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!
“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.
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.
Today is April 30th, a very significant date to the Vietnamese people. It was 40 years ago today that the U.S. imperialist army was forced out of Viet Nam, ending what was known in the U.S. as the “Viet Nam War” and what was known in Viet Nam as the “American War,” a war that marked a long history of anti-colonial struggle in the country and that killed millions in Viet Nam, Laos, and Cambodia.
Colonialists, International Traitors, Think Carefully Before You Take Vietnam – To Lien (1978)
Tonight’s APEX Express is dedicated to commemorating the legacy of the Viet Nam War on the Vietnamese people – both in Viet Nam and in the Vietnamese diaspora here in the U.S. A complicated history in a divided country, we want to hear the voices of those impacted by the war, as well as those who resisted that war 40-50 years ago.
We will hear a personal commentary produced by APEX Contributor Yvonne Tran, pieced together out of conversations she had with her mother. Then, we have three guests live in the studio to talk more about the impacts of the war and to preview a community intergenerational teach-in happening in Oakland this Saturday called “Spirit of Viet Nam Is Stronger Than U.S. Bombs.” Our speakers include:
Thuy Trang Nguyen (VietUnity)
Michael Wong (Veterans for Peace, Chapter 69)
Armael Malinis (Migrante SF)
And we’ll play some awesome songs and historic speeches that came out in the ’60s and ’70s during the war!
Don’t miss it.
Tonight’s show is also in tribute to the thousands who lost their lives, and are still recovering, from the devastating earthquake in Nepal.
Below is a list of women-led organizations that have asked for support for their long-term responses to the crisis. They are already mobilizing their communities to take action and welcome donations at this time.
ACHA Himalayan Sisterhood – Funds will go to support recovery efforts for Tibetan refugees, and other minority groups, in Nepal.
The Global Fund for Women – Funds will go to support grassroots women’s groups in Nepal to assist women and girls impacted by this disaster.
The Nepal Women’s Fund (TEWA) – Funds will go to support community needs assessments and to mobilize grassroots women’s groups to rebuild and strengthen rural areas of Nepal.
Tonight’s edition we revisit the R.J. Lozada’s trip to the Philippines and bring you an interview with Brandon Lee, a human rights worker who moved from the United States to the Philippines to be with his family and serve the people. Lee is currently being threatened by authorities in the Philippines, and we’ll talk to some of his friends and fellow organizers about how people can help protect Brandon and other activists.
We bring you thoughts from the vigil for slain Bangladeshi blogger Avijit Roy.
To conclude, we’ll bring you a lively discussion by Preeti Shekar Mangala with noted journalist and author Sandip Roy on his debut novel that has already been making waves, Don’t Let Him Know.
Listen to an expanded cut of Sandip Roy’s Interview:
Krisantha Sri Bhaggiyadatta
Reading and Reception
Visiting Sri Lankan Canadian poet from Toronto makes a rare U.S. West Coast appearance
Thursday April 2, 6:30-8:30PM at Kearney Street Workshop (ARC Studios and Gallery – 1246 Folsom St., San Francisco)
Free & open to the public
Suggested $5 donation (all proceeds go to the artist)
Light snacks provided
Co-sponsored by Kearny Street Workshop
KRISANTHA SRI BHAGGIYADATTA plays on the links between history, Sri Lanka and the Americas, Africa and Asia. He was a broadcaster of the radio show Bourgeois Blues, Bourgeois News on Toronto’s CKLN (now banned). He is presently compiling: A Very Personal English History of the World. His books of poetry include: Transfixed in Twilight (2015), Cheqpoint in Heaven (2005), Aay Wha’ Kinda Indian Arr U? (1997, 2015), The 52nd State of Amnesia (1992), The Only Minority is the Bourgeoisie (1985), and Domestic Bliss (1981). He has read poetry in Colombo, Kandy, Beijing, Port of Spain, New York, San Francisco, London, and Toronto.
On Memory and Place: Writing Workshop with Manilatown’s Tony Robles
April 4, 11, 17 & May 2, 1-3 PM at I-Hotel Manilatown Center (868 Kearny St., San Francisco)
Join Kearny Street Workshop for a 4-part writing workshop exploring the sacred places where our poetical sense of community blossoms and grows. Guided by Tony Robles, participants will write about their sense of home, sense of self, and sense of place. We will draw inspiration from the works of Asian Pacific American literary elders such as Jeff Tagami, Shirley Ancheta, Al Robles, and others who explore the heart of Manilatown, the heart in exile, and what it means to come home.
