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!
We are looking at all the ways APIs are being defiant…with food. Chefs, vendors, and consumers—they are being the change they want in the way we eat, source, and pay for food. They are even using food as a way to change our perception of other cultures.
Ang Hadwin, founder of FaFa Dumplings
First in this show, we hear from our two guests: Ang Hadwin of FaFa Dumplings, a former food justice advocate who now makes gluten-free dumplings. She is scheming on ways to involve Oakland Chinatown youth in her business.
Sana Javeri Kadri, founder of Diaspora Co. Photo by Laila Bahman
Ang will be in conversation with queer food photographer and founder of Diaspora Co., Sana Javeri Kadri. Diaspora Co., is a spice collective dedicated to sustainable agriculture, equity, and decolonization within spice trade.
Both will let us know their thoughts on the rise of craft foods and how it can invest in the cultures and communities it borrows from.
Later, you’ll hear stories from Japanese American incarceration from an event hosted by Oakland political educators People’s Kitchen Collective. Some memories are clearly defiant acts of cooking and eating together, and others show trauma, pain, and resilience felt long after incarceration.
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.
We also talk with Elokin Orton-Cheung, founder of Shooting Star Botanicals, about the healing power of plants and her efforts to decolonize herbalism.
And Quincy Surasmith from the podcast Asian Americana, asks questions about self-determination in health and economic sustainability. He talks to both farmers and consumers involved in an Asian American, community-supported, agricultural program called Roots CSA.
Community Calendar Next Thursday, Housing Now! is hosting a statewide day of action to stop speculation and displacement. A two-part action takes place in San Francisco at the McDonald’s on 235 Front St. Meet there next Thursday at 4 p.m. for protest and again at 5:30 p.m. for community education and organizing.
We talk with writer, chef, and environmental activist, Aileen Suzara. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas I. Yamashita Prize, which goes to a social change activist/scholar whose work serves as a bridge between the academy and the community.
Collaborating with Filipino Advocates for Justice, Aileen supported the launch of Bahay Kubo. Bahay Kubo is a garden in Union City where youth have hands-on experiences in growing and sharing healthy Filipino food. She is an advisory member to FACES, the Filipino American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity, and an eco-culinary educator with Sama Sama Cooperative, which works to “reclaim language, culture, and land-based traditions.” She is hard at work on Sariwa, a sustainable Filipino foods business that connects traditionally-inspired diets and entrepreneurship as a tool for change.
We also give thanks to the cultural workers out there and feature music from our community. We’ll play tracks from the 18 Million Rising Voices of Our Vote compilation. It features 32 politically empowering tracks by an eclectic mix of Asian American musicians. We also play songs off of Anakbayan Long Beach’s May Day Mixtape fueled by hip-hop.
Tonight on APEX Express, we talk with Kristyn Leach, a 33-year old Korean American farmer at Namu Farm in Sunol, CA. where she practices Korean Natural Farming.
Sticking with our food theme, we hear from food writer for the East Bay Express, Luke Tsai. He wrote the cover story, “Cooking Other People’s Food” and we tease out the problems that can result when fine dining chefs try their hand at cuisines outside their culture.
Ruby Mountain featured at KSW’s APAture Music Showcase
Peppered throughout the show, we’ll hear from some of the musicians performing in Kearny Street Workshop’s APAture Music Showcase on Saturday night. Stay tuned because we have a ticket giveaway!
On Tuesday, October 4, join the San Francisco launch of Hotspot, Cool Country—Biodiversity in the Philippines, a new book for all ages by Almira Astudillo Gilles, published by Anvil Books.
And next Thursday, Stories High opens. This is the culmination of Bindlestiff Studio’s long-running annual page-to-stage theater workshop series, which runs from October 13 thru October 29. This year’s show features six one-act plays that feature pop divas, popping the question, urban legends, killer fashion, national tragedy, bike lane politics, and much more.
Aileen Suzara and Members of Sama Sama Cooperative
In honor of Filipino Heritage Month, we celebrate the new crop of leaders who are bringing fresh approaches to community problems, with grassroots and inclusive strategies. Join us for our show on “Filipino Innovators.”
Through the lens of radical health, we will be speaking with Sustainable Foods Educator and Eco-Chef Aileen Suzara whose research at U.C. Berkeley and interactive “Sariwa” workshops are focused on tackling food related disease in the Filipino Community through the exploration of precolonial diets.
Through the lens of radical parenting, we’ll be speaking with the parents and students of Sama Sama Co-op, a newly launched and member led summer program that explores Filipino culture, traditions, arts, ecology and language immersion.
Saturday, November 1; 8:00 PM
Kearny Street Workshop Fundraiser
Sub-Mission, 2183 Mission St., San Francisco
Music lovers and arts supporters, you can do both at once by going to Kearny Street Workshop’s Hardcore Punk Benefit this Saturday at 8 p.m. at Submission in San Francisco’s Mission District, just a few blocks from BART. Local bands singing in English and Tagalog rock the stage for the nation’s oldest multidisciplinary API arts organization. More details are available at kearnystreet.org
Saturday, November 1; 7:30 PM Totally Radical Muslims Volume 3 Zine Release Party!
