‘Do you ever think about me?’: the children sex tourists leave behind

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Women on 2019-03-03 01:54Z by Steven

‘Do you ever think about me?’: the children sex tourists leave behind

The Guardian
2019-03-02

Margaret Simons, Associate Professor of Journalism
Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Brigette Sicat
Brigette Sicat knows that somewhere, far away, in a barely imaginable place called England, she has a father. Photograph: Dave Tacon

Their fathers visited the Philippines to buy sex: now a generation of children want to track them down

Brigette Sicat will not be going to school today. She sits, knees to chest, in a faded Winnie-the-Pooh T-shirt, on the double mattress that makes up half her home. At night, she curls up here with her grandmother and two cousins, beneath the leaky sheets of corrugated iron that pass for a roof. Today, the monsoon rain is constant and the floor has turned to mud.

Brigette, 10, and her 11-year-old cousin, Arianne, aren’t in school because they have a stomach bug. There is no toilet and no running water, and no means of cooking other than over an open fire. Even when she is well, Brigette is often too hungry to tackle the 10-minute walk to school. Brigette’s mother is a sex worker. And Brigette knows that somewhere, far away, in a barely imaginable but often-thought-of place called England, she has a father. She knows only his given name: Matthew.

Asked what she would say to him, were she able to send him a message, Brigette is at first stumped for words. Then she bursts out in Tagalog: “Who are you? Where are you? Do you ever think about me?” Her grandmother, Juana, her fingers swollen with arthritis and suffering from a lack of medication for her diabetes, sits by her side.

Juana, Arianne, Brigette and Arianne’s brother, Aris, survive on 200 pesos (£3) a day, contributed by Arianne and Aris’s father. (He drives a Jeepney – a public transport vehicle originally converted from Jeeps abandoned by the US military.) Juana, 61, tells me she thinks she may not live much longer. But she wants the girls to finish school, to keep them from working in the bars.

These are the slums of Angeles City in the Philippines, and the children here represent a United Nations of parentage. Their faces tell that story – fair skin, black skin, Korean features, caucasian. That’s because their fathers, like Brigette’s, are sex tourists

Read the entire article here.

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Mixed race of Asian and Western: Asia’s new standard of beauty

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Social Science on 2019-02-25 20:36Z by Steven

Mixed race of Asian and Western: Asia’s new standard of beauty

The Independent Singapore
2019-02-06


Asian celebrities with mixed race. (Photo: Screengrab from YouTube)

It seems the old adage, “Beauty is relative” is not true anymore, as what is beautiful for the Asians nowadays are those who have a mixed race—Asian and Western.

Certainly, the new standard of beauty has changed over the years. Large, double-lidded eyes, small sharp nose, narrow face, tall figure, and white skin—these Western qualities make Asians sigh and admire.

In today’s generation, those with Western features have come to represent the beauty ideal in many parts of Asia. There is a long list of mixed race celebrities, actors, models, and beauty titlists in many parts of Asia…

…The notion of “mixed races” in Asia was invented during the era of European imperialism from the early 1800s. The mix of Eastern and Western is referred to as Eurasian or Pan-Asian. As a matter of fact, these terms are relatively new, with no agreed-upon definition of either.

According to Emma Teng, the T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian civilizations at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, intermarriage and intermixing among ethnic groups date back to antiquity.

“After the Portuguese and other European traders arrived in China, mixed families emerged across different sites where Europeans and Chinese commonly interacted,” she said…

…Regarding mixed race as the more beautiful can result in an issue of racism. As this heightened to changing one’s perspective about beauty, there is a need to examine the notions of racialised beauty standards…

Read the entire article here.

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The Arresting Eye: Race and the Anxiety of Detection

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Passing on 2019-02-23 02:57Z by Steven

The Arresting Eye: Race and the Anxiety of Detection

University of Virginia Press
May 2015
224 pages
6×9 inches
Cloth ISBN: 9780813937014
Paper ISBN: 9780813937021
Ebook ISBN: 9780813937038

Jinny Huh, Associate Professor of English
University of Vermont

In her reading of detective fiction and passing narratives from the end of the nineteenth century forward, Jinny Huh investigates anxieties about race and detection. Adopting an interdisciplinary and comparative approach, she examines the racial formations of African Americans and Asian Americans not only in detective fiction (from Sherlock Holmes and Charlie Chan to the works of Pauline Hopkins) but also in narratives centered on detection itself (such as Winnifred Eaton’s rhetoric of undetection in her Japanese romances). In explicating the literary depictions of race-detection anxiety, Huh demonstrates how cultural, legal, and scientific discourses across diverse racial groups were also struggling with demands for racial decipherability. Anxieties of detection and undetection, she concludes, are not mutually exclusive but mutually dependent on each other’s construction and formation in American history and culture.

