Wende Museum of the Cold War

2019년 4월 7일, 봄 쿼터 첫 번째 일요일을 맞이해 러시아인 동무와 컬버 시티(Culver City)에 소재한 벤데 냉전 박물관에 다녀왔다. 그리 넓지 않은 크기의 박물관은 소련 및 북한을 비판하는 이념이 짙게 배인 포스터 작품들로 가득했다. 지도자들의 흉상이나 소비에트 도자기, 의상 등 약간의 유물들도 있었다. 중앙의 커다란 홀 양 옆으로 복도와 엄청나게 큰 선반에 러시아어 및 영어 책이 가득 꽂혀 있었고, 홀 뒤로는 아담한 정원이 이곳을 방문한 방문객들의 흥취를 돋구어 주었다.

전반적으로 소비에트의 사회의 잔혹함과 비효율, 실패만을 부각시키는 그림을 잔뜩 걸어 놓았다. 설명을 해주는 학예사들도 그저 같은 메시지를 앵무새처럼 반복할 뿐이지, 해당 시기 미국을 비롯한 서방 세계의 압박에 대해서는 일언반구도 없었다. 이 박물관의 서사대로라면 소비에트 인민들, 그리고 소비에트를 바라보며 더 나은 반제국주의적, 반자본주의적 미래를 꿈 꿨던 사람들은 모두 바보였단 말인가? (박물관은 이 물음에 ‘그렇다’고 대답하는 듯 했다). 북한에 관한 작품은 상대적으로 수가 적었는데, 그래서 그런지 설명도 더욱 미약했다. 무선(Sun Moo, ‘선=국경이 없다’는 뜻)라는 가명을 쓰는, 탈북 작가의 그림을 걸어 놓았고, 한편에는 그의 일화가 담긴 넷플릭스 영상이 상영되고 있었다.

결론적으로, 프라하에서 방문했던 공산주의 박물관이나 비엔나의 전쟁사 박물관(Heeresgeschichtliches Museum), 류블랴나 현대사 박물관에 비해 무척 형편 없었다. 작년에 방문했던 로스알라모스 박물관이 차라리 더 흥미롭고 자세했다. 냉전 박물관이라는 이름에 전혀 걸맞지 않게 전시품의 숫자도 적고, 편협하고 허름한 인상 만을 받았다. 하지만 입장료가 없고, 냉전 커피컵을 살 수 있어서 그러려니 했다. 박물관을 돌아본 후에는 러시아인 동무네 가서 저녁을 먹고 귀가했다.

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From Sean Malloy’s

“[W]e saying that theory’s cool,” proclaimed Illinois BPP chairman Fred Hampton in 1969, “but theory with no practice ain’t shit.” (3)

For all their weaknesses and failings, the Panthers offered a challenge to capitalism and white supremacy that directly confronted American liberals’ complicity in both of those oppressive forces as well as the violence that undergirded daily life for people of color in the United States and around the world. Central to this analysis, and crucial to the party’s growth and endurance, was an approach that was fundamentally international both in its critique and its connections. While often criticized for being divisive, the BPP was at the forefront of a movement among those seeking to link people of color in the United States, antiracist white allies at home and in Europe, and governments and movements in the Third World. Though messy and flawed in practice, the Panthers’ coalition-building efforts were far more ambitious and inclusive then [sic] those of contemporary movements that either confined their ambitions within the borders of United States or insisted that class and race were somehow mutually exclusive categories in organizing for revolution. (15-6)

Out of Oakland follows the injunction of former BPP and BLA member Nuh Washington, who declared from behind bars, “Our history, the good and the bad, must be analyzed and summarized for other revolutionaries. . . . Let us learn from our mistakes and not feel ashamed. After all, we did a lot, knowing little. (17)

Out of Oakland: Black Panther Party Internationalism During the Cold War (2017)

 

 

 

 

 

The Cold War in the 1980s

Recently, I began to watch an American drama. The Americans, a fiction on the Soviet spies living and conducting espionage in the US in the early 1980s. Plot is good, albeit employing a popular concept of spy, and the characters are vividly expressing themselves according to their given roles. In grey and grim scenes, the story unfolds under the Reagan administration. There is nor hope neither love in the life of spies, and I would definitely recommend this kind of job for those bored of everything. Game of Thrones is also fascinating, but I prefer this Cold War series to a medieval fantasy.

Meanwhile, I came to ask myself of some related questions after I saw the drama. What was the Cold War? Was it really nothing but a war, or was it just cold? As I want to study the North Korean history in a context of the Cold War in the 1950s, I would shed light on the subject. One thing for sure is: in most cases, a spy is good-looking. This was already elucidated in Jonathan Haslam’s book on a history of the Soviet Intelligence (2015). Well, I can give that.