstruction of history in and 279 feet in circumference. The painting was displayed “Pickett’s Charge” alludes to the everin a special circular theater with a foreground of real trees, present danger of delusion and the stone walls and fences to create a tableau so lifelike that disguising of blatant lies as “alternasome veterans of the battle wept when they saw it. The tourtive facts,” as President Donald Trump ist attraction was so popular that Philippoteaux was comand his apologists demonstrate on a missioned to create a second even larger cyclorama that is daily basis. In the debate over the Civil PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND HAUSER & WIRTH / PHOTO BY JOSHUA WHITE now on display at the Gettysburg National Military Park. War, history has been twisted and the In “Pickett’s Charge,” Bradford depicts some of the battle scenes shown in facts ignored as some people convince themselves that the bloody struggle wasn’t Philippoteaux’s cyclorama, but the lifelike realism and historical precision have really fought over slavery but for some nobler pursuit of “states’ rights.” As a nabeen shattered and peeled back to reveal tattered layers and uncertain story tion, we are still slaves to our own dark imaginations, and the lies we tell ourselves lines. In his massive Los Angeles studio, Bradford and his assistants used thick persist across generations and beyond hope or reason. WD layers of paint, colored paper, bungee cords and other materials to create abstract, thickly textured paintings that were then scraped, gouged and torn. Those Brendan L. Smith ( is a contributing writer violent gashes and tears rip through our illusions about the famous battle and for The Washington Diplomat and a mixed-media artist in Washington, D.C.



Art | Culture | WD

Klee’s Far Reach Phillips Reflects on Swiss-Born Paul Klee’s Influence on 10 American Artists •


Ten Americans: After Paul Klee THROUGH MAY 6 PHILLIPS COLLECTION 1600 21ST ST., NW

(202) 387-2151



olor and whimsy meld together brilliantly at the Phillips Collection’s exploration of the pivotal role played by the Swiss-born German artist Paul Klee in post-war American art. “Ten Americans: After Paul Klee” takes as its focal point the transatlantic exchange of ideas, themes, colors and imagery that emerged in the works of several American artists who embraced Klee as an inspiration and example. As a creator of so-called “degenerate” avantgarde art, the Nazis purged Klee’s work from Germany’s museums and the artist fled to Bern, Switzerland, with much of his art traveling to the United States. There, Klee’s style, which included examining indigenous cultures, the power of symbolic language and nature’s invisible forces, PHOTO: THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION resonated with American artists — particularly “Ten Americans: After Paul Klee” at the Phillips Collection abstract expressionist and color field painters — who were examines the Swiss-born artist’s influence on post-war searching for a new form of expression. What his fellow artists American artists with works such as, from above clockwise: generated after coming into contact with Klee — through his Klee’s “Young Moe,” Klee’s “Figure of the Oriental Theater,” art, ideas, writings and those who knew him — is the spark Robert Motherwell’s “Figure in Black (Girl with Stripes)” behind this show. and Bradley Walker Tomlin’s “Number 12.” “There’s never been an exhibition that brought Klee’s work into dialogue with American art and probed his influence in the American artists responded to from their a deep and meaningful way,” curator Elsa Smithgall told The European counterpart. Particularly effective to Washington Diplomat, noting that the Phillips in 2006 hosted the exhibition’s thesis are the quotes scattered a show, “Klee and America,” solely filled with the artist’s own throughout the show, like Motherwell’s comworks. “Certainly, that set the stage for why Klee was so imporment that “one of my natural talents that I don’t tant in post-war American art. This exhibition builds on that.” use enough in painting is line and paint both. I The Phillips has long been instrumental in introducing Klee guess the closest example, though he does minto American audiences, with founder Duncan Phillips acquiriatures compared to what I do, is Paul Klee.” ing his first piece by the artist in 1930, “Tree Nursery,” a mix The Swiss Embassy served as a key partner of rainbow-colored bands and stick figures that visitors will for the Phillips, and Smithgall noted she was see on display in the show. Over the next two decades, Phillips “really grateful” for Ambassador Martin Dabrought a dozen of Klee’s pieces hinden and his wife Anita’s work in support of PHOTO: THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION to Washington, and in 1948 the the show. One important aspect of that collabomuseum placed the artist’s works on ration will be seen on April 26, when the museum display in what became known as the brings two Swiss musicians, in association with the “Klee room.” Artists like Gene Davis embassy, to perform a program of music that is both and Kenneth Noland, two of the 10 inspired by Klee and filled with classical music he featured in this show, were Washinghimself enjoyed. ton-based and frequented the spot for The show, with spindly, otherworldly lines interinspiration. spersed with explosions of paint and color, is over“That aspect of our history made it whelmingly permeated with a sense of playfulness, all the more meaningful for us to want particularly in the pieces that explore animal imagto continue to tell this story,” Smithgall ery. Throughout the gallery, the various works from said. the array of artists feel in conversation with one anPHOTO: WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, NY Yet “Klee hasn’t gotten his due,” she other, laid out carefully to maintain the dialogue that PHOTO: SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN ART MUSEUM / added, and he remains a very “understudied figure,” particularly in © DEDALUS existed for the American artists themselves, with FOUNDATION, INC./LICENSED BY VAGA, NY the context of his impact on American art. Along with Davis and Nolines speaking to lines, paint to paint, across canvases. land, the gallery selected William Baziotes, Adolph Gottlieb, Norman Lewis, “It’s about this moment of transatlantic exchange in the art world,” SmithRobert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, Theodoros Stamos, Mark Tobey and gall noted. “I think it’s a real testament to the power of cultural diplomacy to Bradley Walker Tomlin to round out the 10 artists. The show displays more look at this moment back in the 20th century, when you do have the art of than 60 works from collections in the U.S. and Switzerland. Paul Klee inspiring so many American artists in the country. Why? Because “This is not necessarily exhaustive,” Smithgall said. “We’re hoping to open they see the power of his message as one that is transcending national boundthe door and stimulate more discoveries. I’m sure more artists will come out aries. They’re seeing ideas that Klee is bringing forward that resonate very of the woodwork; there may be more to learn. That’s always the hope. I don’t much with them, as Americans.” WD think this is a closed book. It’s at a really exciting, early stage of discovery.” The show highlights the connections between the artists and Klee, with Mackenzie Weinger (@mweinger) is a contributing writer rooms showcasing the shared symbolic elements, patterns and colors that for The Washington Diplomat. THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | MARCH 2018 | 33

WD | Culture | Theater

‘Familiar’ Struggle Zimbabwean Immigrant Family Torn Between Tradition and Notion of Home •



(202) 393-3939



amiliar,” the latest play by playwright powerhouse Danai Gurira, performed at Woolly Mammoth Theatre as part of the esteemed citywide Women’s Voices Theater Festival, brings to life the cultural struggles of a Zimbabwean clan turned Midwestern Yankees. The thoughtful dialogue and plot outline the serious, and sometimes farcical, tensions between what it means to assimilate in America and wrestle to maintain true to one’s native roots — in this case immigrants from a poor African nation who have reinvented themselves as bourgeois Minnesotans. During one cold Minnesota winter, our immigrant Zimbabwean family prepares for the wedding of its eldest daughter. But when PHOTOS: SCOTT SUCHMAN / WOOLLY MAMMOTH the bride insists on observing roora, a traditional bride-price ceremony akin to a dowry, Gurira. Her prior plays have been seriit opens a deep rift in the household. ous studies of strong women characThe script smacks of authenticity in its cultural ters navigating tales of survival. references, language, accents and customs as it al“In the Continuum,” which played most mimics Gurira’s autobiography — she was at Woolly in 2006, she profiled the born in Iowa to Zimbabwean parents, then raised twin stories of a Zimbabwean and an in Zimbabwe and moved back to the U.S. for colAmerican woman as both learned they lege before her thespian career took off. She’s now were HIV-positive. “Eclipsed,” which starred in the popular AMC television series “The premiered at Woolly in 2009 and ran Walking Dad” and has a role in the big-screen on Broadway in 2016, focused on a “Black Panther” film. group of young Liberian women held The play’s moniker, “Familiar,” explores the nocaptive by the rebel army during their tion of what is family and what is familiar, and country’s civil war. “The Convert,” whether the two always intersect. As one can guess seen at Woolly in 2013, portrayed the from Gurira’s reputation for pushing the envelope, tragedy of a young woman in colonial they do not. Family members’ definitions of lineage Rhodesia who converts to Christianity. “Familiar” details the cultural struggles of an immigrant Zimbabwean and loyalties clash, as do their meanings of comfort Unlike Gurira’s other plays, “Familfamily living in Minnesota as they prepare for the wedding of their in life’s familiarities, whether they be ethnic or not. iar” is deemed a comedy and succeeds eldest daughter. However, the play’s overall genuineness falters to elicit raucous laughs from the audidue to a lack of depth among Gurira’s characters. ence who recognize family drama as Although individually compelling — such as the stubborn, strong mother who ripe material. Marvelous, the mother, played by Inga Ballard, insists on mockdenounces her heritage; the rebellious, artsy daughter who’s trying hard to re- ing Tendi’s adopted Christianity by referring to her “happy-clappy churches;” claim her ancestors’ past; and the do-gooder daughter who’s caught in between while her mild-mannered husband, Donald, played by Kim Sullivan, who longs — they ricochet off each other like pinballs in a machine, walloping the other for Zimbabwe, continuously hangs its map on the wall when Marvelous isn’t with seemingly hard blows, but without making as much as a dent. Although looking, and then, of course, she takes it down every time. witty and warm-hearted as a whole, the characters’ emotions stay too much But Aunt Anne, again, is the scene stealer as she commands compliance in their own lanes, unaffected by each other’s wishes and pains, only fighting and tests the patience of all involved as she plops down in full, bright African desperately with their own. This dynamic continues for most of the play and garb (seemingly to get on Marvelous’s last nerve) and painstakingly insists that changes only with a plot twist, but by then the damage has been done. Their lack Tendi’s fiancé and brother crawl across the floor while clapping (according to of empathy for each other rubs off on the audience, who, in turn, is reticent to African ritual, she says) to offer her monetary fees for the bride, as is customary care too much for any of them. in traditional Zimbabwean weddings. The fees, which she produces from her A few of the characters have breakout moments when their emotions are bosom on a scrap of paper, are a combination of cows and modern American visceral, but those feelings aren’t carried seamlessly throughout and, at times, dresses for her. “What else is the white man good for?” she implores in her almost take the audience off guard. defense. Perhaps the strongest of these powerful moments is delivered by the family’s As expected, the plot turns more serious as it evolves and the play ends on a matriarch, Aunt Anne, played by Cheryl Lynn Bruce, who has just arrived from solemn note. Zimbabwe to orchestrate her country’s marriage ritual for her niece, Tendi. By and large, Gurira’s attempt to blend comedy with her usual weighty interTendi is engaged to wed Chris, a white Christian lawyer. Without spilling any national subject matter is a success, judging by the audience’s reactions. Perhaps spoilers, Anne offers a powerful monologue that uncovers the reason for her it’s her first attempt at such a feat that has thrown her mojo off a bit and it will just insistence to bring Zimbabwe’s importance into Tendi’s life. Her speech comes take more practice at the genre before the varying parts completely mesh. WD at the play’s climax, which she handles with power and grace. The production of “Familiar” continues Woolly Mammoth’s love affair with Lisa Troshinsky is the theater reviewer for The Washington Diplomat.


