Unifying Spirit between East and West: Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766), Jesuit painter in the Forbidden City.

By Matthew Ehret “In pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, we should ensure that when it comes to different civilizations, exchange will replace estrangement, mutual learning will replace clashes, and coexistence will replace a sense of superiority. This will boost mutual understanding, mutual respect and mutual trust among different countries” -Xi Jinping, Belt and Road…

Russia Before the Revolution: A Voyage Along the Silk Road in Colour

Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky (1863 – 1944) was a Russian chemist and photographer. He is best known for his pioneering work in colour photography, in particular, his colour portrait of Leo Tolstoy. It was this fame that, in 1909, brought him to the attention of Tsar Nicholas II who would provide funding and the authority for Prokudin-Gorsky to…

Representations of Muslim Culture in Western Literature

In this class, Asad Wasti presents a quick survey of the works of various Western literary icons, in an attempt to demonstrate a direct influence on their writings from the Muslim world. We will examine the correlation between Dante’s Comedia and the Isra & Mai’raj tales from the 13th century, as well as later representation…

The Emerging Eurasian Alliance as an Opportunity not a Threat

by Cynthia Chung This article is based off of a presentation done at the RTF symposium on Nov 16th titled “The Art of Peace: The New Silk Road Counters an Age of Turbulence” This past November marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and along with its celebration the continuation of a…

African Infrastructure Renaissance along The Belt and Road – Case Study: Egypt

By Hussein Askary Overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its undeniable devastating effects on almost every nations’ economic and social wellbeing, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) remained alive and kicking. And, in contrast to some bizarrely gleeful reports in Western and Swedish media about the potential collapse of the BRI due to the pandemic, the train of the…

Paul Robeson: His Life as an Unfinished Symphony

Many know of the name Paul Robeson as a great baritone singer and actor of the early 20th century… but few know of Paul Robeson as the cultural warrior, renaissance man and world citizen who created the foundations for the civil rights movement, played a leading role in the international anti-colonial freedom struggle, or anti-fascist…

Frederick Douglass: Legacy of an Abolitionist

This conference webinar was organised by the Frederick Douglass Sculpture Committee (FDSC) to bring attention to a project that has been in the works, and for which the residents in Roxbury have been advocating for over a decade; a Frederick Douglass memorial statue. After a long process, the FDSC and the Boston Art Commission have…

The Post war US-China Alliance that Nearly Was

By Matthew Ehret In these times, it is worth revisiting a bygone time in which a leading American political figure embraced a US-Russia-China alliance: Henry A. Wallace, Agricultural Secretary from 1933-1941, and US Vice-President from 1941-1944. After his government service, Wallace passionately upheld a new vision of the post-war world that included the East. As…

Save Lake Chad with Transaqua: Nkrumah and FDR Would Concur

By Lawrence Freeman After two months, the deliberations from the “International Conference on Saving Lake Chad” held in Abuja, Nigeria from February 26-28, 2018 are still reverberating, and will continue to do so. This historic conference, the first of its kind to be convened on the African continent, was initiated and sponsored by the Nigerian…