Author Archives: apexexpress

5/4/17 Immigration and Activism

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Tonight on Apex Express Mother/Daughter hosts Miko Lee and Ayame Keane-Lee spoke to Yvette Felarca from By Any Means Necessary about taking direct action out into the streets and stopping the Trump ICE raids.  More information about an upcoming immigration forum is listed in the calendar below.

We spoke to Michelle Lee,  curator of Shifting Movements, Art inspired by Yuri Kochiyama, which opens with a big celebration tonight at SOMARTS Cultural Center and runs through May 25. Shifting Movements is part of the 20th Annual United States of Asian America Festival. Some of the art pieces are shown above, but go check it out in person to see how amazing the work is.

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Mari Nakagawa interviewed punk band Aye Nako who hits the Bay Area tonight and tomorrow night.

Poet Yujane Chan came into the studio and performed her erasure poem derived from her formal immigration papers. Ayame, also a youth poet, chatted with Yujane about her inspiration and process. Yujane performed this as part of Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam in April.

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Miko spoke with award winning filmmaker Felicia Lowe’s about her latest work Chinese Couplets which is her personal tale about the Chinese Exclusion Act. They also discussed the big Rally for Inclusion that is happening this Saturday in Portsmouth Square Chinatown to acknowledge the 135th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Find out more about the Rally and how to take action page here.

Community Calendar

May 4 -June 11, United States of Asian America, various locations

May 4 Aye Nako at the Luckyduck Bicycle Cafe located at 302 12th Street in Oakland.

May 5 Aye Nako at the STUD located at 399 9th St in San Francisco.

May 4-25, 2017  Shifting Movements: Art inspired by the life of Yuri Kochiyama

Venue: SOMArts Cultural Center, Main Gallery, 934 Brannan Street, San Francisco. Exhibition Dates:  Tuesday through Friday from 12-7pm, and Saturdays from 12-5pm.  Closing Reception: Thursday, May 25, 2016. 6-9pm.

May 6, 2017 noon Rally for Inclusion, Portsmouth Square, Chinatown

May 6, 2017:  Asian Pacific Heritage Festival, Asian American Alliance of Marin

May 9, 2017  Immigration Forum and Community Meeting, Bay Any Means Necessary 6-8pm, Manzanita Recreation Center, 2701 22nd Ave., Oakland, CA 94606

May 16 Asian American Bar Association presents – Lessons from Mass Incarceration

 

 

Punk Band Aye Nako Hits the Bay Area

Aye Nako’s new album, Silver Haze.


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Formed in 2010, Aye Nako is a queer punk band. This four-piece include art, music and politics into their work. They want to create a space where those who fall in the margins feel OK about being themselves.

Last month Aye Nako released their second full-length album, Silver Haze. APEXer Mari Nakagawa talked with Mars Dixon, who plays guitar and sings. They talked about their experience being queer, trans, Black, and Filipino in the largely white-dominated pop punk DIY scene. Originally from Arkansas, Mars lived for a short time in Oakland and is now based out of Brooklyn. Aye Nako is on the road for their tour, so she spoke with Mars via Skype.

4/27/17 Bay Area May Day



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Tonight, we celebrate May Day, or International Worker’s Day!

  • We hear from Terry Valen and Lyle Prijoles with Filipino Community Center as well as Irma Shauf-Bajar with GABRIELA USA. They all make connections between immigrant rights and worker rights here in the U.S. and globally.
  • We speak with two home care workers from Asian Immigrant Women Advocates who share the unique challenges they face as immigrant domestic workers.
  • Diep Tran, head chef and owner of L.A. restaurant Good Girl Dinette tells us how “cheap eats” lists celebrate inexpensive immigrant foods at the expense of immigrant labor.
  • And we talk with Zuha Khan who curated an amazing line-up of performers at El Rio this Saturday as a fundraiser for Bay Area Solidarity Summer.

4/20/17 DJ Baagi spinning music of resistance



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Tonight DJ Baagi joins us to spin music of resistance and solidarity from the Asian Diaspora worldwide, with a slight focus on South Asian musicians.