Art | Culture | WD

Renaissance Man National Gallery of Art Unearths Enigmatic Estonian Court Painter •



(202) 737-4215



o celebrate the centennial of Estonian independence, the National Gallery of Art takes an even longer view of the country’s history by examining the work of painter Michel Sittow, considered Estonia’s greatest Renaissance artist. Schooled in early Netherlandish art, he was often sought after by European royalty of the day such as King Ferdinand of Aragón and Queen Isabella of Castile. “The genesis, or inspiration if you will, comes PHOTO: NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART from the fact that Michel Sittow is the finest ReThe National Gallery of Art highlights naissance artist to come from Estonia and this was works by Estonian Renaissance painter a perfect way for our two museums to celebrate the Michel Sittow, including, from clockwise centenary of Estonian independence,” said John top left: “Mary Rose Tudor (1496–1533), Oliver Hand, who curated the exhibit along with Sister of Henry VIII of England”; “Portrait Greta Koppel, curator of Dutch and Flemish art at of Diego de Guevara”; “The Assumption the Art Museum of Estonia in Tallinn. of the Virgin”; “Madonna and Child”; and “Portrait of the Danish King Christian II.” The exhibit, which features some 20 works and brings together most of the artist’s 13 known paintings, provides a rare opportunity to examine a key figure of 16th-century Netherlandish art, whose PHOTO: KUNSTHISTORISCHES MUSEUM VIENNA, GEMÄLDEGALERIE / KHM - MUSEUMSVERBAND name had largely been forgotten until being redisThe altarpiece has been in the covered in the early 1900s. same church, St. Nicholas in TalVisitors will also see Sittow’s possible collaboration with linn, for almost 500 years (exJuan de Flandes on a series of small panels depicting the lives cept for a short trip to a shelter of Christ and the Virgin Mary for Queen Isabella, as well as during World War II). his relationship with Netherlandish contemporaries and the Both Hand and Koppel noted influence of Hans Memling, who was most likely Sittow’s that one of their favorite pieces teacher. in the exhibit is the portrait that Hand said Sittow has a universal appeal in that his techmost likely depicts Don Diego de nical skill coupled with his outstanding ability as a portrait Guevara, a Spanish courtier and artist, which was essential for a court artist at the time, offer ambassador. “This work characvisitors vivid insights into the human condition. This is seen terizes at its best the uniqueness in portraits such as “Mary Rose Tudor (1496-1533), Sister of Sittow’s art, from one side his of Henry VIII of England,” whose melancholy, almost blank mastery in depicting different facial expression contrasts with the subdued yet vibrant colmaterials, his very detailed and ors that bring the noblewoman to life. This subtle mastery fine painting technique, but what’s PHOTO: NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART of color, light and texture is seen in several other portraits even more striking is the psychoPHOTO: STATENS MUSEUM FOR KUNST, COPENHAGEN / © SMK PHOTO of men who wear equally dour but lifelike, almost relatable logical character that he manages to capture,” Koppel said. expressions. Pairing up with the National Gallery of Art was what KopAlthough Sittow lived in Reval, now the Estonian capital of Tallinn, pel called “a case of most fortunate coincidence.” When curafor over half his life, he moved to Bruges in 1484 where he presumtors in Tallinn started to toy with the idea of organizing such ably apprenticed under Memling, that city’s leading painter. Much of an exhibit, they put together an advisory board. his life is unknown and few works have been definitively attributed to “Only some days after the meeting in Tallinn, Peter van him. “Portrait of the Danish King Christian II” is one of the few pieces den Brink [a member of the advisory board] accidentally met by Sittow that is both firmly dated and in which the sitter’s identity John Oliver Hand in the Netherlands and told him about the is confirmed. X-rays revealed another portrait, possibly of Roman meeting,” Koppel said. “John was immediately interested, as Emperor Charles V, underneath the painting, suggesting that Sittow the collection at the National Gallery of Art holds two mareused his panels. jor and best-known works by this artist,” Koppel explained, Another highlight of the show are two full-length paintings of noting that Sittow’s talent and elusive backstory have piqued Christian saints and the Virgin and Child that come from a Passion historical interest. PHOTO: GEMÄLDEGALERIE, STAATLICHE MUSEEN ZU BERLIN, PROPERTY altarpiece in Talinn and mark the only works from the Art Museum of Hand thereafter presented the joint exhibition draft to his OF KAISER FRIEDRICH MUSEUMSVEREIN Estonia in this particular exhibit, according to Koppel. own board of trustees. His knowledge and expansive experi“The work has not yet unanimously been accepted as an autograph work by ence at the museum lent the idea credibility and gave rise to the first monographic Sittow but now at the exhibition, seeing the panels cleaned from dirt and later exhibition of this enigmatic Estonian. WD varnishes and also side by side with other accepted works, I would say they’re most likely his,” Koppel said. “The exhibition gives the audience a chance to Kate Oczypok (@OczyKate) is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat. decide.” THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | MARCH 2018 | 35

WD | Culture | Film

Cinema Listings *Unless specific times are listed, please check the theater for times. Theater locations are subject to change.

AFRIKAANS High Fantasy Directed by Jenna Cato Bass (South Africa/Luxembourg, 2017, 71 min.) Lexi and her friends Xoli, Tatiana and Thami head to her family’s isolated Northern Cape farm for an overnight camping trip, capturing the excursion on their cell phones. When they awake the next morning to discover they’ve all swapped bodies, the friends are forced to examine each other’s identities (NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre Sat., March 10, 10 p.m., Tue., March 13, 9:45 p.m.

ARABIC Beauty and the Dogs

and a young woman torn between the path of reason and sentiment (NAFF; Arabic and French).

Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts Directed by Mouly Surya (Indonesia/France/Malaysia/Thailand, 2017, 95 min.) Set in the beautifully rugged landscape of Indonesia’s Simba Island, the film’s eponymous heroine, a widow living alone in the remote countryside, is assaulted and robbed of her cattle by a gang of bandits. After dispatching her attackers with some poison soup, she sets off on a journey of redemption.

Freer Gallery of Art Fri., March 23, 7 p.m.

Directed by Kaouther Ben Hania Tunisia/France, 2017, 100 min.)


At a student party, Mariam, a young Tunisian woman, catches the eye of Youssef. A few hours later, she wanders the streets in a state of shock. It’s the beginning of a long night during which she will have to fight for her rights and dignity to be respected. But how can justice be done when the perpetrators themselves are the arbiters of justice? (FF)


Embassy of France Tue., March 6, 7 p.m.

Directed by Chris Jordan (U.S., 2018, 98 min.) On one of the remotest islands on Earth, tens of thousands of albatross chicks lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic. Chris Jordan and his film crew witnessed cycles of birth, life, and death of these magnificent creatures as a multilayered metaphor for our times (EFF).


National Geographic Sat., March 24, 4 p.m.

Directed by Mohamed Ali El Mejboud (Morocco, 2016, 94 min.)


This popular Moroccan film follows the hilarious misadventures of a financially challenged film director nicknamed Dallas. The director’s desperate need for cash leads him to join forces with a wealthy businessman in making a film about the man’s grandfather. As shooting begins, the production hits a snag: The lead actor dies of a heart attack. Dallas is left with no choice but to continue shooting — with the actor’s dead body (FF).

S. Dillon Ripley Center Wed., March 14, 6:45 p.m.

The Insult (L’insulte) Directed by Ziad Doueiri (Lebanon/Belgium/Cyprus/France/ U.S., 2017, 112 min.) In today’s Beirut, an insult blown out of proportion escalates, resulting in Tony, a Lebanese Christian, and Yasser, a Palestinian refugee, facing off in court. A media circus quickly begins to grow around the high-profile case, which exacerbates the already-high tensions between the Muslim and Christian groups in Lebanon’s Arab community.

Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema

Until the Birds Return Directed by Karim Moussaoui (Algeria/France/Germany, 2017, 113 min.) In contemporary Algeria, past and present collide in the lives of a newly wealthy property developer, an ambitious neurologist impeded by wartime wrongdoings,

Directed by Cláudia Varejão (Portugal, 2016, 112 min.) For over 2,000 years, the Ama-San dived in Japan. Bound by sisterhood, women are the primary source of income and essential to their families having carved out a rare space of respect for themselves by diving in the Pacific Ocean with no aid from air tanks for underwater breathing (EFF; English and Japanese).

Japan Information and Culture Center Fri., March 16, 6:30 p.m.

Anote’s Ark Directed by Matthieu Rytz (Canada, 2018, 77 min.) The low¬lying Pacific nation of Kiribati faces a daunting challenge: imminent annihilation from sea-level rise. As Anote Tong, Kiribati’s president, races to find a way to protect his nation’s people and maintain their dignity, many Kiribati are already seeking safe harbor overseas (EFF).

National Geographic Mon., March 16, 7 p.m.

Blue Directed by Karina Holden (Australia, 2017, 75 min.) Half of all marine life has been lost in the last 40 years. By 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish. “Blue” takes us on a provocative journey into the ocean realm, witnessing a critical moment in time when the marine world is on a precipice (EFF).

Naval Heritage Center Tue., March 20, 7 p.m.


I Am Not a Witch

her young twin brothers (NAFF).

Directed by Rungano Nyoni (Zambia/U.K./France/Germany, 2017, 92 min.)

AFI Silver Theatre Sat., March 10, 1:30 p.m., Wed., March 14, 5:30 p.m.

Love and Bananas

The wrenching process of reintegrating the survivors back into society begins, but the ex-zombies are hated, feared and distrusted by the general population.

Accused of witchcraft, 9-year-old Shula is banished from her village in Zambia and sent to a “witch camp” to live alongside other exiled women. As Shula navigates her new life, she must decide whether to accept her fate or risk the consequences of seeking freedom (NAFF).

West End Cinema Opens Fri., March 9

AFI Silver Theatre Thu., March 8, 7:15 p.m.


It Tolls for Free

*EFF = Environmental Film Festival **FF = Francophonie Festival ***NAFF = New African Film Festival ****CIFF = Capital Irish Film Festival

AFI Silver Theatre Thu., March 15, 7:15 p.m.



Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story Directed by Alexandra Dean (U.S., 2018, 90 min.)

Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr was known as the world’s most beautiful woman — Snow White and Cat Woman were both based on her iconic look. However, her incredible beauty stood in the way of her being given the credit she deserved as an ingenious inventor whose pioneering work eventually helped revolutionize modern communication. An Austrian Jewish émigré, she wanted to help defeat the Nazis. She invented a covert “frequency hopping” communications system to make Allied torpedoes unstoppable, and then patriotically gave her 1942 patent to the Navy, who ignored it and told her to sell kisses for war bonds instead.

