April 1, 2021

How can we make space to grieve and heal?

/// April 2021 ///

The collective grief we have been experiencing throughout the pandemic has only been amplified by the rise in hate crimes against AAPI people across the US. Making space to grieve and heal, while understanding that these things are not a linear process, is so important right now. As APANO’s statement with ways to support states, we must care for each other and work together to root out the racism that threatens all of us. Below is a list of BIPOC makers, radical thinkers, and doers who can guide and ground us, featuring recommendations by Cultural Work Volunteer Alisa Chen at alisa.chen@apano.org and APANO's Arts & Media Project (AMP) members.


HOME a film by Kyoko Takenaka– In “Home,” artist and filmmaker Kyoko Takenaka unveils a visual and sonic portrait of belonging and memory in four chapters. Calling upon the experiences that underline their otherness as an Asian-American, this film uses original song, poetry, video clips, audio recordings, and digital conversations to capture real life experiences over the course of seven years. “Home” is a multimedia statement on how the affirmation of culture, resistance and resilience can disrupt enduring myths and redeem our histories.

Standing Above the Clouds– This film by Jalena Keane-Lee follows Native Hawaiian mother-daughter activists as they stand to protect their sacred mountain Mauna Kea from the building of the world’s largest telescope. Director Jalena Keane-Lee co-founder of Breaktide Productions, a women of color video production company in the Bay area. Jalena is a 2018 NeXt Doc Fellow and a 2018 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow. Currently, she is directing her first documentary feature following a young menstrual activist fighting to end the tampon tax.

Portland-based Asian American restaurant and food cart owners form alliance called Rice Bowl Posse, and discuss how to heal and move forward from Atlanta: The Atlanta shooting was a wake up call for the nation, but it was nothing new for these local entrepreneurs. Listen to their conversation about their experiences as Asian Americans in the food industry, and their formation called Rice Bowl Posse. Listen to their plans to uplift local, BIPOC and queer owned businesses, and how you can support.


PDX Climbers of Color at Portland Rock Gym– PDX Climbers of Color will be hosting a POC coimb night at PRG on Wednesday, April 14th from 7-9:15pm. The entrance fee will be discounted to $10; due to COVID-19, there are only 18 spaces available so sign up here!

Gather with AAPIs to gather amidst the heightened awareness of violence against our community this past year for a free workshop entitled Healing from Racial Violence on April 26 at 4PM. On this full moon, mental health practitioners Jessica Strom and Valerie Yeo will offer activities to mindfully bring awareness and move participants through collective rage and grief. The workshop will include therapeutic elements, but it is not a therapy space. If you are figuring out if therapy should be a tool for you, go to APANO's covid resource page for AAPI and Desi counselors and led-services in Oregon.

South Asia’s Best Kept Secret: Repackaging Caste in the Diaspora– This talk will be hosted by Yaschica Dutt, a prominent anti-caste journalist. In this student-faculty collaborated talk she will be joined by Professor Shefali Chandra of Washington University and members of the student group Ekta to discuss how caste “is the invisible arm that turns the gear in nearly every system in India,” and how this invisible arm has extended its reach to the diaspora. Register here!


Craig Santos Perez on Habitat Threshold– This episode of For The Wild features Craig Santos Perez to discuss the connection between tourism and militarism, Guåhan’s layered history and his most recent book of eco-poetry Habitat Threshold, which intimately explores ancestry, ecological collapse and the ongoing legacy of capitalism, imperialism and colonization. In addition to his work as an associate professor at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa, Perez is an Indigenous Chamorro poet, scholar, activist, and educator from Guam who has written five books of poetry and is the co-editor of five literary anthologies.

Busting Myths, Exposing Truth: India’s Settler Colonialism in Kashmir On this episode of The Kashmir PodcastAther Zia discusses the current situation in Kashmir, the issue of settler colonialism, the myths of development after abrogation of article 370, the agency of Kashmiri women and also talks about Ather’s prose and poetry books.


Covering Anti-Asian Hate– In this special issue of Chinese Storytellers the writers work to further our conversation about how the media covered the shootings in Atlanta and how this affects us. Chinese Storytellers is a community celebrating the work of Chinese non-fiction creators– you can check out their Twitter here.

Interior Chinatown– By Author Charles Yu, this novel is about Willis Wu, the “Generic Asian Man” who longs for more than just background roles where he serves as the “Background Oriental Male” or “Delivery Guy.” Yu uses the narrative structure of the screenplay format to tell Wu’s story. The novel was both a 2020 National Book Award Winner and a New York Times Bestseller, and has been dubbed “one of the funniest books of the year… a delicious, ambitious Hollywood satire” by The Washington Post.I'm a new Text block ready for your content.

If you have BIPOC art and culture to add to this list or additional resources, please contact Cultural Work Coordinator Roshani Thakore or Cultural Work Volunteer Alisa Chen.

This programming content brought to you by APANO Communities United Fund, a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.