Shows: December 23, 2013

Photo for 'Serve the People: Chinatown's Forgotten Radical History'
Corky Lee

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Serve the People: Chinatown's Forgotten Radical History

It's become almost a cliche in political circles to assume that Asian Americans are politically apathetic or even conservative. But 40 years ago, New York's Chinatown was a hotbed of revolutionary fervor. The neighborhood was just transitioning from an enclave of mostly older male laborers to a vibrant family based immigrant community. Then young Asian American leftists moved in and spawned Marxist groups, grassroots health clinics and racial justice campaigns.

A new exhibit at the Interference Archive in Gowanus, "Serve the People," gives us a glimpse into this long-forgotten history of the early Asian American movement in Chinatown. We speak with curator Ryan Wong and bring you the voices of Chinatown's radical artists.

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Revolution in Chinatown's Streets

As an accompaniment to the "Serve the People" gallery exhibit at Interference Archive, we bring you sounds from the historical walking tour of Chinatown's famous sites of leftist activism. And we speak with Chinatown's photographer laureate Corky Lee about his experiences documenting the movement as a young activist in the 1970s.

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Fong Tran: Speaking Truth about History through Spoken Word

Fong Tran is a Vietnamese-American activist and spoken word poet based in California. Known as "Fong Batman" in his community, he uses poetry to reach out to marginalized youth, particularly young people of color. In his work as an advisor to the Cross Cultural Center of University of California Davis, he explores ways to integrate poetry and performance into grassroots activism and social justice work.

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War Continues on Korean Peninsula

2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the armistice signing on the Korean Peninsula, which means that it marks the 60th year that the two Koreas have been at war. Since the spring of this year, we’ve seen escalated war tensions demonstrated through the exchange of war exercises and threats of nuclear attacks, as well as ongoing U.N. economic sanctions on North Korea.

Professor Jae Jung Suh, who is a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, gave a talk last month at City College of New York on the continuing conditions of war, and commenting on the mainstream media’s one-sided coverage of the tensions, as well as the urgent need for a peace settlement on the Korean Peninsula.

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This program is brought to you by Michelle Chen and Danny Kim of the APF collective.

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