Landmark’s E Street Cinema Opens Fri., March 2

Cacú: Un Cambio Por La Vida Directed by Marvin del Cid (Dominican Republic, 2017, 79 min.) This feature-length environmentallyfocused documentary film tells the story of five fishermen from Manresa, a poor neighborhood to the West of Santo Domingo’s Distrito Nacional, and how they transitioned from sea turtle nest predators to conservationists of the species (EFF).

Landmark’s E Street Cinema Mon., March 19, 7 p.m.

Call Me By Your Name Directed by Luca Guadagnino (Italy/France/Brazil/U.S., 2017, 132 min.) In Northern Italy in 1983, 17-year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father’s research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage and the beguiling Italian landscape (English, Italian, French and German).

AFI Silver Theatre Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema Landmark’s E Street Cinema

The Chocolate Case Directed by Benthe Forrer (Netherlands, 2016, 90 min.) “The Chocolate Case” follows the incredible journey of three Dutch journalists, who tried to persuade large corporations to end the use of child labor in the chocolate industry, but when rebuffed, decide to take matters into their own hands by creating the world’s first slave-free chocolate bar (EFF).

Royal Netherlands Embassy Thu., March 22, 6 p.m.

The Cured Directed by David Freyne (Ireland, 2018, 95 min.) What happens when the undead return to life? In a world ravaged for years by a plague that turns the infected into zombielike cannibals, a cure has been at last found.

Directed by Chico Pereira (U.S., 2017, 86 min.) Manolo leads a simple life in the south of Spain. He has two loves: his animals, in particular his donkey, and taking long wanders through nature. Against the advice of his doctor, he decides to plan one last walk by re-tracing the Trail of Tears, a brutal forced 2200-mile trek through the Native American Cherokee Nation (EFF).

Directed by Andrew Gallimore (Ireland, 2016, 74 min.) Through an intriguing conspiracy of circumstance and courage, Irishwoman Mary Elmes found herself center stage in two of the major theaters of warfare in the 20th century (CIFF).

AFI Silver Theatre Sun., March 4, 12:30 p.m.

AFI Silver Theatre Sun., March 18, 7 p.m.

Kalushi: The Story of Solomon Mahlangu

The Farthest

Directed by Mandla Dube (South Africa, 2017, 107 min.)

Directed by Emer Reynolds (Ireland, 2017, 121 min.) Irish documentarian Emer Reynolds tackles the captivating tales of the people and events behind one of humanity’s greatest achievements in exploration: NASA’s Voyager mission, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in August, 2017 (EFF and CIFF).

AFI Silver Theatre Sun., March 4, 4:30 p.m. Carnegie Institution for Science Fri., March 23, 7 p.m.

Game Changers Directed by Louie Psihoyos (U.S., 2018, 88 min.) James Wilks — elite special forces trainer and winner of the Ultimate Fighter — as he travels the world on a quest for the truth behind the world’s most dangerous myth: that meat is necessary for protein, strength and optimal health (EFF).

Carnegie Institution for Science Sat., March 24, 7 p.m.

Her Broken Shadow Directed by Dilman Dila (Uganda, 2016, 75 min.) In Uganda’s first sci-fi film, two lonely writers struggle with their novels in different dimensions. When the boundary between their worlds collapses, the two women discover that each is the creation of the other — that they are both protagonists in the novel the other is striving to complete (NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre Fri., March 16, 9:45 p.m.

Human Flow Directed by Ai WeiWei (Germany, 2017, 145 min.) More than 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war. Filmmaker Ai Weiwei examines the staggering scale of the refugee crisis and its profoundly personal human impact (EFF).

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Sat., March 17, 2 p.m.

After being brutally beaten by apartheid police during the 1976 Soweto uprisings, Solomon Mahlangu goes into exile and joins the liberation movement, enrolling in military training in Angola. En route to Johannesburg, his fellow soldier accidentally provokes a shooting on the streets, killing two innocent civilians and sending the men to trial. Although Mahlangu did not commit the shooting, the state seeks the highest punishment from the court: death by hanging (NAFF; English, Afrikaans and Tsotsi-taal).

AFI Silver Theatre Sun., March 18, 7:30 p.m.

The Last Animals Directed by Kate Brooks (U.S./U.K., 2017, 92 min.) “The Last Animals” is a story about an extraordinary group of people who go to incredible lengths to save the planet’s last animals. The documentary follows the conservationists, scientists and activists battling poachers and transnational trafficking syndicates to protect elephants and rhinos from extinction (EFF).

National Geographic Thu., March 15, 7 p.m.

The Leisure Seeker Directed by Paolo Virzi (Italy/France, 2018, 112 min.) A runaway couple go on an unforgettable journey in the faithful old RV they call The Leisure Seeker, traveling from Boston to Key West. They recapture their passion for life and their love for each other on a road trip that provides revelation and surprise right up to the very end.

Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema Opens Fri., March 9

Liyana Directed by Aaron and Amanda Kopp (Swaziland/Qatar/U.S., 2017, 77 min.) In this beautifully animated documentary-hybrid, a Swazi girl named Liyana embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue

Directed by Ashley Bell (U.S., 2018, 76 min.) Ashley Bell and a team of elephant rescuers, led by world-renowned elephant conversationalist Lek Chailert, embark on a daring 48-hour mission across Thailand to rescue a captive Asian elephant from a trekking camp and set her free (EFF).

Naval Heritage Center Fri., March 16, 7 p.m.

Maudie Directed by Aisling Walsh (Ireland/Canada, 2017, 115 min.) Exploring Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis’s life in all of its heartbreak and triumph, Aisling Walsh captures the trajectory of her incredible rise to artistic fame alongside her unlikely romance with a reclusive fishmonger who initially hires her to be his housekeeper (CIFF).

AFI Silver Theatre Sat., March 3, 6:45 p.m.

Maze Directed by Stephen Burke (Ireland/U.K./Sweden/Germany, 2017, 92 min.) Based on the true story of the 1983 mass break-out of 38 IRA prisoners from the then-newly built HM Prison Maze in Northern Ireland, “Maze” follows the relationship between two men on opposite sides of the prison bars (CIFF).

AFI Silver Theatre Fri., March 2, 7:45 p.m.

Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation Directed by Charles Burnett (Namibia, 2007, 161 min.) Charles Burnett’s 2007 epic tells the story of the first president of Namibia, Sam Nujoma, charting his political awakening and his part in his country’s fight for its freedom from occupation by South Africa (NAFF; English and Afrikaans).

AFI Silver Theatre Sun., March 18, 4:30 p.m.

Oh Lucy! Directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi (Japan/U.S., 2018, 96 min.) Setsuko is a lonely, chain-smoking, past-her-prime office worker in Tokyo who is browbeaten into enrolling in an unorthodox English class, where she meets a handsome young American instructor, John. He requires her to wear a curly blonde wig and take on an American alter ego named “Lucy.” Setsuko finds her new identity liberating, and quickly develops romantic feelings for John — to the degree that when he suddenly disappears without explanation she wants to track him down (English and Japanese).

Landmark’s Theatres Opens Fri., March 9

Open Land Directed by Arno Oehri (U.S./Liechtenstein, 90 min.) The Embassy of Liechtenstein will be

Film | Culture | WD

hosting a free screening of the newly released jazz documentary “open land,” which offers an intimate portrait of its protagonist, jazz legend John Abercrombie, who died in August 2017. This reflection is as poetic and atmospherically dense as Abercrombie’s music. Screenings will include a discussion with the film’s director, Arno Oehri, who will be visiting from Liechtenstein.

Busboys and Poets at 5th and K Streets Wed., March 28, 6 p.m. Goethe-Institut Thu., March 29, 6:30 p.m.

The Party Directed by Sally Potter (U.K., 2018, 71 min.) To celebrate her long-awaited prestigious post as a shadow minister for health and, hopefully, the stepping stone to party leadership, the newly appointed British opposition politician, Janet, is throwing a party for friends at her London flat. But once the guests arrive it becomes clear that not everything is going to go down as smoothly as the red wine.

Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Pilgrimage Directed by Brendan Muldowney (Ireland/Belgium/U.S., 2017, 96 min.) A small band of Catholic monks keeps to a solemn routine on a remote Irish coast. Then a stranger arrives. He comes wearing the white robes of the Cistercian order, bearing papers and demanding the unthinkable (CIFF; English, Irish, French and Latin).

AFI Silver Theatre Sat., March 3, 9:15 p.m.

Poc Na Ngael Directed by Éamonn Ó Cualáin (Ireland, 2017, 50 min.) In Éamonn Ó Cualáin’s fascinating documentary, Irish hurling legend Ger Loughnane reveals the little-known origin story behind the Canadian obsession that is ice hockey (CIFF).

AFI Silver Theatre Sat., March 3, 4:45 p.m.

Red Sparrow Directed by Francis Lawrence (U.S., 2018, 140 min.) Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to Sparrow School, a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. But her first mission, targeting a CIA agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.

Angelika Mosaic Atlantic Plumbing Cinema Opens Fri., March 2

The Royal Hibiscus Hotel Directed by Ishaya Bako (Nigeria, 2017, 90 min.) In this sprightly Nollywood romantic comedy, Ope is struggling to make it as a chef in London. She dreams of opening her own Afro-fusion restaurant, but after some setbacks decides to head home to Lagos to reinvigorate her family’s hotel (NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre Sat., March 10, 7:45 p.m., Mon., March 12, 9:20 p.m.

The Secret Scripture Directed by Jim Sheridan (Ireland, 2016, 108 min.) An elderly patient in a psychiatric hospital

recounts the story of how, as a young woman, she met and fell in love with Michael McNulty, arousing the jealousy of the local priest, whose obsessive love for her led to her ruination (CIFF).

AFI Silver Theatre Sat., March 3, 2:30 p.m.

Thank You for the Rain Directed by Julia Dahr (Kenya/Norway/U.K., 2017, 87 min.) Five years ago, Kenyan farmer Kisilu Musya started using his camera to capture the life of his family and his village, and the impact that climate change is having on both. When a violent storm throws him and a Norwegian filmmaker together, we see him transform from father to community leader to activist on the global stage (EFF and NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre Sun., March 18, 2:30 p.m. Landmark’s E Street Cinema Thu., March 22, 7 p.m.

Untamed Romania Directed by Tom Barton-Humphreys (U.K., 2018, 88 min.) This feature-length film celebrates Romania’s astounding natural beauty and sheer diversity of wild animals (EFF). Carnegie Institution for Science

Sun., March 18, 7 p.m.

Waithira Directed by Eva Munyiri (Kenya/South Africa, 2017, 72 min.) In this autobiographical portrait of family, migration and assimilation, the director’s journey to discover more about her paternal grandmother, Waithira, leads her to Germany, Wales and Kenya, where her two cousins and eldest sister — all named Waithira — live (NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre Sat., March 10, 11:45 a.m., Tue., March 13, 5:30 p.m.

a sex worker, a musician and a party girl engaged to a violent brute, Soozandeh reveals the resourcefulness with which Tehranis seek out illicit pleasures.