Solespace, 1714 Telegraph, Oakland
Saturday, November 1; 7:30 PM
Hyphen Revolutions Issue Release Party
111 Minna, San Francisco
Join Hyphen in celebrating the release of our R/Evolution issue, where we push the boundaries of conversations surrounding identity, solidarity, history and community. Come engage with social justice leaders and advocates at an event full of pride and passion. Don’t miss this chance to celebrate the new R/Evolution with your community! Buy your tickets and the R/Evolution issue at www.hyphenrevolution.eventbrite.com
November 6-9, and 15 Thirdi South Asian Film Festival
The premiere annual South Asian film festival in the U.S, the San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival (SFISAFF) has brought the cinematic heritage and culture of South Asia to Bay Area audiences for more than a decade. Presented by 3rd i Films, the oldest South Asian media arts organization in the U.S., the festival promotes diverse images of South Asians and catalyzes change through independent film. http://www.thirdi.org/
Farmers and organizers from Hacienda Luisita protest the distribution of lands in front the House of Representatives in Manila. Photo courtesy of R.J. Lozada
Land is life. When Spain forcefully took and claimed land from the Philippines in 1521 they created a sociopolitical climate that would birth long-standing systems of oppression, manifesting in everything from political infrastructure to psychology to cuisine. Among the remnants and ghosts of colonization is HaciendaLuisita. The farmlands that belong to natives long before the Spanish were taken, and ended up in the hands of the family of the current President Benigno Aquino III, since the late 1950s. R.J. spent some time with farmers of Hacienda Luisita to learn what agrarian reform can really look like.
Flordia Sibayan, or “Pong,” is the chair of AMBALA, the farmworkers union at Hacienda Luisita. She and about 50 farmers and organizers camped out in front of the offices Department of Agricultural Reform. They’re protesting the lottery system, and other divide and conquer tactics to disrupt the movement for genuine agrarian reform. Photo courtesy of R.J. Lozada.
On Saturday, August 31st at 7:30PM at the Solespace in Oakland, RAMA presents this months installment of Go! Ohana, featuring musicians Ben Ahn, Cynthia Lin, hosted by Tim Huey, and Leila Ramanculova. http://www.facebook.com/events/185431461636494
On Thursday, September 5th at 6:00PM, Undocu-Health: Healthcare and the Undocumented — this event at the Asian Resource Lobby in Oakland will feature a talk regarding the Affordable Care Act otherwise known as Obamacare, and the undocumented community. http://www.facebook.com/events/203747449792250
At this year’s Empowering Women of Color Conference at UC Berkeley, Kearny Street Workshop organized a workshop with Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik that provided examples and resources for combining your love of food and commitment to activism. Tonight’s show features three people who are feeding the masses:
Sita organizes home-cooked dinners serving 50 or more people. This serves as a bi-monthly fundraiser for Leftwing, an anti-imperialist, community-based soccer club;
Saqib Keval is founder of The People’s Kitchen, a five-year-old, sliding-scale, community restaurant project that does political education and grassroots mobilization through food service;
And Elizabeth Sy is co-founder of Banteay Srei, which provides social support, healing arts, reproductive health education, life skills-building, and leadership development for young Southeast Asian women impacted by sexual exploitation. One of these strategies is to connect young women to each other and their elders through cooking. She also cooked for the Bike Down, an amazing three-day bike tour that raised money for Cycles of Change.
To start things off we talk with Francis Wong, co-founder of Asian Improv aRts which is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Asian Improv aRts 25th Anniversary Celebration at Yoshi’s. Photo by Walter Wagner.
Want a taste of the tasty goodness Elizabeth Sy produces? Throw down $10 and get some homemade goodies while helping the Visibility Project–a national portrait and video project dedicated to collecting the stories of Queer Asian American Women, Trans, and Gender non-conforming communities across the country! $10 will get you a small jar of one of the following:
soy butter crack (soy sauce and buttery goodness)
cambodian corn sauce (corn will NEVER be the same, can also be used with other veggies)
Sy stanky steak sauce (ginger/cilantro/fish sauce is perfect for any grilled meat or veggies)
Tonight was the world premiere of The River at ACT’s Costume Shop. Richard Montoya of Culture Clash collaborates with Intersection for the Arts resident theater company Campo Santo, and its co-founder Sean San José, to create this play that explores themes of identity, California and its people, and the many types of borders they encounter and cross. It runs Thurs-Sun at 8 p.m. until May 4.
On Saturday there’s Earthquake: The Chinatown Story, a series of programs at the Chinese Historical Society of America including a new exhibition, performance by Charlie Chin, and a book signing with Philip Choy. https://www.facebook.com/events/567355709966065/
This week we converge three amazing local community stories into one show. This weekend the API community has no shortage of incredible events, all to benefit local artists and organizations. APEX contributor Ellen Choy caught interviews to highlight all three great stories:
First, we have an interview with a house-full of talent and passion from Soulciety – a community-based youth organization in Hayward. They have their annual performance this Saturday Oct 27th – Empower: Master of the Three Rings – which they describe as “where the stage, street and circus collide.” We got a dynamic interview, including a beautiful acoustic performance, spoken word, and live beatboxing! We also have ticket giveaways!!
Also on Saturday, FACES (Filipino/American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity) and The People’s Kitchen are hosting SARIWA! – a community dinner project. We host them live in the studio to tell us about this awesome event that will be a family-style dinner featuring live music, performance, and a multi-course meal honoring the living Filipino food traditions that connect the motherland to the diaspora.