We have sounds of the Asian underground and anti-racist solidarity between Asian and Afro Caribbeans in the U.K., our friend Kiwi Illafonte/Native Guns, radical immigrant stories from Ruby Ibarra, music from the African diaspora in the Sri Lanka… and more

Community Calendar

  • If you hadn’t heard, San Francisco has made city college FREE to residents. On Friday, April 21 from 9 to noon, CCSF hosts an open house where you can learn how to apply for admissions. 
  • And on Sunday, from 11 to 5, Angela Angel hosts an eight-week folk and herbal remedy series at Ancestral Apothocary.  Classes include working on our physical and energetic body systems with: Philippine Herbal Medicine, Medicinal Foods and Healthy Traditional Cooking, Ancestral Healing, and Massage and Chiropractic Care.
  • We all know and love Bay Area Solidarity Summer, a a political action camp for budding South Asian activists. On Saturday, April 29 at El Rio, there’s a fundraiser for BASS featuring Doctors and Engineers, a Los Angeles based South Asian garage punk band; Kohinoorgasm, an experimental pop music project; Faluda Islam, an artist of mixed Pakistani and Lebanese descent who uses drag to speak through issues of religion, sexuality and identity.  

4/13/17 All About The Periods…..

 

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Tonight we talk about a subject that over half of the world has to deal with monthly, but is still considered taboo. Tonight we are talking periods with Asian American women. Hosts Miko Lee and Tara Djorbji talk to Amrita Saigal the founder of Saanthi Pad, eco-friendly pads for women in India.  We hear from New York Congresswoman Grace Meng on her Menstrual Equity Bill which will eliminate the tax on period supplies and provide pads to homeless and incarcerated women, and Boston-based activist Nadya Okamoto who at 16 years of age founded Period, a Menstrual Movement an organization providing period supplies to homeless women.  Learn more about the Saanthi Pads and Period, a Menstrual Movement here:

 

Community Calendar:

April 15 1-4:30pm the Tax March San Francisco Civic Center, San Francisco

April 15 & 16 50th annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in SF J town

April 18 at 07:00 PM Showing Up for Racial Justice presents Anti-Racism Educator Tim Wise at First Congregational Church of Oakland

April 29 The Hidden History of the Japanese-American Community in South Berkeley. Led by Jill Shiraki

 

 

 

 

 

Mina Morita and Sisters Matsumoto

Carina Lastimosa, Keiko Shimosato Carreiro, Melissa Locsin in Sisters Matsumoto


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In 2015, the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag swept through social media around the paltry amount of roles for actors of color on the screen, but behind the scene is no different. Mina Morita is artistic director for Crowded Fire, a theater company in San Francisco. She’s in a creative leadership position in a field with very few directors of color and even fewer women directors.

But local playwright Philip Kan Gotanda and artistic director of the Center Repertory Company, Michael Butler, chose Mina to revive Philip’s play, Sisters Matsumoto.

Sisters Matsumoto focuses on three sisters who return to their farm in Stockton, California after two years in a World War 2 internment camp. Written before the Patriot Act, Special Registration, or this new Muslim Ban, the play takes on a renewed urgency as the characters bring to life the real life aftermath of racist scapegoating.

Before delving into a discussion about the play, guest producer Robynn Takayama asked director Mina Morita about her home base with San Francisco-based theater company, Crowded Fire.

The play is on view at Center REPertory Company in Walnut Creek from now through April 29. Visit centerrep.org for tickets. And to follow Mina Morita’s work as artistic director of Crowded Fire, visit crowdedfire.org.

4/7/17 The High Priestess Never Marries



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For this month’s South Asia spotlight, Preeti Shekar talks with author Sharanya Manivannan on her collection of short stories, The High Priestess Never Marries, and how this collection celebrates women’s desires and sexuality through a critical feminist lens. We also hear from Melissa Hung about an Eat Chinatown, an exhibit that explores food, art, and gentrification.