AFI Silver Theatre Tue., March 6, 7:15 p.m.

When God Sleeps Directed by Till Schauder (U.S./Germany, 2017, 88 min.) Unfolding against the backdrop of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks in the Bataclan concert venue and European right-wing backlash against Middle Eastern refugees, this film deftly weaves the journey of exiled Iranian musician Shahin Najafi (“the Salman Rushdie of rap”) with historical context and intimate biographical detail.

AFI Silver Theatre Mon., March 5, 7:15 p.m.

FRENCH The African Storm Directed by Sylvestre Amoussou (Benin/France, 2017, 89 min.) Set in a fictitious, diamond-rich African nation called Tangara, the film charts the fallout after the nation’s president decides to nationalize all means of production built on its territory by non-Tangarans. Seeing their business interests slipping away, the Western corporations that have been mining the land for decades will resort to any available means to reclaim their mines (NAFF).

AFI Silver Theatre Fri., March 16, 5:15 p.m.

Bagages Directed by Paul Tom (Canada, 2017) “Bagages” enables adolescent immigrants to describe their recent arrival to Montreal in their own words. Through drama class workshops, they reveal their migration and integration (FF; to register, email denis.

WASTED! The Story of Food Waste

Embassy of Canada Wed., March 21, 7 p.m.

Directed by Anna Chai (U.S., 2017, 90 min.)


Every year 80 percent of the world’s water, 40 percent of the world’s land and 10 percent of the world’s energy is dedicated to growing the food we eat, yet in the same year 1.3 billion tons of food is thrown out. “WASTED” sheds light on the pressing issue of food waste (EFF).

The paths of four different women converge in this free spirited, at times gritty, road movie set across western Africa (NAFF).

Carnegie Institution for Science Sat., March 17, 7 p.m.


Directed by Apolline Traoré (Burkina Faso/France, 2017, 90 min.)

AFI Silver Theatre Sun., March 11, 7:20 p.m.

Chasse-Galerie Directed by Jean-Philippe Duval (Quebec, 2016, 109 min.)

Sat., March 17, 7 p.m.

Félicité Directed by Alain Gomis (Senegal/France/Belgium/Germany/ Lebanon, 2017, 123 min.) Félicité is a proud, fiercely independent single mother who works as a singer in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa. When her 14-year-old son suffers a terrible — and expensive — traffic accident, Félicité’s life is thrown into turmoil (NAFF; French and Lingala).

AFI Silver Theatre Sun., March 11, 2:45 p.m.

Makala Directed by Emmanuel Gras (France, 2017, 97 min.) A young man from a village in the Congo hopes to offer his family a better future. His only resources are his own two hands, the surrounding bush and an iron will (EFF; French and Swahili).

Embassy of France Fri., March 16, 7 p.m.

Mountain Directed by Jennifer Peedom (Australia, 2017, 74 min.) A unique cinematic and musical collaboration between the Australian Chamber Orchestra and BAFTA-nominated director Jennifer Peedom, “Mountain” is a dazzling exploration of our obsession with mountains (EFF).

National Geographic Sat., March 17, 4 p.m. AFI Silver Theatre Sun., March 25, 4:30 p.m.

Paris: A Wild Story Directed by Frédéric Fougea (U.S., 2016, 90 min.) Paris is known throughout the world for the beauty of its architecture and the wealth of its heritage. But what of the 500,000 trees and the 2,900 wild species of fauna and flora that inhabit the City of Light? (EFF).

Embassy of France Tue., March 20, 7 p.m.

Silas Directed by Anjali Nayar and Hawa Essuman (Canada, 2017, 80 min.) Liberian activist Silas Siakor is a tireless crusader, fighting to crush corruption and environmental destruction in the country he loves (EFF).

National Geographic Thu., March 22, 7 p.m.

AFI Silver Theatre Sun., March 11, 5:30 p.m.

In 1863, a group of snow-bound travelers invokes the devil, who gives them a flying canoe for them to go home. When one of them finds his wife about to die in labor, he makes a pact with the devil to save her and his newborn daughter Liza. He then cheats the devil of his prize by sacrificing himself. Twenty-five years later, Liza wants to marry her beloved, but the devil is determined to ruin her happiness (FF).


Alliance Française de Washington Thu., March 8, 7 p.m.

Tehran Taboo


Following the death of his French mother, 13-year-old Ady lives alone with his father in Lyon. Edging toward delinquency, Ady is sent to his father’s hometown in Burkina Faso. Once there, he is entrusted to the guardianship of his uncle, a fisherman and disciplinarian who intends to put the boy back on the right track (NAFF; French and Dioula).

Directed by Modi Barry and Cédric Ido (France, 2017, 81 min.)

AFI Silver Theatre Sat., March 17, 5 p.m.

Dapperly dressed Charles, nicknamed the Prince, is the charismatic leader of a group of hustlers that cajole potential clients into the hair salons around Paris’s Chateau d’Eau metro station (NAFF).


Directed by Pascale Lamche (South Africa/France/Netherlands/ Finland, 2017, 84 min.) Winnie Madikizela Mandela is one of the most supremely controversial, misunderstood and intriguingly powerful contemporary female political figures (NAFF).

Directed by Ali Soozandeh (Austria/Germany, 2017, 90 min.) Employing a rich color palette and beautiful animation, German-based Iranian expatriate Ali Soozandeh conjures a vision of Tehran’s underbelly that would be impossible to achieve by more traditional means. Weaving together the stories of

AFI Silver Theatre

Wallay Directed by Berni Goldblat (Burkina Faso/France, 2017, 84 min.)

Directed by Daouda Coulibaly (France/Senegal/Mali, 2016, 95 min.) When Ladji, a twenty-year-old minibus driver in Bamako, is unfairly passed over

for a promotion, the young man turns to smuggling drugs between Mali and neighboring countries to provide for himself and save his sister from prostitution (FF).

Embassy of France Tue., March 27, 7 p.m.

GEORGIAN City of the Sun Directed by Rati Oneli (Georgia, 2017, 100 min.) The lives, dreams and destinies of extraordinary characters unfold amidst the ruins of a semi- abandoned mining town in Georgia (EFF).

National Gallery of Art Sat., March 17, 2 p.m.

HEBREW Foxtrot Directed by Samuel Maoz (Israel/Switzerland/Germany/France, 2017, 108 min.) A troubled family face the facts when something goes terribly wrong at their son’s desolate military post.

Angelika Mosaic Opens Fri., March 16

JAPANESE A Beautiful Star Directed by Daihachi Yoshida (Japan, 2017, 127 min.) In this sci-fi dark comedy, members of a seemingly normal Tokyo family discover that they are aliens from different planets at war over Earth’s fate. Since humans have so badly botched Earth’s management, some of the aliens want to exterminate them, while others want to help save the planet (EFF).

Freer Gallery of Art Sun., March 18, 2 p.m.

Onibaba Directed by Kaneto Shindo (Japan, 1064, 103 min.) Deep within the windswept marshes of war-torn medieval Japan, an impoverished mother and her daughter-in-law eke out a lonely, desperate existence — dorced to murder lost samurai and sell their belongings for grain.

Freer Gallery of Art Wed., March 7, 2 p.m.

Ramen Heads Directed by Koki Shigeno (Japan, 2018, 93 min.) Ramen — the perfectly slurpable combination of broth and noodles — is considered an edible embrace, comforting ephemera and an art form by master chefs and legions of fans. Japan’s reigning king of ramen, Osamu Tomita, takes us into his kitchen and deep into his world, revealing the secrets of every step of his obsessive process, sharing recipes, trade secrets and flavor philosophies.

Landmark’s Theatres Opens Fri., March 23

Tokyo Idols Directed by Kyoko Miyake (Canada/U.K./Japan, 2017, 88 min.) A pop culture big business in Japan since the 1990s, “idols” are teenage female singers who perform sugary tunes for legions of fanatical fans. Kyoko Miyake’s

documentary looks behind the scenes of this phenomenon, focusing on Rio Hiirago who, at nineteen, will soon age out of idol-dom.

Freer Gallery of Art Fri., March 16, 7 p.m.

KHMER Diamond Island Directed by Davy Chou (France, 2016, 103 min.) Like many boys from the Cambodian countryside, Bora leaves his native village to find work in Phnom Penh. He gets a job in construction on Diamond Island, a downtown island being turned into a luxury residence. Working by day and chasing girls at night, Bora runs into his long-lost older brother Solei, who is enjoying a suspiciously lavish lifestyle and introduces his brother to his world of high-end nightclubs and pie-in-the-sky dreams (FF).

Embassy of France Tue., March 13, 7 p.m.

MANDARIN Angels Wear White Directed by Vivian Qu China/France, 2017, 107 min.) When a teenage beach resort employee captures footage of a powerful politician coercing two 12-year-old girls into his room, she becomes the unwilling center of a potentially explosive scandal that becomes a searing indictment of political corruption and the treatment of women in today’s China.

Freer Gallery of Art Fri., March 2, 7 p.m.

Have a Nice Day Directed by Jian Liu (China, 2018, 77 min.) A city in southern China and a bag containing a million yuan draw several people from diverse backgrounds with different personal motives into a bloody conflict.

Angelika Pop-Up Opens Fri., March 2

THAI By the Time It Gets Dark Directed by Anocha Suwichakornpong (Thailand, 2016, 105 min.) Moving languidly between narrative layers, this film is both a poetic exploration of the filmmaking process and an attempt to address how a violent incident from Thailand’s past influences its present.

Freer Gallery of Art Sun., March 4, 2 p.m.

XHOSA Five Fingers for Marseilles Directed by Michael Matthews (South Africa, 2017, 120 min.) Near the colonial town of Marseilles in the rugged Eastern Cape of South Africa, a group of rebellious friends dubbed the Five Fingers uses well-placed eggs and slingshots to drive off the oppressive police force. But when the cops seize quick-tempered Tau’s childhood love, he goes from throwing eggs to shooting bullets (NAFF; Xhosa and Southern Sotho).

AFI Silver Theatre Sun., March 11, 9:15 p.m., Thu., March 15, 9:15 p.m.


WD | Culture | Events

Events Listings *Unless specific times are listed, please check the venue for times. Venue locations are subject to change.

American University Museum


Through March 11

March 2 to April 1

‘Marie Antoinette’ by Meg Schaap An installation of an intimate portrait of France’s iconic queen “Marie Antoinette,” swallowed up by her environment, metamorphosing, rebelling and breaking free through “wallpaper” customs and norms of her time period.

Touchstone Gallery March 4 to May 28

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings For more than 40 years, Sally Mann has made experimental, elegiac and hauntingly beautiful photographs that span a broad body of work including figure studies, still lifes and landscapes. “Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings” explores how her relationship with the South has shaped her work.

National Gallery of Art Tue., March 6, 5 p.m.

