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Feb 16, 2017 at 7:30 pm

How to be a Nationalist

Discussion following the film with James T. Hong

“I’m an American by birth, and a Taiwanese and a Chinese by blood. This blood is ideological. For me, and for the long dead philosopher Bishop Berkeley, to be is to be perceived.”

Following three groups of nationalists from China, Taiwan, and Japan, Terra Nullius or: How to be a Nationalist focuses on the geopolitical issues surrounding the disputed islands known in Japanese as “Senkaku,” in Chinese as “Diaoyutai” or “Diaoyudao,” and in English as the “Pinnacle Islands,” and the filmmaker’s attempts to set foot upon them. Claimed by Japan, China, and Taiwan, these minor, remote, and uninhabited islands, only approximately 7 square kilometers in size, are located roughly 170 kilometers northeast of Taiwan, 330 kilometers east of China, and 170 kilometers northwest of the westernmost tip of the Japanese Ryukyu Islands.

After WWII, the islands were administered by the US government as part of its occupation of Okinawa. Currently the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands are controlled by Japan, which received administration rights in 1971 from the United States.


Terra Nullius or: How to be a Nationalist

79 min., 2016

79 min


James T. Hong is a filmmaker and artist based in Taiwan. He has produced works about Heidegger, Spinoza, Japanese biological warfare, the Opium Wars, and racism and most recently completed a documentary about nationalism and disputed territory in the East China Sea. He is currently researching the concept of morality in East Asia and recently presented a new experimental work about Nietzsche and metempsychosis at the 2016 Taipei Biennial.

We are grateful for support for this event! This presentation is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts’ 2017 Electronic Media and Film Presentation Funds Grant program, administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes.

Who's Attending

14 people are attending How to be a Nationalist

  • Maya Yu Zhang
  • Daniel Goodman
  • Xinyi Lin
  • Samuel Budin
  • Karoline Morwitzer
  • Martin Lucas
  • Jim Supanick
  • Jason Fox
  • Ueli Johner
  • Riccardo Valsecchi
  • Patrick Offenheiser
  • Lucas Carlisle


Feb 16, 2017
7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Free with membership - $10


BROOKLYN, NY 11211 United States
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