This year’s first South Asia special edition of APEX Express spotlights a discussion with noted South Asian feminist scholar, activist, geek, poet Anasuya Sengupta on decolonizing the Internet and the project she co founded, Whose Knowledge?
In the second half of the show, we turn our attention to the South Asian island country of Sri Lanka. Known as a global tourist destination, the country is also neck deep in deep political crisis, which took a new turn of events in October 2018 when the president Maithripala Sirisena unilaterally displaced the sitting Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinge with MahinDa Rajapaksa, himself former President who presided over the end of Sri Lanka’s bloody25-year civil war and is accused ofserious human rights abuses during his rule from 2005 to 2015. What does this mean for a country that is still reeling recovering from the civil war? How are feminists and civil society grappling with the ongoing political and socio economic crisis plaguing the country? Listenup next to a discussion I had with noted Sri Lankan feminist activist Shreen Saroor.
Interview with Anasuya Sengupta in collaboration with KPFA’s Women’s Magazine
Come November, the 16th edition of 3rd i’s San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival begins in full swing from Nov 1st to 4th in San Francisco and Nov 17th in Palo Alto. This year’s line up features women centric and films by women from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Canada, Australia, and the USA.
This year’s films range from homelessness and domestic violence, to comic book and real-life superheroes. Documentaries abound featuring sex-positive advice columnists and probing filmmakers who battle the rising tide of fundamentalism in both India and Pakistan. This year, the festival also explore the theme of healing, and the importance of dialogue – sometimes even with the enemy. As always local filmmakers shine bright. Listen to APEX Express’ first of 2 parts of our 3rdi spotlight. Preeti Mangala Shekar sits down in conversation with two local film makers Rucha Chitnis and Harleen Singh, whose short films debut at this year’s festival. These two films screen on Friday, Nov 3rd at the New People Cinema, San Francisco.
On this month’s South Asian spotlight, we celebrate India’s Supreme Court’s historic decision striking down Section 377, an archaic Colonial law that criminalized homosexuality. We talk to a feisty Desi lesbian couple Priti and Mads about their new ice cream business, a venture that has helped them dream and live outside the box in many ways!
We also hear from Thanu Yakupitiyage from 350.org, about the ongoing climate actions in resistance to Governor Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, and why climate change is also a South Asian issue; and the piece de resistance: a sneak peek into a brand new storytelling podcast by APEX Express’ Preeti Mangala Shekar!
To end out the month of May PowerLeeGirls Miko Lee and Jalena Keane-Lee speak with storytellers who are making waves. We speak with An Excess Male Author Maggie Shen King. And hear from two of the culinary activists behind the Rooted Recipes Project. We talk with Heather White whose poignant documentary Complicit focuses on migrant electronic factory workers in China.
On tonight’s South Asia spotlight on APEX Express, we revisit the much discussed, shared and re-shared #MeToo campaign, but through a recent disturbing incident involving “feminist” ally and media personality Aziz Ansari. On the heels of a report detailing the account of a young photographer’s date with Ansari, which quickly degenerated into a harrowing night for her, social media has exploded with both self-proclaimed feminists and others critiquing both parties. But are there two sides? Or just a culture of violence that is trying to pass as normal and routine?
What does this incident (and the way people responded to it) tell us about the culture of violence and silence we live in?
How do we hold our male, feminist allies accountable?
What are the uncomfortable gaps in our understanding of complex ideas around “consent,” that incidents like these prompt us to unlearn and learn?
How can we erase toxic misogyny and patriarchy and proactively build the world we want to live in – of authentic consent and freedom for all bodies to explore their desire and sexuality without stigma, fear of violence, or judgement?
How can nuanced feminist analyses translate to lived reality?
Join the discussion on tonight’s South Asia Feminist Special where we feature the voices, perspectives, and analyses of a range of South Asian feminists from the Bay Area and beyond.
On our bi-monthly South Asia spotlight, we highlight two critical issues – the #Notinmyname campaign that has gone viral in India in the aftermath of a series of brutal lynchings and murders of Muslims and Dalit communities in India. And we have an update from closer home here in California – the #NehaRastogi case and the pernicious issue of #domesticviolence and how it specifically impacts of immigrant women of color.
#NehaRastogi solidarity protests across many US cities
To listen to the full interview discussion with Zakia Afrin from Maitri (second half of the show), click on this link.
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 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:
Tune in tonight for our monthly South Asian edition of APEX Express. First we bring you a critical discussion with Dalit artivist Thenmozhi Soundararajan from the South Asian Histories for All coalition, on the ongoing California Textbook Campaign; on the struggle to keep ancient Indian history curricula in middle school history textbooks, as- it-happened, and not how a well-funded group of Hindu fundamentalists would like it to be. Then we discuss with Lisa Sangoi, a lawyer with National Advocates for Pregnant Women, Purvi Patel’s case, where we find out the status quo of a young Indian American woman who was unjustly thrown in jail for 20 years, for having a late term abortion. Produced by: Preeti Mangala Shekar and Justine Lee
On the 125th anniversary of #Ambedkar‘s birth anniversary and in celebration of #DalitHistoryMonth, hear from inspiring activists Benjamin P Kaila and Sumit Baudh. Find out about how Dalit activists have been mobilizing in the bay area and beyond, and the incomparable legend, leader and visionary that #Ambedkar was!