Fashioning the Future: Argentine Designers on the Edge of Tomorrow “Fashioning the Future” is an experiential journey through contemporary Argentine fashion that merges science, technology and creativity. As part of the 2018 InterAmerican Development Bank and the Inter-American Investment Corporation Board of Governors Annual Meeting, this exhibition celebrates the richness of Argentina’s creative and scientific contributions as well as their leadership at the forefront of innovative thinking in the region. By viewing these potential combinations of the industrial, digital and biological worlds through contemporary Argentine fashion, we can imagine how creativity and science can work in unison to positively transform our lives in the future. For information, visit www.iadb. org/en/exhibitions.

Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center March 9 to May 28

Women House Questions about a woman’s “place” resonate in our culture, and conventional ideas persist about the house as a feminine space. This new exhibition forms a sequel to the famous project “Womanhouse,” developed in 1972 by Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro. Similar to their artistic foremothers in the 1970s, contemporary artists in “Women House” recast conventional ideas about women and the home with acuity and wit, creating provocative photographs, videos, sculptures and room-like installations built with materials ranging from felt to rubber bands.

National Museum of Women in the Arts Through March 11

ERIK THOR SANDBERG: Out of reach...there is hope This overview of the artist’s work from 2005 to the present brings together some 40 works, mostly paintings and several

drawings, which oscillate in scale between small and full-body size.

Kateřina Vincourová: Arteria This exhibition focuses on the fragile nuances of interpersonal relations while at the same time abstracting these notions into an examination of time and space. Kateřina Vincourová’s work thus becomes a holistic system — a large-scale spatial drawing rather than a collection of individual pieces.

American University Museum Through March 11

Words Artist Brian Dailey’s multiscreen video installation investigates the relationship between language, culture, national identity and the challenges of communicating key concepts across linguistic boundaries and national borders in the age of globalization. His virtual Tower of Babel is a contemporary turn on the Biblical story explaining the worldwide diversity of languages, a tale with parallels in ancient Sumerian and Assyrian myths.

American University Museum Through March 12

Wixárika This exhibition of native artisans is presented by the Hermes Music Foundation. The Wixárika, also known as the Huichol, are a native people of pre-Colombian origin from Mexico’s western Sierra Madre region. For centuries, the Huichol have employed an intricate and painstakingly beautiful beading technique, called nearika, to record their history and spiritual traditions through artwork. This exhibit will present musical instruments decorated in this style by Huichol artisans.

Mexican Cultural Institute Through March 13

Phenomenon Masaryk In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Czech independence, this exhibition focuses on Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the founding father and first president of Czechoslovakia. The project depicts his many roles as professor of philosophy, sociologist, writer, politician, journalist, visionary, democrat, father and husband. A combination of display panels and projections portrays Masaryk’s worldly inspiration and broad influence as well as his critical thinking and courage to oppose the majority while defending justice and human values.

Embassy of the Czech Republic March 16 to Aug. 5

Do Ho Suh: Almost Home Korean-born Do Ho Suh (b. 1962) is internationally renowned for his immersive, architectural fabric sculptures that explore the global nature of contemporary identity. “Do Ho Suh: Almost Home” will transform the museum’s galleries through Suh’s captivating installations, which recreate to scale several of his former homes from around the world. Through these works, Suh investigates the nature of home and memory and the impact of migration and displacement on an individual’s sense of self.

Smithsonian American Art Museum


Opening March 24

Swedish Footprints: Shaping the Future With “Swedish Footprints: Shaping the Future” as the 2018 public diplomacy theme program, the embassy will highlight Sweden’s contributions to the strong economic, cultural, political and interpersonal ties between Sweden and the United States through a year of seminars, exhibitions, music and art. The series of events will tell the story not only of our shared past, but also some of the most vibrant areas of cooperation for the future. We will be following the stories of notable Swedes and Swedish-Americans in the United States, from the companies they’ve founded and the innovations that shape our everyday lives, to legendary films that contribute to our shared cultural heritage and pop music that creates the soundtracks of our lives. The embassy showcase will also include insights on jobs created in the United States by Swedish companies, innovative Swedish technologies that are shaping our future and the uniquely Swedish approach to international relations and security that will be in the spotlight as Sweden chairs the U.N. Security Council.

House of Sweden Through March 25

Palimpsestus: Image and Memory The 70 artworks on display, produced between 1900 and 2014, include more than 30 artists from 10 different countries drawn from Colección Memoria, as well as a selection of iconic modern and contemporary pieces from OAS permanent art collection. The exhibit surveys the main artistic trends and visual cultures that have developed in Latin America in the second half of the 20th eentury. The term Palimpsest, a capitalistic practice stemming from the scarcity of paper as a good for 15 centuries, is appropriated by the curator to conceptualize the relativity and interrelation of art narratives and aesthetic discourses.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas March 25 to July 1

Cézanne Portraits Bringing together some 60 examples drawn from collections around the world, this is the first exhibition devoted to the famed post-impressionist’s portraits. The revelatory exhibition provides the first full visual account of Paul Cézanne’s portrait practice, exploring the pictorial and thematic characteristics of his works in the genre, the chronological development of his style and method, and the range and influence of his sitters.

National Gallery of Art Through April 27

Belonging to a Place: An Exhibition by Fogo Island Artists Fogo Island Arts (FIA) is a residency-based contemporary art venue for artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians, curators, designers and thinkers from around the world. Since 2008, FIA has brought some of the most exciting emerging and renowned artists of today to Fogo Island, Newfoundland, to take part in residencies and to present solo exhibitions at the Fogo Island Gallery. “Belonging to a Place” features works by a selection of international

THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT | March 2018 artists who are alumni or forthcoming participants of the residency program. The exhibition departs from a consideration of the concept of “place,” seeking to examine where we come from and how we relate to multiple notions of belonging. Presenting sculpture, installation, video, painting and works on paper, the exhibition takes on a diverse, experimental and critical approach to contemporary art, its presentation and discussion.

Embassy of Canada Art Gallery Through Spring 2018

Syria: Please Don’t Forget Us The Syrian conflict has raged for almost seven years and claimed the lives of more than 500,000 of the country’s citizens. Eleven million people, one-half of Syria’s pre-war population, have fled their homes. The Assad regime is detaining more than 100,000 of its people in secret detention centers where they are starved, tortured, and killed. This exhibition is a powerful testament to not only what the Syrian people have endured, but also their quest to document the crimes, tell their stories and hold their perpetrators accountable.

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Through May 5

A Dark and Scandalous Rockfall This collaborative installation by Perla Krauze and Barbara Liotta, artists from both sides of the Mexico-United States border, incorporates material and metaphorical qualities of stone to evoke landscape and classical sculpture. The title of the exhibit is drawn from the poem “Dry Rain” by Mexican poet Pedro Serrano, which begins: “At times the poem is a collapse/ a slow and painful landslide/ a dark and scandalous rockfall.” Given the current state of U.S.-Mexico relations, this exhibition presents a healing gesture, recognizing our shared history.

Mexican Cultural Institute Through May 13

Outliers and American Vanguard Art Some 300 works explore three distinct periods in American history when mainstream and outlier artists intersected, ushering in new paradigms based on inclusion, integration and assimilation.

National Gallery of Art Through June 3

Beyond Words: Book Illustration in the Age of Shakespeare With visually interesting illustrated books and single sheet prints that have been rarely or never before displayed, this exhibition explores the production of the images in books in early modern Europe. Featuring more than 80 illustrated rare books and prints from the 15th to the 18th century from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the images include woodcuts, produced from carved woodblocks, and engravings and etchings, printed from copper plates.

Folger Shakespeare Library Through June 24

artist Jim Chuchu’s mesmerizing suite of video projections, in which two distinct videos loop in succession and follow the structure of initiation rituals. Surrounded by Chuchu’s pulsing house beats and evocative imagery, viewers are invited to contemplate the separations and releases that shape our individual and collective identities.

National Museum of African Art Through July 8

Hung Liu in Print This spotlight exhibition features 16 prints and a tapestry by painter and printmaker Hung Liu that invites viewers to explore the relationship between Liu’s multi-layered paintings and the palpable, physical qualities of her works on paper. Her multifaceted body of work probes the human condition and confronts issues of culture, identity and personal and national history.

National Museum of Women in the Arts Through Aug. 5

The Prince and the Shah: Royal Portraits from Qajar Iran In our age of social media and selfies, it may be difficult to grasp the importance of painted portraits and studio photographs in 19th-century Iran. During this time, known as the Qajar era, rulers such as FathAli Shah, a contemporary of Napoleon, and Nasir al-Din Shah, a contemporary of Queen Victoria, used portraiture to convey monarchical power and dynastic grandeur. Through a selection of about thirty works from the Freer and Sackler collections, this exhibition explores how Persian artists transformed modes of representing royalty and nobility.

Freer Gallery of Art Through Aug. 15

Tomb of Christ Be virtually transported to Jerusalem and discover the fascinating history of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in an immersive 3-D experience unlike anything you’ve seen in a museum before. Groups will be able to virtually visit the church and learn about its storied history and enduring mysteries.

National Geographic Through Dec. 25

Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa’s Arts More than 300 works of art from the museum’s permanent collection are on view within this exhibition. Working in media as diverse as wood, ceramics, drawing, jewelry, mixed media, sculpture, painting, photography, printmaking, and video, these works of art reflect the visionary ideas and styles developed by men and women from more than half of Africa’s 55 nations. The installation is organized around seven viewpoints, each of which serve to frame and affect the manner in which African art is experienced.

National Museum of African Art


Jim Chuchu’s Invocations

Mon., March 12, 7:30 p.m.

The museum is the first institution to acquire and display Kenyan multimedia

Lauded by critics worldwide for their

“S” by Circa

creativity and talent, Australia’s Circa ensemble has combined death-defying acrobatics and bold storytelling in performances that have been leaving audiences spellbound since 2006. “S” combines the daring acrobatics that Circa is known for with a dazzling pre-recorded score by the Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet for a performance that has been lauded as “stunning” and “sublime” (Le Devoir). Tickets are $27 to $68.

Music Center at Strathmrore March 27 to April 1

New York City Ballet: Two Programs New York City Ballet returns with two sensational repertory programs for its annual appearance, including a program to celebrate the centennials of Jerome Robbins, one of the most influential dancemakers in the company’s history, and legendary composer Leonard Bernstein. It also presents three works by NYCB’s George Balanchine and Peter Martins’s “Zakouski,” while Resident Choreographer and Soloist Justin Peck offers the Kennedy Center premiere of a brand new piece. Tickets are $29 to $99.

Kennedy Center Opera House

DISCUSSIONS Wed., March 7, 6:30 p.m.

Talk with Bestselling Author Lars Kepler Solid State Books and the Embassy of Sweden present an evening with Lars Kepler for “The Sandman - A Joona Linna Novel,” the number-one internationally bestselling thriller that tells the chilling story of a manipulative serial killer and the two brilliant police agents who must try to beat him at his own game.

Solid State Books: The Apollo Tue., March 27, 6:45 p.m.