On tonight’s show, we travel to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea — better known here in the U.S. as North Korea. Ellen Choy, Caitlin Kee, and Steph Lee visited the DPRK last summer as part of the Korea Exposure and Education Program (KEEP), an annual delegation of Korean American activists to both sides of Korea, one year to the north and the other to the south, to build person-to-person understanding.
We’ll feature an interview with Ellen, Caitlin, and Steph — as well as clips from a short documentary that was produced by JT Takagi, Hye-Jung Park and Chris Kang and Third World Newsreel.
First we hear from Marie Choi and her interview with Hawaiin Slack-Key Guitarist. Slack-key is a style of playing that Makana began learning at age eleven. Since then he’s won several awards, and his music has been featured in many big-name movies. The guitarist, singer, and composer made headlines in 2011 when he played his protest song, “We Are the Many” at the APEC World Leaders’ Dinner. Since then, he’s continued to evolve, creating Hawaiian music that speaks to the realities of our time.
We’ll also hear from Kini Zamora, a Native Hawaiian fashion designer on Season 13 of Project Runway!
On Monday, August 4, the International Hotel Manilatown Heritage Foundation is holding a press conference to mark the 37th anniversary of the I-Hotel eviction which led to the displacement of Chinese and Filipino elders who called the I-Hotel their home. That’s Monday from 12 – 1 pm
On Tuesday August 5 at 7 pm, the Dragon Fruit Project holds a celebration of its work at the GLBT History Museum in San Francisco’s Castro District. The Dragon Fruit Project collects and curates stories from Asian and Pacific Islander LGBT communities and they want you to join them for their first big exhibit!
On Thursday, August 7 from 2 – 3 pm, join Chinese Progressive Association’s Youth Movement for Justice Organizing at their Rally for Affordability on the steps of the City Hall In SF. Hear stories about their families and struggles to live in San Francisco. There will be guerilla theater performances and more to demand families be able to stay in San Francisco!
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
Winners of Asian Pacific Fund’s writing contest, “Growing Up Asian in America.” (L to R, back row: Divya Prakash, Nikhita Gopisetty, Joshua Ko, Kavya Padmanbhan, Alex Yang, Jasjit Mundh. L to R, front row: Amelia Ny, Emily Yang, Elisabeth Kam.)
This week we hear some amazing youth voices and from youth educators.
We’ll be sharing with you some of the winning essays from the Asian Pacific Fund’s Growing Up Asian in America essay contest.
Pin@y Educational Partnerships (PEP) at ISEED (Institute for Sustainable Economic, Educational, and Environmental Design)
Rod Daus-Magbual, Ph.D., Associate Director of Curriculum at PEP
In the studio, Rod Daus-Magbual, Associate Director of Curriculum at Pin@y Educational Partnerships (PEP) in the studio with us, and for the hour, we’ll be discussing youth and education: From the work that PEP does to inspire their students, and be inspired by them, to more ethnic studies courses in high schools, to building the next generation of teachers–the terrain is vast and there’s a lot to cover.
On Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11, Queer Rebels present SPIRIT: A Century of Queer Asian Activism. From the Asian avant-garde to 1960’s activists, Angel Island poets to Slam champions, the Queer Asian Diaspora comes alive through performance, films, and a panel discussion in this three-part extravaganza. https://www.facebook.com/events/187766414706008/
On Saturday, May 11 A History of the Body, a new play by Aimee Suzara. A History of the Body brings together text, dance, and visual projections that explore themes of decolonization, and beauty when three Filipina women meet in a beauty salon. For tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5679044174/efblike
The Crumbles, an indie rock slice-of life feature and winner of the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2012 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (now CAAM Fest), screens at the Roxie Theatre on Saturday at multiple times. The cast and crew will be in attendance. https://www.facebook.com/events/448017581948589/
Have you wondered what we do to bring you our show every week? Well on Saturday, May 11 at noon at the KPFA studio, APEX Express and the Unpaid Staff Organization of KPFA present Behind the Curtain: How Great Radio is Made. Learn how we produce our weekly magazine-style show and find out how you can join the APEX Express collective. https://www.facebook.com/events/166744520155666/