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
We’ll be in conversation with author Thi Bui about her debut graphic novel, “The Best We Could Do,” which offers a haunting and intimate portrayal of one family’s journey from war torn Vietnam. Then, we’ll hear from the lead petitioner seeking justice for the Shibayama brothers, who continue to demand that the US government be accountable for its ongoing failure to provide redress for war crimes perpetrated against them as children during World War II. We will round out the hour in conversation with contributors of the newly released South Asian American Issue released by the Chicago Quarterly, guest edited by Moazzam Sheikh, who explains that “The new South Asian American writer is a wild beast.” We’ll delve into that wildness. We have all that and more, so tune it.
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!
We’ve dedicated the entire show to an interview Marie Choi and I did with Alex Hing, who is promoting the book “The People Make Peace,” in which he has a chapter detailing his work against the war in Vietnam. He’s been an organizer most of his life, and the interview was so good that we decided to air it in its entirety.
He talks about his social justice work, his professional career, his thoughts on organizing and its trajectory and the role of spirituality in the movement.
Soh Suzuki with the Detroit Asian Youth Project. Photo by Bryan MacCormack with Left In Focus.
Vincent Chin’s grave site. Photo by Bryan MacCormack with Left In Focus
Attendees of the Asian American history tour of Detroit. Photo by Bryan MacCormack with Left In Focus
Then we take you to Detroit with tape from the Allied Media Conference, an annual gathering of vibrant and diverse people using media to incite change. We were fortunate enough to be there for the beginning of a week-long celebration for activist Grace Lee Boggs’ 100th birthday including an Asian American history tour of Detroit by the Detroit Asian Youth Project!
And finally, we delight your taste buds and with a happy sound pancake and get you ready for Kearny Street Workshop’s Dumpling Wars!
Community Calendar Friday, July 10, get your bootie over to Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco for a lively report back from an exposure trip to the Philippines. The event that includes musical performances by Dirty Boots and Power Struggle and is hosted by local funny guy, Joe Cascasan. All funds collected will support the International Peoples’ Tribunal this in Washington D.C. and the Salugpongan schools in Mindanao.
On July 18, catch Tony Robles reading from his new book, Cool Don’t Live Here No More: A Letter to San Francisco, at East Wind Books in Berkeley on July 18 along with Amy Uyematsu reading from her new book The Yellow Door.
Remember to get your tickets for Kearny Street Workshop’s Dumpling Wars! Teams of home cooks try to win your vote for your favorite gastronomic morsels, while you feast on a delicious spread graciously provided by local restaurateurs and enjoy family-friendly activities. Dumpling Wars is at Oakland Asian Cultural Center on Sunday, July 26. Yum!
This week, we reflect on the long road traveled towards more equality for gay and lesbians in this nation by hearing a created during Women’s Weekend at the Russian River in 2000 after Prop 22, restricting marriages to opposite-sex couples, was passed. We share an encore performance of Filipino punk band Digma! And we hear from one of Goldman’s Environmental Awardees, Burmese journalist Myint Zaw.
Click here to download the audio.
We have a fund drive show tonight and we’re going to be paying tribute to Yuri Kochiyama who passed away last year. May 19th would have been her 94th birthday and we wanted to celebrate her life with some of our favorite Yuri pieces. Donations to KPFA get you Yuri’s memoir: Passing it On.
Join us at 7pm on KPFA 94.1 FM.
Yuri Kochiyama print by Melanie Cervantes with Dignidad Rebelde
Until May 23rd is RECLAIMING OUR ROOTS: APA arts activism from the 1960s on. at the Kearny Street Workshop. This event brings KSW to the very street from which it takes its name, bringing the past and the present together through a multidisciplinary presentation of literature, music, and visual art.
On March 16th and 17th, Live Oak Park in Berkeley hosts the Himalayan Fair. Both days start at 10 am and run until the early evening. All donations and raffle proceeds received this year will support efforts to send aid to Nepal after now, two devastating back to back earthquakes. They will also host a prayer each day of the Fair to remember the people of Nepal.
Next Wednesday, join the Teach in to Free West Papauin Oakland or in SF on Thursday, May 21 at 518 Valencia Street at 6 pm for Free West Papau as we think about the questions “What does self-determination look like for West Papua and other indigenous peoples? How does the struggle for West Papua’s independence connect with other third world liberation movements?” we learn about its history and its struggle.
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