“Within the human body and the body of a book, the appendix is considered extraneous. This is not unlike the personal and historical trauma buried in cultural memories. In lucid moments of stress or pain, this organ and its unread cultural histories push their way into significance, carrying weight on an overlooked past, present and future.”
This is the powerful description given by Diana Li and Erina C Alejo — fellows of the Asian American Women Artists Association — for “Appendix”, an exhibit they are curating at the Pacific Heritage Museum in San Francisco. Featuring the work of ten Asian American women and queer artists local to northern California, “Appendix” will explore the artists’ narratives of trauma — physical, mental, emotional and historical — and their efforts to dissect, reclaim, and empower the intergenerational memories of their personal and our collective experience(s).
On November 23rd, 67-year-old Tai Lam — who was homeless — was sleeping in an alley near Crocker Galleria in San Francisco when surveillance video shows an unknown suspect running up to him and kicking him repeatedly while he lies in his sleeping bag on the ground.
That video was released today by SFPD (after the jump), who are seeking the public’s help in identifying the unknown assailant, and two other attackers who returned moments later to resume the fatal beating.
Last week, nearly 300 dim sum workers won a landmark $4 million dollar settlement from major San Francisco-area restaurant chain, Yank Sing. The workers, who did not have the benefits of a union, were forced to endure multiple labour violations, including retaliatory action and wage theft.
With help from the Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Asian Law Caucus and Chinese Progressive Association, the workers organized a “do-it-yourself” collective bargaining action, including strikes and walkout during high volume business hours. The action worked: in response to the collective action, Yank Sing came to the bargaining table and agreed to the massive settlement, along with agreeing to offer workers a raise, holiday pay and more transparency in scheduling and worker rights. Yank Sing also agreed to offer full healthcare coverage for their workers, a benefit currently made available by only 10% of restaurants nationwide.
“Once upon a time it was rare to find any Asians in prestigious art schools.”
This is the first sentence of groundbreaking artist Bernice Bing’s statement for the 1990 six-woman exhibit “Completing the Circle” featuring notable Chinese American female artists, and which showed at the Southern Exposure Gallery, San Francisco. That this is how Bing chose to begin her statement is telling; Bernice Bing was one of the nation’s earliest Asian American artists to break into the elite world of modern art.
Earlier last week, I wrote about a resolution authored by San Francisco Board of Supervisors representative David Chiu prohibiting sex-selective abortion bans. Those bans have been built upon racist, anti-Asian logic to reduce abortion access for all women, and in particular to stigmatize reproductive health for Asian American women. Chiu’s resolution, which would ban sex-selective abortion restrictions in San Francisco and call on other city and state legislators around the country to do the same, was co-authored by fellow Supervisors Jane Kim, Katy Tang, London Breed and Malia Cohen.
Chiu’s resolution (read the full text here) was on the agenda for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ meeting yesterday, and NBC News reports that the resolution was fully endorsed by the board without the need to go to a vote.
That makes San Francisco the first city to ban these racist abortion restrictions, sending a powerful message to the rest of the country.
Since 2001, Reappropriate has been the web's foremost Asian American activism, identity, feminism, and pop culture blog!