Ben Habib is joined in this episode by Dr Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings, Lecturer in Humanitarian Studies at the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership at Deakin University. We discuss the humanitarian sector, humanitarian aid in North Korea, transitional justice for a post-Kim DPRK, and reflect humorously on the North Korean studies community. We also muse on living in Melbourne vs Hong Kong and Seoul, mental health in academia, and owning one’s mental health demons.
See original show episode show notes via PodBean.
00:03:34 Nazanin reflects on her career journey into the humanitarian sector.
00:09:54 Living in Melbourne as non-locals…is it the most liveable city in the world?
00:12:49 Private personal space vs living life in public in Hong Kong, Seoul and Melbourne.
00:14:32 Critically unpacking the ‘saviour’ impulse of aspiring humanitarians.
00:17:18 Humanitarianism starts at home, rather than ‘out there’.
00:20:08 Relationship between research and practice in the humanitarian sector.
00:23:23 Funding shortfalls, palliatives for structural problems, and preventive vs reactive aid.
00:27:53 Deconstructing ‘localisation’ in the humanitarian sector.
00:32:34 The dance between bureaucratic coordination and grassroots autonomy in humanitarian aid programs.
00:34:36 Centering North Korean people through a perspective of ‘solidarity with’.
00:39:19 The challenges of representing North Korean voices.
00:45:16 How the international community gets in its own way in delivering humanitarian assistance in the DPRK.
00:49:34 The ecosystem of different humanitarian organisations working in North Korea.
00:53:00 Prediction vs scenario mapping.
00:54:32 Anticipatory transitional justice for post-Kim scenarios in North Korea.
00:59:17 Are North Korean Studies scholars a bunch of weirdos?
01:03:51 Anxiety, guilt and the cult of productivity in academic labour.
01:10:01 Importance of being part of a community of scholars to feel like you belong.
01:10:44 Nazanin discusses her struggle with Trichotillomania and how she’s learned to own it.
- Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings. “Need, Aid, and Root Causes: The Appropriateness of Humanitarian Response in the DPRK”. Global NK. 8 April 2021. https://globalnk.org/commentary/view?cd=COM000048#_ftn16
- Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings, Sarah Son and Danielle Chubb. “Preparing for transitional justice in North Korea”. Australian Journal of International Affairs. 76(2), pp. 121-129. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10357718.2021.2022597
- Erich Weingartner. “Reconciling the Human Factor: Understanding the North Korean Human Rights/Humanitarian Divide”. 38 North. 28 May 2013. https://www.38north.org/2013/05/eweingartner052713/
- “Human rights and the future of justice in North Korea | Timothy Cho and Michael Kirby”. Alfred Deakin Institute. 17 September 2021.
- “Aid may be inherently racist and colonial, but altruism is not — that’s a cause for hope”. Aid Re-Imagined. 4 July 2020. https://medium.com/aidreimagined/aid-may-be-inherently-racist-and-colonial-but-altruism-is-not-thats-a-cause-for-hope-c77e7a33b899
- “Scenario Building in Complex Contexts: Improve your decision-making ability to build better futures” [course]. Center for Humanitarian Leadership. https://centreforhumanitarianleadership.org/education/courses/scenario-building-in-complex-contexts/
- Disasters: Deconstructed Podcast. Reflecting on human society from diverse disciplinary and ideological perspectives to understand the root causes of disasters. https://disastersdecon.podbean.com/
- Joy Yoon. Discovering Joy: Ten years in North Korea. Germantown: Klug Publishing Group. https://www.joyellenyoon.com/
About Dr Nazanin Zadeh Cummings
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/nzadehcummings
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nazaninbagherzadeh/
- Centre for Humanitarian Leadership: https://centreforhumanitarianleadership.org/the-centre/our-people/nazanin-zadeh-cummings/
- Deakin University profile: https://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/people/nazanin-zadeh-cummings
- Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nazanin-Zadeh-Cummings
About Ben Habib, host of Edge Dwellers Cafe
- Ben@Earth: https://drbenjaminhabib.com/
- LTU staff profile: https://scholars.latrobe.edu.au/bhabib
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrBenjaminHabib
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2oPQqZhJ8CAPbNqIDlf8_g
- ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3087-4828
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