If there is a positive outcome of experience racism as a college student, it’s that it provides a catalyst for organizing and uniting with anti-racist peers from a diverse (hopefully?) group of communities across campus. Sometimes it’s that added level of consciousness to the “I’m Asian American. YEAH!” sentiment that often comes with simply being part of a larger, more diverse environment.
And that consciousness is becoming more and more necessary these days it seems. Just a cursory search on Angry Asian Man yields recent story results of suspected or documented hate crimes against Asian American students from California to Texas to Indiana to Alabama.
“”Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.””—
looking for a filmmaker to produce documentary on soviet koreans
Got this unusual but fascinating request from a longtime reader… Jon Chang has spent the last five years collecting extensive interviews, photographs and other research on the Korean experience in Soviet Russia, and is looking for a filmmaker to produce a documentary on the amazing stories of these Soviet Koreans. Jon explains:
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Jon Chang and I am looking for a filmmaker or film student to produce a documentary film on Soviet Koreans. In the last 5 years or so, I have collected roughly 66 interviews, numerous video and about one hundred or so photographs of Koreans who were deported from the Russian Far East (e.g. Vladivostok) to Central Asia. 62 of the 67 Koreans were from 7 to 25 years old at the time of deportation (1937). I have tape and video of the interviews, which were conducted in Russian and Korean (Hamgyong dialect). The Soviet Koreans had many interesting stories to tell regarding life in Stalin’s Soviet Union regarding life, sport, tigers, opium and WWII. Some of the most interesting stories, however, are in regards to inter-relationships with the Chinese, Russians and then post-deportation, with the Kazakhs and Uzbeks. I also have many ( 120 or ) scanned photos dating from 1910 to the present. In many ways, their lives are analogous to those of Asians in America. I have enclosed a picture of a Korean family taken in Khabarovsk, 1923 and that of Mikhail An who was elected captain along with Fedorov of the 1980 Soviet Olympic futbol team. He tragically died in a plane crash in August of 1979 before the Olympics. Optimally, I am looking for a filmmaker who can understand and write either Russian or Korean. However, I am fluent in Russian and have translated almost all of the material into English.
It sounds like a fascinating, untold slice of history. If you’re a filmmaker or film student who is interested helping to get this documentary produced, or perhaps connect him with someone who can, email Jon Chang at firstname.lastname@example.org
“The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing today on a bill that would require hospitals to check patients’ immigration status. Senate Bill 1405 would require hospitals to confirm an individual is a legal resident before admitting him or her for non-emergency care. The hospital would have to notify federal immigration officers if the individual was not in the country legally. The bill would allow hospitals to provide emergency care to illegal immigrants, but it would require them to report the individuals once the care was completed. Hospitals that failed to comply with the law could be sued.”—
This is just about the most appalling thing I’ve read in a long time. Women who are hemorrhaging, or who have been beaten or who have sick children use hospitals too. And people wonder how that fucked up shit in Philly could happen.
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, considered by many to be the one of the world’s leading ‘Marxist-feminist-deconstructionists’, talks about notions of identity, her evolution as an intellectual and her present-day concerns. Excerpts from an exclusive interview…
As I wait for Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak in her brand new office at New York’s ivy-league Columbia University where she is University Professor in the Humanities — the only woman of colour to be bestowed the University’s highest honour in its 264-year history — I admit I am nervous.
At 68, Spivak is — and has long been — a celebrity academic, dubbed by The New York Times as ‘famously hard-to-understand’.
But as she enters — crewcut hair, haversack on shoulder, wearing a sari — her disarming smile puts me at ease….
You travel the world in a sari. Is that a statement of identity?
Not really. I wear a sari…I always have worn one….. You know, I am 68 years old. It’s the most convenient thing for me…it never occurred to me that I should change… I am not an identitarian. I sometimes wear Western clothes but most of the time I wear saris because they are cheaper and second, I feel all the fashion efforts made for saris go against the grain of that free flowing garment. I don’t think of it as traditional because this way of wearing the sari came about from conversations with the Tagore family women and women from Bombay in order to make the sari more manageable for riding cycles and so on. Also people give me saris and so it is economical. . I don’t know what my identity is or anything… I think the sari is a contemporary garment. I wear Western clothes and 57 per cent of the time I wear a sari.
You were very young when you came to America…
Weren’t you uncomfortable about standing out?