The Juedischer Kulturbund: Keeping the Arts Alive in Nazi Germany Though under severe Nazi government restrictions, in the 1930s, many Jewish artists expelled from German institutions found an outlet to reach Jewish audiences through the Kulturbund, the Culture League of German Jews. Historian Michael Brennner examines the Kulturbund’s achievements and the opportunities and dilemmas it brought for a persecuted minority under an authoritarian regime. Tickets are $45; for information, visit www.

S. Dillon Ripley Center

FESTIVALS March 1 to 27

D.C. Francophonie Cultural Festival The D.C. Francophonie Cultural Festival celebrates the diversity and richness of the French language and Francophone communities around the world through a series of cultural events and outreach programs presented every spring in the capital of the United States. Since 2001, more than 40 embassies and partners (including the Alliance Française de Washington DC and the Smithsonian Associates) have collaborated each year to present an array of experiences all rooted

Events | Culture | WD

in the Francophone culture — from Africa, to the Americas, to the Middle East — through concerts, cuisine, films, literary salons and lectures for all ages. Highlights include: tours in French at the National Museum of African Art; Yannick Nézet-Séguin directing the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Strathmore Music Center (March 6); dinner at Supra, D.C.’s first Georgian restaurant (March 5); a night of poetry at the Alliance Française (March 9); various films; and La Grande Fête de la Francophonie party at the French Embassy (March 23). For a complete schedule, visit

Various locations March 5 to 19

DIRECT CURRENT Modern masterpieces, cutting-edge composition, dance, drag, film, jazz, hip hop, video games, electronica, ecology and activism all converge at the inaugural season of “DIRECT CURRENT,” a new two-week celebration of contemporary culture. Focusing on works new to Washington, on interdisciplinary creations in which artistic worlds collide, and on innovative responses to topical concerns, this new spring immersion showcases some of the most potent, provocative and original voices in American arts today. For information, visit www.kennedy-center. org/calendar/series/DCT.

Kennedy Center Thu., March 8

Beauty Power – Time Corridor of Taiwan Women Fashion, 1888-2018 To celebrate the 130th anniversary of Twin Oaks, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the U.S. is hosting the fashion show, “Beauty Power – Time Corridor of Taiwan Women Fashion, 1888-2018” to showcases Taiwanese women’s fashion trends with more than 20 outfits. This show will present how diversified traditional clothes have evolved into modern smart clothes in Taiwan.

Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office March 20 to April 15

National Cherry Blossom Festival Each year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates spring in D.C., the gift of the cherry blossom trees and the enduring friendship between the people of the United States and Japan. The festival produces and coordinates daily events featuring diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit. Events are primarily free and open to the public. Highlights include: Pink Tie Kickoff Party (March 15); opening concert ceremony at the historic Warner Theatre (March 24); the Blossom Kite Festival (March 31); Petalpalooza presented by FreshDirect concert and fireworks show (April 7); and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade (April 14). For information, visit

Various locations Wed., March 21, 6:30 p.m.

Literature Festival: Zeitgeist On the occasion of the annual Zeitgeist literature festival, the Goethe-Institut Washington, the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Embassy of Switzerland invite three leading novelists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to America’s capital. This year’s theme,“Insiders – Outsiders,” will highlight three compelling new works

in German that deal with multiculturalism, migration and xenophobia. Join us in welcoming Philipp Winkler from Germany with “Hooligan,” Nava Ebrahimi from Austria with “Sechzehn Wörter (Sixteen Words)”and Meral Kureyshi from Switzerland with “Elefanten im Garten (Elephants in the Garden).” Admission is free; for information, visit

Embassy of Austria Sat., March 24, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Easter Egg Hunt and Decorating Register your little ones for an Easter egg decorating workshop and an egg hunt at 12 p.m. on the embassy’s spacious grounds. Or sign up your older ones (ages 6 to 15) for a special egg decoration workshop (11 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.) under the direction of folk art master Marie Švirgová and folk artist Dagmar Benešová, who founded the Folk Art Academy in Břeclav, Czech Republic. RSVP required and can be sent to; please bring your own basket and white hard-boiled eggs for decorating.

Embassy of the Czech Republic

MUSIC Thu., March 1, 6:45 p.m.

Dr. Dieter Hennings and the University of Kentucky Guitar Quartet As part of its 2018 Music Series, “La Música de México,” the Mexican Cultural Institute is proud to present a concert by Dr. Dieter Hennings and the University of Kentucky Guitar Quartet. Hennings is a proponent of new music, particularly that of Latin America. Along with Jeremy Andrew Bass, Mario Ortiz and Andrew Rhinehart, Hennings will play a program centered around the guitar music of the Mexican composer and conductor Juan Trigos (b. 1965). Following the influence and passion Manuel M. Ponce had for the classical guitar, since 1989 Trigos has created a remarkable body of works of great scope and beauty that are becoming staples of the Mexican new music repertoire for guitar. To RSVP, visit

Mexican Cultural Institute Thu., March 1, 7:30 p.m.

Oscar Peñas in Concert In his hometown of Barcelona, Spain, Oscar Peñas trained in classical guitar before exploring the world of jazz. Today, tuitarist and composer Peñas embodies a new wave of talented artists who make up New York’s flourishing music scene. His compositions are eclectic, transcending, and merge different genres, cultures and styles with fluidity, grace and power. Tickets are $30.

Music Center at Strathmore

Wed., March 7, 8 p.m.

The Chieftans The Chieftains’ name has been synonymous with the finest Irish music for over 55 years. Formed in 1962 and led by founding member Paddy Moloney, the band has spread Ireland’s indigenous sounds and styles across the globe. Tickets are $35 to $90.

The Music Center at Strathmore Thu., March 8, 7:30 p.m.

Bella Hristova, Violin Amy Yang, Piano Acclaimed for her passionate performances, beautiful sound and compelling command of her instrument, violinist Bella Hristova is a young musician with a growing international career whom The Washington Post noted that is “a player of impressive power and control.”The evening commemorates the 75th anniversary of the historic rescue of Bulgarian Jews from the Holocaust. Tickets are $90, including buffet and wine; for information, visit

Embassy of Bulgaria Fri., March 9, 6:30 p.m.

Lukas Lauermann Concert The young Austrian cellist Lukas Lauermann creates new ways of playing this centuries-old musical instrument. His music, full with joy in experimenting, oscillates between the tradition of classical concert halls and the directness of pop music. Admission is free; for information, visit

Embassy of Austria Sun., March 11, 7:30

Shostakovich and the Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy Dmitri Shostakovich dreamed of creating an opera based on Chekhov’s mystical tale, “The Black Monk.” Decades of suffering under political attacks within an oppressive Soviet regime wreaked havoc on the composer’s life, leaving the work ultimately unfinished. In a bold intersection of chamber music and theater, witness the trials and redemption of one man’s obsession as the Emerson String Quartet and a cast of actors tell this story through the eyes of Shostakovich himself. Tickets are $60.

Wolf Trap Mon., March 12, 6 p.m.

PunjabTronix Technology meets tradition as cutting-edge live electronica and digital technologies combine with the traditional sounds of Punjabi folk. Produced and commissioned by U.K.-based Asian Arts Agency, “PunjabTronix” is an exciting new international collaboration between award-winning British-Indian electronic music producer DJ Swami and traditional Punjabi folk stars.

Sun., March 4, 3 p.m.

Kennedy Center Millennium Stage

Annapolis Symphony Orchestra: Manuel Barrueco, Guitar

Tue., March 13, 6:30 p.m.

The Mediterranean spirit of Spain and Italy comes to life in this afternoon of memorable symphonic music. Catalan music champion Xavier Montsalvatge’s “Sortilegis” opens the concert, and world-renowned guitarist Barrueco brings new energy and poignancy to Joaquín Rodrigo’s famous “Concierto de Aranjuez.” Tickets are $10 to $30.

The Music Center at Strathmore

Washington Women in Jazz Featuring Bassist Judith Ferstl From March 10 to 18, 2018, the 8th annual Washington Women in Jazz Festival (WWJF) is taking place in and around D.C., staging and celebrating female jazz artists. As part of the festival, the Austrian Cultural Forum presents the young Austrian bassist Judith Ferstl, who will perform together with Sarah Hughes (saxophone), Shana Tucker (cello), Amy K. Bormet (piano) and Ana Barreiro (drums), as part of the

Washington Women in Jazz Ensemble. Admission is free; for information, visit

Embassy of Austria Thu., March 15, 7 p.m.

Versos Olvidados by Angelita Montoya Flamenco vocalist Angelita Montoya presents “Versos Olvidados,” a tribute to the women poets of the “Generation of 1927” who have long been forgotten. Soulful vocalist Montoya, daughter of dancer Antonio Montoya and singer Antonia Rodríguez, belongs to one of the most well-known Flamenco linages, the Montoyas, and make her debut at the age of 9. With music by Alejandro Cruz Benavides, she is accompanied by Benavides on piano and Fran Cortés on guitar. Admission is free but RSVP is required.

NYU Washington D.C. Fri., March 16, 8 p.m.

Washington Performing Arts: Wu Man and the Huayin Shadow Puppet Band One of the world’s foremost masters of the pipa (a Chinese lute), Wu Man is wellknown to U.S. audiences for her collaborations with Kronos Quartet and the Silk Road Ensemble. In this joyous multimedia program, she joins China’s Huayin Shadow Puppet Band — superstars in their home country — for an evening of traditional music and shadow puppetry. Tickets are $25 to $45.

GW Lisner Auditorium

intrigue, and shattering betrayal set at the height of the Spanish Empire. More than 20 years have passed since WNO last staged this grand masterpiece in four acts, and now a solid-gold cast heralds its return in this stunning new production. Tickets are $45 to $300.

Kennedy Center Opera House Through March 4

Hamlet In the wake of his father’s abrupt death, Hamlet returns home from university to find his personal and political world changed as he never imagined it could— his mother remarried, his uncle on the throne and a world seemingly gone insane. When his father’s ghost appears and demands vengeance, the increasingly desperate Danish prince must decide: submit or resist. Accept or avenge. Live or die. Please call for ticket information.

Shakespeare Theatre Company Mon., March 5, 7:30 p.m.

The Moors An eerie manor in a bleak, windswept landscape; shadowy corners and surreptitious staircases; secrets, mysteries, and melodramatic revelations. This is the gothic novel, the world of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights — but in Jen Silverman’s new adaptation, that world is populated by millennials. Admission is free

Shakespeare Theatre Lansburgh Theatre March 9 to May 12

Sat., March 24, 2 p.m.

The Wiz

Washington Performing Arts: Roman Rabinovich, Piano

In this adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s magical novel, Dorothy is whisked away by a tornado to the fanciful land of Oz. There, she and her sidekicks encounter Munchkins, flying monkeys and a powerhungry witch named Evillene who vows to destroy them. Ease on down the road and rediscover this imaginative story celebrating community, courage, heart, brains and friendship. Please call for ticket information.

From winning the 2008 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition to being tapped by Sir András Schiff for his young pianists’ series to stepping in for Murray Perahia in recital at Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, Roman Rabinovich has garnered accolades and the attention of the international piano community. Tickets are $45.

