13 Memorable Moments From 2017

This year Asia Society has hosted a cross-section of some of Asia’s top minds and unique voices — politicians, artists, academics, actors, advocates, and more. Whether it’s a celebrity chef to a North Korean defector, the institution aims to give a platform to those with a story to tell and a sanctuary for an audience that want to listen.

Below are just a few highlights from our programming this year:

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani Talks Trump

Dropping by Asia Society during United Nations General Assembly week, Ashraf Ghani says he finds President Trump to be "engaged, informed, and determined" — but adds that conversations with the president need to take place in soundbite form. “If you have a message, don’t take more than two minutes to deliver it.” 

A Moving Performance By Sanam Marvi

The celebrated Pakistani singer Sanam Marvi sings "Asan Ishq Da Kalma Parh Bethe" during an intimate evening of music and insightful conversation into vocal techniques, the philosophy of her repertory, and more. 

Why North Korean Denuclearization Is 'Off The Table'

Former CIA analyst and Deputy Intelligence Officer in the U.S. National Security Council Sue Mi Terry discusses her recent informal discussions with North Korean officials and why they repeatedly emphasize that giving up their nuclear weapons development is "completely off the table."

Iranian Foreign Minister: Nuclear Weapons Are 'Not Part of Our National Interests'

Mohammed Javad Zarif declared at Asia Society that nuclear weapons were not part of his country's "national interests." Here, he describes the difficulty of reaching the Iran Nuclear Deal with the United States by inverting a classic phrase — "don't trust, verify" — and reaffirms Iran's desire to comply with the deal.

Meet the Asia Game Changers

Members of the Asia Game Changers Class of 2017 discuss the inspiration behind their work at Asia Society New York. One of the awardees, Afghan rapperSonita Alizadeh, discusses how pursuing an education and expanding her horizons abroad improved her rap game.

Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay's Contribution to India's Feminist Movement


Writer, lecturer, and political activist Gloria Steinem describes what she thinks is one of the greatest frustrations of the women's liberation movement during a conversation on the legacy of Indian freedom fighter and feminist Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay.

The Legacy of the Vietnam War

Filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, along with Vietnam War veteran and scholar Thomas Vallely, discuss how their new PBS documentary The Vietnam War is being received by Vietnamese audiences and how the film is opening new debates on the conflict.

South Asian Representation in Contemporary Art

Artists that were featured in the exhibition Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions: South Asian Art in the Diaspora discuss their work in the context of a Euro-centric global art industry.

A Defector Speaks: How North Korea Sees the World

Ri Jong Ho, a former senior North Korean economic official who defected in 2014, describes a meeting in which leader Kim Jong Un expressed his dissatisfaction, and some profanity, toward China and its president.

Lahore Literary Festival — On Globalization and Art

Author Basharat Peer, Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University Bernard Haykel, and Co-Chair of The Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University Saskia Sassen discuss the complexity of globalization and the emergent new political order during a panel discussion at the 2017 Lahore Literary Festival.

Vikas Khanna's Transformative Story

The celebrity chef Vikas Khanna describes his descent into homelessness as a young Indian immigrant in New York during an inspiring appearance at Asia Society.

Being Muslim in America

Egyptian-American writer and scholar Dr. Dalia Fahmy recounts a frightening incident in a New Jersey parking lot in which she was targeted for being Muslim. "It was my first experience of someone telling me I didn't belong," she said.

Ellen Barry on India's Female Workforce

New York Times reporter and 2017 Osborn Elliott Prize for Excellence in Journalism on Asia awardee Ellen Barry describes the phenomenon of women departing India's labor force in a conversation with moderator John Micklethwait during an appearance at Asia Society.