Shows: March 10, 2014

Photo for ''The Yellow Peril,' from Coolie to Googlebot'
Courtesy Fales Library, NYU
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Women's International Day Reaches the Philippines

In 1909, the United States celebrated the first International Women’s Day to honor the women who protested against poor working conditions during the1908 garment worker’s strike. On March 8, 2014 in New York City, AF3IRM and endorsing organizations, Al-Awda, UniPro, Legacy NY, Da Urban Butterflies, Sister Circle Collective and Ugnayan NY-NJ hosted a report-back on the exacerbated impact of sexual violence on women and children post Typhoon Yolanda.

As part of a collaborative project between the National Association of Asian and Pacific Islanders Ending Sexual Violence, we hear from both Ninotchka Rosca and Jollene Levid as they tell the stories of the women, organizers and leaders that they met in Leyte, Mindanao and Cebu who were impacted by the natural disaster of the Typhoon and/or were displaced due to ongoing conflict between the military and the Moro National Liberation Front. The three-week trip served as Phase 1 of a larger project to provide emergency shelters, counseling, medical services and recovery programs to victims of sexual violence and trafficking in disaster-prone areas in the Philippines.

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Bay Area Communities Fight Silicon Valley Tech Giants

The hypermodern glamor of Silicon Valley has always loomed large over the Bay Area, but lately, tech giants like Google and Twitter have moved into San Francisco and started to drastically reshape the social landscape of the city’s working-class communities. The wave of real estate speculation and gentrification has sent rents soaring across the Bay, and longtime residents say neighborhoods where communities of color, immigrant families and low-income seniors once thrived are now being torn apart and displaced. Various community groups have begun mobilizing to stop evictions and force the tech companies to pay their fair share in taxes, and have staged major protests targeting symbols of gentrification, like the infamous private Google Buses that have colonized public transit routes, to the distress of many locals. I spoke with some activists about how communities have been challenged by Silicon Valley’s hostile takeover, and how grassroots groups are raging against the tech machine.

First we spoke with Julia Carrie Wong, a San Francisco-based journalist and activist. She talked about the impact of a massive tax break, know as the Twitter Tax Break, which has effectively cost the city millions in revenue in exchange for token charity measures from the corporation.

Thanks to Dissent Magazine's Belabored Podcast (co-hosted by Michelle Chen and Sarah Jaffe), which first aired versions of these interviews.

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"The Yellow Peril," from Coolie to Googlebot

Whether we’re giggling at the grotesquely comical mischievous grin of Charlie Chan, or gazing at the ominous Asiatic octopus of sci-fi battle narratives—the “Yellow Peril” haunts our popular culture in the past, present and future.

The so-called “Yellow Menace”--the trope of Asian alien in literature, movies and politics--has taken many shapes over the years, from the mysterious Manchurian candidate to the hyperbolic descriptions of the super-smart model minority. In a compilation of centuries worth of Asian and Oriental cultural imagery, New York University scholars John Kuo Wei Tchen and Dylan Yeats have gathered a definitive archive of these images and tropes in Yellow Peril! An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear (Verso, 2014).

We speak with Tchen and Yeats about how the Yellow Peril has been defined and reinvented over the centuries, and what the Yellow Peril tells us about the racial and gender divisions we wrestle with everyday, the role of ethnic stereotypes in neoliberal global capitalism, how we can question and push beyond these two-dimensional images to envision a more inclusive society.

This interview was a collaboration with CultureStrike and the Asian American Writers Workshop.

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This program is brought to you by Olivia Canlas and Michelle Chen of the APF collective.

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