Kennedy Center Terrace Theater Thu., March 29, 7:30 p.m.

Narek Arutyunian, Clarinet Clarinetist Narek Arutyunian is an artist who “reaches passionate depths with seemingly effortless technical prowess and beguiling sensitivity” (The Washington Post) who has performed with the Copland Clarinet Concerto, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Alice Tully Hall as well as Artie Shaw’s Concerto for Clarinet with The Boston Pops. Tickets are $90, including buffet and wine; for information, visit

Embassy of Armenia Sat., March 31, 8 p.m.

The English Beat Scoring five top 10 U.K. hits while crisscrossing the line between soul, ska, reggae, pop and punk, these rockers have kept people all over the world dancing since 1979. Tickets are $30 to $35.

Wolf Trap

THEATER March 3 to 17

Washington National Opera: Verdi’s Don Carlo Family ties fray and unravel in Verdi’s spectacle of forbidden passion, political

Ford’s Theatre March 10 To April 7

Chicago “Chicago” is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who maliciously murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media, and her rival cellmate Velma Kelly by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today’s tabloids. Tickets are $45 to $55.

Andrew Keegan Theatre Through March 11

The Great Society

Mon., March 12, 6:30 p.m.

Sorin: A Notre Dame Story This new, one-person play about the dawn of the University of Notre Dame is told by the intrepid Holy Cross priest who founded it, Rev. Edward Sorin. Directed by Patrick Vassel —associate director of Broadway’s smash hit, “Hamilton” — and written by celebrated playwright Christina Telesca Gorman, “Sorin” stars Matthew Goodrich as Father Sorin in a transformational performance that carries the audience through a sweeping journey of faith, character and resolve. Admission is free.

GW Lisner Auditorium March 13 to April 22

The Winter’s Tale Transporting audiences from Sicilia to Bohemia and safely home once more, Shakespeare’s spellbinding tale of jealousy, prophecy and redemption celebrates the magic of storytelling and the power of forgiveness. Directed by six-time Helen Hayes Award-winner Aaron Posner. Tickets are $35 to $79.

Folger Theatre Through March 18

Becoming Dr. Ruth Two formidable talents of the D.C. theater scene, Naomi Jacobson and Holly Twyford, join forces to bring to life the story of renowned sex therapist and media personality Dr. Ruth Westheimer. This biographical drama, starring Jacobson and directed by Twyford, tells the inspirational and unlikely story of how Karola Siegel, born in Germany in 1928, grew up to become America’s favorite sex therapist. Tickets are $39 to $69.

Edlavitch DCJCC March 21 to April 22

Translations Treasured Irish playwright Brian Friel captures the frustrations and foibles of communication in his poignant masterwork, “Translations.” Set during a time of great change as the British National Ordnance Survey comes to small-town Ireland to map the island and standardize its names into English, Friel builds a funny, complex and ultimately tragic exploration of culture, identity and language. Tickets are $20 to $69.

The Studio Theatre March 30 to April 29

Two Trains Running Confronted with a rapidly changing world in the wake of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the looming demolition of Memphis Lee’s diner as a result of Pittsburgh’s renovation project, Memphis and his regular customers struggle to maintain their solidarity and sense of pride in August Wilson’s quintessential epic drama. Tickets are $50 to $99.

Arena Stage

Robert Schenkkan’s Tony Award-winning play “All the Way” set the stage for President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s sudden ascent to the White House. In its D.C. premiere, “The Great Society” brings the second half of Schenkkan’s epic story to its harrowing conclusion. As America is divided by civil rights protests and the anguish of the Vietnam War, LBJ struggles to maintain his relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., keep his political opponents in check and complete a raft of impossibly ambitious social policy projects. Tickets are $50 to $99.

Through April 8

Arena Stage

Arena Stage

Hold These Truths Jeanne Sakata’s one-man drama tells the true story of Gordon Hirabayashi, the American son of Japanese immigrants who defied an unjust court order when America placed its own citizens in internment camps during World War II. Midway through Arena Stage’s 2017/18 season, “Hold These Truths” brings an untold story to the stage that represents the diversity of our country and examines what it means to be an American. Tickets are $40 to $90.


WD | Culture | Spotlight

Diplomatic Spotlight

March 2018

Belize Ambassador Insider Series On Feb. 8, The Washington Diplomat held its latest Ambassador Insider Series (AIS) featuring Daniel Gutierez, ambassador of Belize. The small nation, which straddles Central America and the Caribbean, is home to barely 400,000 people but boasts a rich variety of plant and animal life that has made it a biodiversity gem and a popular tourist attraction. Gutierez, who also serves as Belize’s envoy to the Organization of American States, discussed his government’s landmark decision to implement an indefinite moratorium on all new offshore oil exploration to protect its barrier reef — the second-largest in the world — as well as the country’s tourism development, U.S. relations under Trump and challenges such drug trafficking, education and income disparity. The event was held at JBG Smith’s 13|U, an intimately scaled building featuring 129 refined residences in the heart of D.C.’s lively U Street Corridor.

Elvira Mendez of the Inter-American Development Bank and wife of the former ambassador of Belize; Ambassador of St. Kitts and Nevis Thelma Phillip-Browne; Ambassador of Belize Daniel Gutierez; Ambassador of Nicaragua Francisco Obadiah Campbell Hooker; The Washington Diplomat managing editor Anna Gawel; and The Washington Diplomat publisher Victor Shiblie.

Ambassador of Belize Daniel Gutierez answers audience questions as moderator Anna Gawel, managing editor of The Washington Diplomat, looks on.

Ambassador of Belize Daniel Gutierez.

Board Chair of Cultural Tourism DC Timothy Cox, left, joins members of the Embassy of Belize, including, from left: Arlette Gomez, Erin Ryan (wife of the ambassador), Josephine Neal and Ernilda Eiley.

Luis Chang of the Peru Trade and Tourism Office and Daniela Leibovici of the British Council at the British Embassy.

Nouf Bin Dehaish, public affairs specialist for the Embassy of Saudi Arabia.

The Washington Diplomat sales manager Rod Carrasco, Megan Oleary and Kwame Lewis.


Ambassador of Belize Daniel Gutierez, center, joins Ray Eiley and Sandon Quan, both from the Embassy of Belize.

Ambassador of Grenada Angus Friday asks a question.

Ambassador of Suriname Niermala Badrising asks a question.

Jason McNatt of the National Park Service, his wife Ursula McNamara of Kimpton Glover Park Hotel and the Carlyle Hotel, and Nick Weinberg of Enterprise Holdings.

President of AV Actions Inc. Mohamed Alhajjam, Minister Counselor at the Embassy of Mozambique Aristides Adriano, Ambassador of Nicaragua Francisco Obadiah Campbell Hooker, Ambassador of St. Kitts and Nevis Thelma Phillip-Browne and Mariam Hooker.

Spotlight | Culture | WD

Ambassador of Belize Daniel Gutierez talks with moderator Anna Gawel, managing editor of The Washington Diplomat.

CEO of CK Companies Craig Keeland and Ambassador of Belize Daniel Gutierez.

Ambassador of St. Kitts and Nevis Thelma Phillip-Browne asks a question.

Ambassador of Belize Daniel Gutierez talks with moderator Anna Gawel, managing editor of The Washington Diplomat.

Solomon Mahagan and Erin Mahagan.

Dave Hansen, senior vice president of trading for MBH Arbitrage, Craig Cobine of DCRE Residential, embassy liaison Jan Du Plain and Nelani Campbell.

Ambassador of Belize Daniel Gutierez.

Carly Thayer and Dan Pettine, both of Bulldog PR.

Sabrina Woods Jackson, 13|U Property manager, introduces JBG Smithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 13|U.

Michael Weiner, program coordinator for the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and Stuart Schulzke of

The Washington Diplomat sales manager Rod Carrasco welcomes guests.

Ambassador of Grenada Angus Friday and Kaitlin Puccio, creative director of Bent Frame Entertainment Media.

Mariam Hooker, wife of the ambassador of Nicaragua, and Anna Gawel, managing editor of The Washington Diplomat.

Kyle Wiley, Cameron Cushner of In Defense of Christians and Marc Solomon.

Publisher of The Washington Diplomat Victor Shiblie asks a question.

Embassy liaison Jan Du Plain and realtor Leila Beale.

James Connelly of Summit Commercial Real Estate asks a question.

Debbie Beard of Windows Catering reads a copy of The Washington Diplomat.

Ambassador of Belize Daniel Gutierez answers audience questions as moderator Anna Gawel, managing editor of The Washington Diplomat, looks on.


WD | Culture | Spotlight

Diplomatic Spotlight

March 2018

Women Leaders at Georgetown Georgetown University convened women ambassadors, congresswomen and other top women in foreign policy for an evening of solidarity on Jan. 18. “I have always found that developing a support group for women is the most important thing. We need each other,” said former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The number of women ambassadors to D.C. has been steadily dropping since 2013. Today, only 18 women represent their countries as ambassador to Washington, only a few more than served as ambassadors in 1995. “We all need opportunities to come together to network and to support each other,” said Melanne Verveer, executive director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security.

President and CEO of the Wilson Center Jane Harman, Georgetown President Jack J. DeGioia and CEO of the Center for a New American Security Michèle Flournoy.


Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Ambassador of Niger Hassana Alidou.

Ambassador of Finland Kirsti Kauppi; Ambassador of Morocco Princess Lalla Joumala; Ambassador of Oman Hunaina Sultan Ahmed Al Mughairy; Ambassador of Kosovo Vlora Çitaku; former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; Georgetown President Jack J. DeGioia; Executive Director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security Melanne Verveer; Ambassador of Albania Floreta Faber; Ambassador of Rwanda Mathilde Mukantabana; and Ambassador of Niger Hassana Alidou.

Executive Director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security Melanne Verveer; Ambassador of Oman Hunaina Sultan Ahmed Al Mughairy; Ambassador of Morocco Princess Lalla Joumala; and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.).

Monaco’s New Embassy


Enric Sala, explorer-in-residence at National Geographic, and Mary Jordan of The Washington Post.

Ambassador of Costa Rica Román Macaya and former Ambassador of Hungary Réka Szemerkényi, now executive vice president of the Center for European Policy Analysis.

Ambassador of Monaco Maguy Maccario Doyle, along with top officials from Monaco’s government, welcomed high-profile guests to the official inauguration of the Embassy of Monaco’s new chancery at 888 17th St., NW, located in the Brawner building.

Isabel Vital, Ambassador of Portugal Domingos Fezas Vital, Ambassador of Iceland Geir H. Haarde, Isabella Rosabrunetto, Ambassador of Monaco Maguy Maccario Doyle, Ambassador of Kosovo Vlora Çitaku, Ambassador of Austria Wolfgang Waldner, Ambassador of Luxembourg Sylvie Lucas and former Ambassador of Hungary Réka Szemerkényi.

Director of Diplomatic and Consular Relations for Monaco Marie Catherine Caruso Ravera, Ambassador of Monaco Maguy Maccario Doyle and Director of Monaco’s Department of External Relations and Cooperation Isabella Rosabrunetto.

