Pro-community, Anti-racist

#AZNxBLM is calling for solidarity between members and allies of our Asian community and the Black Lives Matter movement.

ROCK PAPER RADIO is a dispatch for misfits & unlikely optimists by your favorite hapa haole, beet-pickling, public radio nerd. It’s a weekly email newsletter that shares three curiosities every Thursday - something to hold on to (that’s the ‘rock’), something to read (that’s the ‘paper‘), and something to listen to (you guessed it, that’s the ‘radio’). Themes include but are not limited to: rebel violinists, immortal jellyfish, revolution. Thanks for subscribing and spreading the word.

Welcome to the finale week of #AZNxBLM releasesDid you miss last week’s projects or our kickoff issue? Never fear. From an unfiltered conversation on Black and Asian masculinity, to a queer exploration of style and identity, you can find our launch issue here, and last week’s issue here.

Every Thursday for the last few weeks of Asian Pacific Heritage Month, we’ve departed from ROCK PAPER RADIO’s usual format to bring you a new collection of solidarity-inspired projects from our crew of 21 artist-activists. Missing our old ways? Check out our archives here. If you’re new to our ROCK PAPER RADIO family and you’re wondering what this is all about, here’s our project’s mission:

#AZNxBLM is calling for solidarity and collaboration between members and allies of our Asian community and the Black Lives Matter movement. We are pro-community and anti-racist. We believe in the power of art and the insights of outsiders. We are cautiously but fiercely optimistic.

Thanks in advance for spreading the word. The best way to follow along is to join us on Instagram @rockpaperradio and to keep an eye on our new website here. #AZNxBLM is a project of ROCK PAPER RADIO and The Slants Foundation.

AZN LUV

Old Chingu is a Korean American musician and creator.

AZN LUV is an original song produced for #AZNxBLM by the unstoppable Philip Lee, better known as Old Chingu, which means old friend in Korean. Vocals, lyrics, and vision by Philip Lee. Production and engineering by Tyler Parker. Photography and digital art by Jae Houston.

I SEE IN COLOR

Joe Kye is a violinist-looper, composer, and storyteller based in Portland, Oregon. Austin Antoine is a multifaceted performance artist who blurs lines between music, poetry, and theatrics.

I SEE IN COLOR includes two audio art pieces: an original song and an interview sound collage featuring Joe and Austin in-conversation on their experiences as Asian and Black men in America. Check out their interview in last week’s issue of ROCK PAPER RADIO here.

Both pieces are focused on dismantling the concept of “colorblindness” and exploring the power of seeing and acknowledging all parts of ourselves and others, including race. The song is performed by Austin Antoine and Joe Kye, and was mixed and mastered by Sean Stack at Fat Cat Recording. Artwork by Ameya Okamoto.

TANGLED TO SOLIDARITY

Sophia Trinh is a Vietnamese American watercolor artist based in Seattle. 

Tangled to Solidarity is a short film and series of watercolor paintings that explore the importance of mindfulness of shared histories in solidarity work. Watercolors, film production, and voiceover by Sophia Trinh. The song is Synchronised by Ketsa. Audio production by me, Kristin Leong. 

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she and her and he and him and they and them and I and we

Shin Yu Pai is a visual artist, writer, and author of ten books of poetry. Arsalan Ibrahim is a Jeli of the Mande tradition who uses storytelling as a bridge between Africa and North America.

she and her and he and him and they and them and I and we is a text-based audio piece that examines the dehumanization of sexualized racism and the erasure of Asian and Black bodies. Audio by Shin Yu Pai and Arsalan Ibrahim. Visuals by Engin Akyurt.

“THERE IS NO ABSOLUTION”

Maylin Tu is a writer who grew up in Maine and Beijing. She is now based in Los Angeles where she writes about pop culture, religion and identity.

“There is no absolution”: An interview with Steph Cha is a written interview with author Steph Cha, whose novel, Your House Will Pay, is a fictionalized account of the tragic 1991 killing of Latasha Harlins. Cha’s book explores generational trauma, racial tensions between the Black and Asian communities in Los Angeles, and the fragility of hope.

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AND NOW WE KEEP GOING

That’s a wrap on issue 43 and all our #AZNxBLM projects! But this isn’t the end - my hope is that now that all of these creative explorations are in the world that this is just the start to a much larger, on-going movement.

Shout out to all of our #AZNxBLM artist-activists, Simon Tam and The Slants FoundationTED’s Mystery ExperimentKeri Zierler who produced our #AZNxBLM trailer, and to all of you—our ROCK PAPER RADIO fam.

If you have feedback for our artists, or ideas for what might be next, reach out. You can leave us a comment below, or if you’re a subscriber to ROCK PAPER RADIO you can hit reply on this email (love letters will be warmly welcomed).

Thank you, everyone! You all have been part of this community whirlwind over the past three months and #AZNxBLM wouldn’t be what it’s grown into today without all of your tuning in, speaking up, and spreading the word. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

See you all next Thursday. We’ll be back to our regular programming.

K.

You can find ROCK PAPER RADIO on Instagram and Twitter @RockPaperRadio.