I’ve always stood out! (laughs). I was incredibly tall and a very strange kind of person. I was quite used to standing out. That’s a silly remark to make but it’s a fact. Whether one stands out for a good reason or not, that’s another thing.…No, it didn’t bother me in the least. Although I was 19, at home I was already a 2nd year MA student and I had come here to do graduate work and, in 4 years, I was an Assistant Professor so I was very precocious and not at all like a starry-eyed teenager. Also at that time, 1961, before Lyndon Johnson raised the quota, not too many Indians came to the United States in the English dept. I felt really that I knew everything about the US. You know, I was a Calcutta girl… I had read Time magazine and all that stuff. There were no novels talking about immigrants and so on and I didn’t know that I was supposed to feel any kind of cultural this that. I just came and started going to class and never thought about the fact that wearing a sari was an odd thing. And that was also the way my Indian citizenship has remained intact. I never thought that I was supposed to change.
You’ve spent most of your life in America….
How do you see yourself? As an Indian or someone from America?
I don’t really know. I don’t know how a person actually thinks an identity. I think it’s probably something that came about from this process of national liberation. You were thinking that you belonged to this nation and that you should be free but I am truly not very concerned about questioning myself about my identity and so on, so I can’t give u a fully-fledged answer to this question. I think one manufactures a stereotype for oneself and I don’t think that’s a very interesting thing one’s own stereotype about oneself, so I don’t spend very much time thinking about it.
Asian Pacific Coalition: a 40+ year heritage of Asian American and Pacific Islander student leaders, movers, shakers, and agitators at UCLA and in the greater Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
Asian Pacific Coalition Internship: this isn’t any standard
The battered-looking pickup truck careens over a Southwestern United States landscape, with cartoon men, women, and children bouncing out of the back. As the passengers land on the ground, the truck moves on, belching thick exhaust.
That’s the setup of a new game that a Boston-area studio is planning to release next month on Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad, as well as the Internet. The object of Smuggle Truck: Operation Immigration is to cross the treacherous US border without losing too many immigrants.
The Watertown studio Owlchemy Labs LLC said yesterday that the game is meant as a satirical comment on the difficulties of immigrating to the United States.
Immigration advocates see it differently.
“It’s a tasteless and horrible joke,’’ said Eva Millona, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, the largest immigrant advocacy group in New England. “Thousands of people die crossing the border.’’
Millona said she watched a video trailer for the game yesterday and was appalled to see cartoon babies bouncing out of the truck.
“I was almost in tears the way it turned tragedy into a joke,’’ she said.
One of the game’s cocreators, Alex Schwartz, 23, said a friend’s efforts to navigate immigration laws inspired him and his partner at the two-person Owlchemy, Yilmaz Kiymaz, to create Smuggle Truck.
“This is our way of bringing more attention to the immigration problem, which we think deserves more light,’’ Schwartz said. “I don’t see why an iPhone game can’t comment on topics that are serious. A political cartoonist can make this kind of statement. Why can’t a game developer?’’
The game, which is in the final stages of development, is not yet available on the iPhone or iPad. All games and applications, or apps, that run on Apple’s devices must be approved by the company, and Apple regularly rejects applications that it deems obscene, offensive, or defamatory.
Apple did not respond to a request for a comment on Smuggle Truck yesterday.
But even if the company does turn down the game, Owlchemy intends to release it online, Schwartz said. In fact, a short video trailer for the game is already available on smuggletruck.com and Facebook.
When the game is released, in late March, Schwartz said the studio is planning to charge $2.99 for the iPad game and $1.99 for the iPhone version.
Schwartz said that over the last few weeks he has been asking patrons at a localStarbucks to try the game, and the response has been “overwhelmingly positive.’’
“They get the idea that this is a comment on immigration, not just a joke,’’ he said. “You can’t judge it just by looking at a video and some screenshots.’’
He added that the scenes of the Southwest US depicted in the trailer are from the first level of the game. Subsequent levels take place in a forest and in underground caves in an attempt to broaden the message about immigration, he said. The developers have also been “meticulous in avoiding stereotypes,’’ Schwartz said.
But Millona, of the immigrant and refugee coalition, said that while she doesn’t dispute Owlchemy’s right to publish the game, she does not believe illegal immigration is an appropriate topic.
“These people are crossing the border because they are desperate,’’ she said. “I don’t think we should be turning a tragedy into a game.’’
"My grandfather was a gruff Polish man who lived through WWII and came to the US with no knowledge of English and just one suitcase. More than anyone else, my grandfather raised me. After he died, I thought I would never hear his voice again. Just a year ago, though, I came across my grandmother’s old answering machine and was able to save this last recording of a harsh man who loved me so dearly."
It's a pretty interesting video about the effects of Immigration on the UK. Also about myths about immigrants, like how they "steal" jobs easily and such. I thought of this tumblr when I watched it :)
“This week, we saw a white, Catholic, Republican federal judge murdered on his way to greet a Democratic woman, member of Congress, who was his friend and was Jewish. Her life was saved initially by a 20-year-old Mexican-American college student, who saved her, and eventually by a Korean-American combat surgeon… And then it was all eulogized and explained by our African-American president. And, in a tragic event, that’s a remarkable statement about the country.”—