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In Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign, Indian Americans want more opportunities to connect

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-02-19 20:38Z by Steven

In Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign, Indian Americans want more opportunities to connect

NBC News
2019-02-12

Chris Fuchs

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during a rally launching her presidential campaign
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., at a rally launching her presidential campaign on Jan. 27 in Oakland, California. Noah Berger / AFP – Getty Images

While the California Democrat has caught the eyes of South Asian voters, some say her ethnic background isn’t enough for them to identify with her.

Shiv Dass, 82, recalls fondly the time he met Hillary Clinton when she visited Jackson Heights, in the Queens borough of New York City, while campaigning in the 2016 presidential election.

Dass, the owner of Lavanya, an Indian apparel store on 74th Street for almost a quarter century, described the Clintons as having a close relationship with the Indian-American community, owing in part to what he said was Bill Clinton’s support of India when he was president.

Now that a woman with Indian roots, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is running in the 2020 presidential race, Dass, a Democrat, will have some decisions to make.

“I am proud that she is Indian, but I will not support her because she is Indian,” Dass, who immigrated to the United States in 1966, said. “I will support her if she is good for us, good for the country.”

Harris, who kicked off her campaign in her hometown of Oakland in late January, was born to a Jamaican father and an Indian mother. She supports policies such as Medicare for all, debt-free college, and a tax cut that will benefit working families…

Read the entire article here.

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How My Southeast L.A. Culture Got to Japan

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2019-02-19 19:15Z by Steven

How My Southeast L.A. Culture Got to Japan

The New York Times
2019-02-19

Walter Thompson-Hernández

I grew up with Chicano and Chicana culture in Los Angeles and heard it had spread to Japan. I wondered: Is this cultural appropriation?

I grew up in southeast Los Angeles, the son of an African-American father and Mexican mother, and the concept of identity is a theme that has been central to my life and a thread that weaves through many of my stories. I heard a rumor that lowrider culture — a community with an affinity for cars, outfit with intricate designs, multicolored lights and heavily tinted windows that can be traced in Southern California to as far back as the 1940s — had traveled to Japan. Apparently a Japanese journalist came to Los Angeles in the early 1990s to cover a lowrider event and returned to Japan with photos and stories to share…

Read the story here and watch the video here.

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Nina Li Coomes

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Interviews, Media Archive on 2019-02-06 01:35Z by Steven

Nina Li Coomes

Speaking of Marvels: interviews about chapbooks, novellas, and books of assorted lengths
2018-03-26

William Woolfitt, Editor

nina

“how does one carry oneself in the between?”

haircut poems (dancing girl press, 2017)

Could you tell us a bit about your growing up and your path to becoming a writer?

I was born in Nagoya, Japan and moved with my family to the United States on January 1, 2000. Most of my writing is informed by the “between” of existing as both Japanese and American, existing in both of these places, even the literal travel it takes to get from one place to the next. I’m not sure what led me to start writing exactly. Perhaps it’s genetic. My mother has told me before that she wanted to be a writer as a child, and my father told my sister and I what he would call “verbal stories” for much of our time growing up. There’s something about growing up shuttling from one country to another though that impresses upon you just how temporary or fleeting something might be. In many ways, I think my writing comes from a place of urgency, of wanting to note everything in case it fades…

Which poem in your chapbook has the most meaningful back story to you? What’s the back story?

Perhaps not a backstory, but the poem “yesterday” draws from a couple snapshots. The preoccupation with red and red lips in particular comes from something I once heard at a Mixed Race Studies Conference about how after the war, in US occupied Japan, comfort women wore red lipsticks to signal their availability to American GIs. As you may know, comfort women were employed by the Japanese government in Korea, the Philippines, and even in Japan where certain women were designated a sexual buffer for soldiers, whether they were Japanese soldiers or American ones. I think this is a very shameful, condemnable part of history that needs to be better acknowledged. I also think a lot about how mixed-race children after the war were primarily borne of this violence, and what it means to come from violent histories, and how one might reconcile ore reclaim them…

Read the entire interview here.

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What Miyazaki’s Heroines Taught Me About My Mixed-Race Identity

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2019-02-06 01:17Z by Steven

What Miyazaki’s Heroines Taught Me About My Mixed-Race Identity

Catapult
2017-10-16

Nina Coomes

Miyazaki tells us something about bodies in flux: There is no easy answer; only the conflict, the question.”

One summer day when I was nine, I climbed into a hair stylist’s chair and asked them to cut my hair to my ears. Until that point, I’d always had a head of long hair tumbling over my shoulder, useful for coquettish tossing when I imagined myself as Snow White or Cinderella. I had never worn short hair, had never wanted it; I’d always thrived on girliness that fed into my obsession with imitating what I perceived to be the ultra-feminine Disney princess archetype. But that summer, sitting in a chair too tall for me, I asked the friendly lady with the scissors to take it all. After a moment of thought, I told her, “Short—like a princess raised by wolves.”

