South Berkeley Snapshots

I walk around my neighborhood observing the colors, textures, and creatures around me. This series reflects my appreciation for the soft and calm corners of South Berkeley.

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Reclaiming My Year

I received a text from a friend the other night: “Mulan is on t.v.! Because it’s Chinese New Year!” I sent back a dragon and a monkey emoji and flipped on my television. I was making mandu, my own small ritual to celebrate the Korean Lunar New Year, and as I finished up folding the delicate wonton skins I caught the end of the movie.

I received a text from a friend the other night: “Mulan is on t.v.! Because it’s Chinese New Year!” I sent back a dragon and a monkey emoji and flipped on my television. I was making mandu, my own small ritual to celebrate the Korean Lunar New Year, and as I finished up folding the delicate wonton skins I caught the end of the movie. I watched Mulan save the emperor of China, garner respect and honor for her family, and live happily ever after with hunky Captain Li Shan.

Remembering countless viewings from my childhood I couldn’t help myself from being moved by the totally corny (and culturally reductive) story. For many East Asian folks of my generation this film was of the only mainstream depictions we saw featuring people that looked like us (even if they were cartoons). As I sat there, waiting for my dumplings to cook through, what at first felt so heart-warming evolved into anger and sadness.

Continue reading “Reclaiming My Year”

An Interview with Filmmaker RENEE TAJIMA-PEÑA on “NO MÁS BÉBES”

I interviewed professor and filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña about her most recent documentary, No Más Bébes (No More Babies). The film follows the stories of ten Chicana women who underwent forced sterilization procedures after giving birth via cesarean section in the L.A. County Hospital in the early 1970s. The film chronicles the resulting class-action lawsuit (Madrigal v. Quilligan) and sheds light on this landmark reproductive justice case.

Read the interview on the Center for Asian American Media Blog.

More information on No Más Bébes can be found here.

A Chat with Karin Chien of “China Now: Independent Visions”

“Featuring the work of Ai Weiwei, Li Luo, Huang Ji, Zou Xueping and Yang Mingming among many others, CHINA NOW highlights the importance and innovation of independent artists in mainland China. With the tour continuing in Europe and North America, it is first time many of these films will be viewed on a world stage.”

Read the full article on The Center for Asian American Media Blog

Originally published November 2015

“Pacific Worlds” – Community Voices Lead at the Oakland Museum

“The idea of the Pacific “on display” made me anxious. Were Pacific Islander communities involved in putting together the exhibition? Would it do them justice? Throughout Western history, colonialist countries have used cultural institutions like museums to showcase their occupied territories to the general public. These practices boiled down the cultures of colonized people to simplistic, stereotypical representations serving to justify violence and exploitation. While I did not expect my wildest colonialist nightmares to come true at OMCA, this long legacy of misrepresentation was not far from my mind.”

Read the full article on the Center For Asian American Media Blog

Originally published August 2015