Prevent Cancer Foundation Valentine Pakistani Ambassador-at-Large Ray Mahmood and his wife Shaista, along with former Virginia Gov. George Allen and Susan Allen hosted a Valentine Dinner Dance for the Prevent Cancer Foundation on Feb. 14. Since 1985, the Prevent Cancer Foundation has invested nearly $142 million in support of cancer prevention research, education, advocacy and outreach programs nationwide. President and CEO of the Meridian International Center Stuart Holliday.


WUSA9 anchor Andrea Roane, President and founder of the Prevent Cancer Foundation Carolyn “Bo” Aldigé and embassy liaison Jan Du Plain.

Assistant Secretary of Educational and Cultural Affairs nominee Marie Royce and U.S. Protocol Chief Sean Lawler.

Ray Mahmood, Shaista Mahmood, Susan Allen and former Virginia Gov. George Allen.

Martha-Ann Alito, Ambassador of Pakistan Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Shaista Mahmood and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.


Annie Totah, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Marie Royce.

Wolf Trap President and CEO Arvind Manocha, Ambassador of Monaco Maguy Maccario Doyle and Gideon Malone.

Ambassador of Monaco Maguy Maccario Doyle, Judge William Newman and Sheila Johnson.

Former Ambassador of Argentina Cecilia Nahón, Head of Economic Affairs at the Mexican Embassy Sergio García Gómez, former U.S. Chief of Protocol Peter Selfridge and Ambassador of Portugal Domingos Fezas Vital.

Honorary Consul of Monaco in Miami Tomas Abreu Ambassador of Kosovo Vlora Çitaku, First Secretary of Public and Director of Diplomatic and Consular Relations Diplomacy for the Kosovo Embassy Besianë Musmurati, Ambassador for Monaco Marie Catherine Caruso Ravera. of Austria Wolfgang Waldner and Gudrun Faudon-Waldner.

Spotlight | Culture | WD

Japanese Workshop Congressional staffers participated in a workshop at the Japan Information and Culture Center on Feb. 5 where they learned how to make wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) and mocha (Japanese tea) from Matsukawaya’s head confectioner, Yoshitaka Nishino. PHOTOS: EMBASSY OF JAPAN

Angolan National Day

Confectioner Yoshitaka Nishino teaches congressional staffers how to make traditional Japanese sweets and tea.


Ambassador of Angola Agostinho Tavares da Silva Neto welcomes guests to Angola’s National Day reception at the Willard InterContinental Washington Hotel.

Angolan Minister of Foreign Affairs Manuel Augusto, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

Confectioner Yoshitaka Nishino teaches congressional staffers how to make traditional Japanese sweets and tea.

Kosovo Independence Day A large crowd, along with members of the Trump administration, packed the Meridian International Center on Feb. 7 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Kosovo’s independence and the strong ties between the Balkan nation and the U.S. Silvia Samara of Angolan Public Television (TPA); Estanislau Garcia of Radio National of Angola (RNA); Barroso Martins of TV ZIMBO; Head of Press for the Angolan Embassy Laurinda Santos; President of Globescope Stefan Gudjohnsen; and Michael Shea of Globescope.

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster speaks to the audience.


Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).


Singer Vivalda Dula performs.

Colombia Honors Arsht Colombian Ambassador Camilo Reyes honored Adrienne Arsht, executive vice chair of the Atlantic Council, for her commitment to Colombia and Latin America, at his residence on Jan. 30. He presented her with Colombia’s “La Orden de San Carlos,” the highest honor from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ambassador of Kosovo Vlora Çitaku and Ambassador of Monaco Maguy Maccario Doyle.

Deputy Chief of Mission of the Kosovar Embassy Frymëzim Isufaj, Gudrun Faudon-Waldner and Ambassador of Austria Wolfgang Waldner.

Ambassador of Latvia Andris Teikmanis, Ambassador of Bulgaria Tihomir Stoytchev, Ambassador of Bangladesh Mohammad Ziauddin and Ambassador of Timor-Leste Domingos Alves.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, philanthropist Adrienne Arsht, Ambassador of Colombia Camilo Reyes and his wife Gloria Ritter. PHOTOS: EMBASSY OF COLOMBIA


President of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi.

Ambassador of Jordan Dina Kawar and former U.S. Chief of Protocol Peter Selfridge.

Ambassador of Albania Ambassador of Malta Pierre Clive Agius and Cultural Floreta Faber and Ambassador of Kosovo Vlora Çitaku. Tourism DC Board Chair Timothy Cox.

Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau U.S. Lt. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson and Deputy Chief of Mission of the British Embassy Michael Tatham.

FOX News’s Bret Baier and Amy Baier greet Ambassador of Colombia Camilo Reyes and his wife Gloria Ritter.


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Pham and others believe the U.S. is aware of the geostrategic threat posed by China in Africa and is beginning to prepare accordingly for what that threat could mean.


turn leads to local resentment that China is exploiting the continent’s resources. China also imports most, if not all, of the labor needed to build its projects, giving potentially valuable construction work to Chinese nationals rather than local workers. The outcomes often do not meet the labor or safety standards to which Western contractors would adhere. The result is that “a number of governments are becoming more strategic in their relations with China,” said Cooke. These governments are “driving a harder bargain” and looking at the economic effects of projects, she said. Despite China’s active engagement, its investments in Africa may be overstated, according to some experts. China’s own reported “overseas direct investment” shows a stock of $26 billion in Africa as of the end of 2013, which amounts to about 3 percent of total foreign direct investment on the continent, according to a 2015 paper by Wenjie Chen, David Dollar and Heiwei Tang for the Brookings Institution. “The European Union countries, led by France and the United Kingdom, are the overwhelmingly largest investors in Africa. The U.S. is also significant, and even South Africa invests more on the continent than China does,” the paper’s authors wrote. China also does not give grants, as Western countries do, but uses financing schemes to carry out its projects. “Its projects are on credit, leveraged against the value of the future property,” said J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center. The countries that allow China to come in and build these projects “are essentially mortgaging their futures,” he said. (On the flip side, China may find itself on the hook for millions of dollars if its investments don’t pay off.) Security experts have also sounded the alarm that China is using its development projects to spread its strategic footprint. China built its first overseas naval base in Djibouti, at the bottleneck where the Red Sea meets the Gulf of Aden, not unlike Iran’s strategic position along the Strait of Hormuz. Half of China’s oil imports are shipped

Diplomatic Spouses CONTINUED • PAGE 31

“In 1990, my husband was chief of protocol for six years under our first president, Sam Nujoma, and spent four years as a cabinet member of multilateral issues. He doesn’t boast. He’s very disciplined and likeable. He doesn’t compromise on principles…. I never heard of anyone who didn’t like him,” she said. “The soldier in him is still there,” she added. “He doesn’t like to see clutter. His side of the bedroom is so clean and neat, his clothes all folded, his shoes put away. I don’t ever have to clean up after him.” Andjaba also described herself as a strict mother. “My mother was a nurse and my father was a prison warden and a part-time Anglican pastor. Sometimes he would bring inmates to



Above, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is scheduled to make an extended trip to Africa this month, delivers opening remarks at the Ministerial on Trade, Security, and Governance in Africa at the State Department on Nov. 17, 2017. Below, President Donald Trump attends a working lunch with African leaders at the U.N. General Assembly last September.


through this naval passage that its base overlooks. But the base is also just a few miles from a U.S. naval base that is the staging ground for secret missions, including drone strikes and Navy SEAL raids in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa, according to a Feb. 25, 2017, report in The New York Times.

Building civilian projects like factories and railroads provides justification for China to deploy military defense infrastructure because “who else will defend Chinese assets?” said Pham, who is reportedly slated to be named the next assistant secretary of state for African affairs.

our house. They were often in prison rehab or manual labor. Now since he is retired from the prison job, he is a full-time pastor. I have seven siblings. Only two of us are girls. I am the second-born in the family.” Andjaba said there are many cultural differences between her country and the U.S. For example, until relatively recently, it was common for teachers to hit students on the hands with a ruler. “Constitutionally, that is not allowed any more. After independence, there was no corporal punishment,” she noted. Climate-wise, the two countries are also vastly different. The country’s Namib desert directly meets the waves of the South Atlantic Ocean. “Our desert is the oldest desert in the world. We have beautiful red sand dunes,” she said. “The country is very dry and arid. Namibia’s sparse and erratic rainfall often leads to drought. There is yearly flooding in the north and northeast. In 2017, 102 government schools were forced to close due to floods; 270,000 students were stranded.”

Pham argues that the Trump administration has not been as dismissive of Africa as some have charged. For the first time in an administration’s National Security Strategy, Trump’s NSS, which was published in December, had a separate section on Africa — and it was the longest of the regional sections, Pham said. And the Trump administration is updating policies that have been “stagnant for 20 years,” Pham said, by making moves such as lifting sanctions on Sudan. Lifting sanctions on Sudan is another U.S. policy proposal for Africa that has bipartisan support, having been set in motion in the final days of the Obama administration, according to a report by Gardiner Harris in The New York Times. After two decades of sanctions failed to change Khartoum’s behavior, this new policy is meant to encourage positive reforms, including the end of attacks on civilians in Darfur and increasing counterterrorism cooperation with the U.S., according to The Times. Another potentially positive sign is Secretary Tillerson’s upcoming trip to Africa in March, Cooke noted. Although Trump originally announced Tillerson’s visit in a letter to the African Union following his “shithole” comment, the trip could give the U.S. an opportunity to capitalize on the democratic inroads in Liberia and South Africa and other areas of collaboration on the continent. In interviews with The Diplomat, experts agreed that the U.S. cannot afford to ignore or denigrate Africa. In addition to being one of the youngest and fastest-growing regions in the world, Africa is the single-largest voting bloc at the United Nations, with 54 countries, Pham said. “There is a broad consensus, not only in Congress but across the country, that our engagement with Africa is in U.S. interests and in Africa’s interests,” Pham said. WD Ryan R. Migeed (@RyanMigeed) is a freelance writer based in Boston.

But she adds that her country’s warm weather is soothing. “During warm weather, you can sit under a tree. There is always a breeze and no humidity. We enjoy being outside and watching kids play in the street. There are no TVs. We played a lot of sports. Netball was our favorite.” Despite the differences between Namibia and the U.S., the current racial and divisions here and concerns about Trump’s attitude toward Africa, Andjaba has no complaints. “The ordinary American is a very good person. No matter what color, they are all the same. I’ve grown here and I still have plenty to learn. You depend on your nuclear family like ours here — mother and father and children. We grow up differently in Namibia and embrace our extended family fully. “If I had my way, I would wish for everybody to live an equal life. What is there to life but living a dignified life?” WD Gail Scott is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

Caroline Andjaba, wife of the Namibian ambassador.


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March 2018  

The Washington Diplomat is an independent, monthly newspaper serving the Washington D.C. international and diplomatic community with regular...

March 2018  

The Washington Diplomat is an independent, monthly newspaper serving the Washington D.C. international and diplomatic community with regular...