Click here to download the audio.
Tonight, we take a break from our screens and go analogue. We’re talking books, book stores, writing, and zines: Asian Americans and the literary world. We hear from Golda Sargento and Lily Prijoles, co-owners of Filipino bookstore Arkipelago; two of our favorite Bay Area novelists, Hannah Michell and Esme Weijin Wang; and Jess Wu-O, artist and the creator of Mixed Rice Zines.
More information on our guests and their work here:
Arkipelago Books, one of the only Filipino bookstoresin the U.S., and based in San Francisco’s SOMA Pilipinas district.
Tonight, on APEX Express, we talked with Asian American Artist Activist Change Makers. We spoke to San Francisco Mime Troupe veteran Keiko Shimosato Carreiro, data artist Brian Foo, singer Hollis Wong-Wear and filmmaker Jalena Keane-Lee. On behalf of my co-host Ayame Keane Lee and myself Miko Lee, we thank all of our Artist Activist Changemakers who joined us tonight. Keep creating, keep fighting, keep sharing your visions with the world.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.