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.
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.
Tara Dorabji and shivani narang feature Asian and Asian American filmmakers.
APEX Express interviews directors from the 15th annual 3rd i South Asian Film Festival. In addition hear from independent filmmaker, Iffat Fatima, about her recent documentary: Blood Leaves its Trail, which explores issues of violence and memory in Kashmir. We’ll also be in conversation with scholar and Kashmiri human rights activist, Huma Dar to discuss how she’s been targeted by Twitter and Facebook for exposing human rights violations in Kashmir. Listen here.
Open Mic & Writing Workshop- Afro-House Berkeley, Date: Nov 10th – Poetry writing session will be led by CalSLAM from 4pm-6pm. The writing workshop will draw from the theme of reclamation of blackness and spaces, everyone is welcome to the open mic portion!
palestinian youth movement – Building Solidarity against Militarization. Thursday, November 16 at 7 PM – 8:30 PM / East Side Arts Alliance: A Panel on Political Prisoners and Incarceration from Palestine, the US and the Philippines, with Sahar Francis of Addameer (the Palestinian Prisoner Support & Human Rights Association)
“I learned to use chopsticks when I was seven,” says our guest Dolores Huerta about growing up in diverse Stockton, California. Join us on Apex Express to hear Host Miko Lee and guest contributor Jalena Keane-Lee interview the legendary activist Dolores Huerta and filmmaker Peter Bratt all about the new documentary “Dolores“.
Dolores shares her experiences with intersectionality and community development. She talks about the Dolores Huerta Foundation which trains community activists and her struggle with making the film that features much of her personal life including interviews with many of her 11 children.
Peter Bratt talks about adding the human side to Dolores Huerta’s remarkable life. The film, produced by musician Carlos Santana, has been having sold out screenings throughout the Bay Area.
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.
On our new year spotlight, we look internationally at India and China exploring human rights issues and the complexity of micro finance.
Preeti Shekar talks with feminist author and academic Kalpana Karunakaran about her book: Women, Microfinance and the State in Neoliberal India. We examine how the politics of neoliberal economics impact women’s rights and organizing in India. They discuss how the Indian state, under the guise of fighting poverty and promoting women’s rights, manipulatively promotes micro finance among rural and poor women. We find that the reality on the ground is much more complex.
Chinese human rights activist Ye Haiyan, known as Hooligan Sparrow
Melissa Hung talks with filmmaker Nanfu Wong about Hooligan Sparrow, one of 15 films on the 2017 Oscar shortlist for best documentary. Wong follows Chinese human rights activist Ye Haiyan, known as Hooligan Sparrow, as she seeks justice for six girls who were raped. She organizes a protest but is arrested the next day. Upon release, Ye is harassed and tracked by the government. Wong herself becomes a target of intimidation tactics. She smuggled footage out of China in order to make this film. The film opens January 6 at the 4 Star Theater in San Francisco and screens January 9 at 7 p.m. at the the Roxie Theater.
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!