I was referencing San, from Hayao Miyazaki’s Mononoke-hime or Princess Mononoke. In the film, San is a human girl left as a sacrifice to the gods of the mountain by her human parents, raised by the very god to whom she was sacrificed—Moro, a wolf-like Inu gami—and convinced, as a result, that she too is a wolf. When the viewer meets San for the first time, her small face is pressed to an open wound in her wolf-mother’s flesh. She turns her head toward the viewer, momentarily breaking the fourth wall, her face smeared in bright red. She spits a jet of blackening blood and rubs her fist along the edge of her chin, as if to wipe the stain of blood from her face. The utter humanness of this gesture, paired with her clear physical intimacy with the wolf-god, immediately casts her identity into conflict—a theme to be played over and over throughout the movie. Is San a wolf? Is she a girl? Is she neither, or both, or something in between?…

Read the entire article here.

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haircut poems

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Poetry on 2019-02-06 01:01Z by Steven

haircut poems

Dancing Girl Press
2017

Nina Li Coomes

haircut poems | Nina Li Coomes

Nina Li Coomes is a Japanese and American writer, performer, producer and artist. She was born in Nagoya, raised in Chicago, and currently resides in Boston, MA. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in EATER, Catapult, The Collapsar, RHINO poetry, and The Margins, among other places.

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A promise kept

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Biography, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2019-02-03 02:17Z by Steven

A promise kept

The Korea Times
2019-02-02

Kang Hyun-kyung


The late Park Geun-sik (1954-2009) is captured in this photo taken in December 1992 in front of Korean-Amerasians Association in Seoul. He was one of the first batch of biracial Koreans born to a Korean mother and a U.S. soldier. / Noonbit Publishing

Photographer chronicles biracial Koreans living as strangers in homeland

Park Geun-sik, a biracial farmer and human rights activist who died of stomach cancer in 2009, had a dream that remained unfulfilled until his death.

Park, who was called Peter during his childhood for his half-Korean, half-Caucasian appearance, wanted his home country to remember people like him who were born to Korean mothers and American soldiers during and after the 1950-53 Korean War.

They were called “GI babies” when they were young and later “Korean-Amerasians” after they became adults. They were depicted by opinion leaders here as the “tragic outcome” of the war.

GI babies were the first batch of biracial Koreans who lived in this country, decades before the nation saw a surge of biracial children born to Korean fathers and foreign brides from Central and Southeast Asian countries who have been migrating to Korea since the 1990s.

Unlike now, when biracial children are entitled to various types of policy support and protection from the government, back then the GI babies were treated like unwanted children. Without policy support, they were bullied and discriminated against by their classmates in school and racial bias continued even after graduation.

Park’s humble dream ― the nation recognizing GI babies as part of Korea’s traumatic modern history and admitting the country’s mistreatment of them ― came true after his death.

Documentary photographer Lee Jae-gab, 53, chronicled the tragic lives of half-Koreans born during or after the Korean War and published four photo books based on the images he captured over the past 26 years…

Read the entire article here.

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Jhené Aiko and the Problem of Multiracial Self-Representation

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2019-02-02 03:53Z by Steven

Jhené Aiko and the Problem of Multiracial Self-Representation

Hapa Music is Black and Brown
Discover Nikkei
2019-01-29

Sonia C. Gomez, Postdoctoral Fellow
Mahindra Humanities Center
Harvard University


Jhené Aiko. Photo courtesy of The come Up Show.

At the 2018 VH1 Mother’s Day music tribute concert titled, Dear Mama: A Love Letter to Moms, Grammy nominated singer and songwriter Jhené Aiko recited this poem she wrote for her mother, Christina Yamamoto, a woman of African American and Japanese ancestry:

“I found another grey hair today but I was not bothered at all. I feel like I earned it. I’m better, I’m wiser, I’m leveling up overall. I am becoming my mother, my beautiful mother, who taught me with age, comes might. I’m becoming my mother, my beautiful mother, she is love in the flesh, what a sight.”

Afterwards, Aiko and her young daughter, Namiko Love, serenaded the audience with an original song Aiko wrote titled, Sing to Me. The performance was a touching display of affection between three generations of women, and as such, offers an opportunity to reflect on the role Aiko’s mother’s racial heritage has played in Aiko’s musical career. After all, she is her mother’s daughter.

Jhené Aiko Chilombo was born in 1988 in Los Angeles to Christina Yamamoto, a woman who is African American and Japanese, and Karamo Chilombo, a man of mixed-Black and Native American ancestry. Aiko is one of five siblings who grew up in a multiracial and tight-knit family from Ladera Heights, a Black middle-class enclave in south Los Angeles. Aiko’s sister, Mila J, is a singer, songwriter, and dancer herself…

Read the entire article here.

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