Material that has helped inform my understanding of my Asian American identity, in some way or other.
Actors & Comedians
Magazines & News Sources
Collectives & Orgs
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
with questions, recommendations for the archive or library, suggestions for collaboration, or other thoughts.
COLLECTIVES & ORGS……
WHAT IS THIS? A female art collective started by two current RISD graphic design students, Esther Fan and Olivia Park, as a way to address racial and feminist issues in the Asian American community. They formed in 2015 and have only produced a couple of projects, but they’re busy fostering an online community of self-identified Sad Asian Girls fighting against stereotypes of Asian women.
WHY IS IT INCLUDED HERE? SAGC has an unapologetic, in-your-face defiance that makes a fool of anyone who still thinks of Asian American women as passive, submissive, exotic, etc. Even though for me, the way SAGC’s co-founders articulate their politics and the conceptual side of their projects is not necessarily groundbreaking or bringing anything new to the discussion, it’s the package it comes in that is inspiring. I think their name is really smart and indicative of their “fuck you” attitude - from the start, they’re intentionally sending a call out to girls who are frustrated that (1) sadness is seen as a taboo for oppressed groups, (2) Asians’ non-white and non-black status relegates them to never feel like they’re part of a “club,” and (3) Asian girls in particular are taught to not have a voice by institutions and families alike. On top of identifying as a Sad Asian Girl, I appreciate their eye for design and their ability to connect with young, pissed off Asian Americans; I’m definitely a faithful fan of theirs on an aesthetic tip.
WHAT IS THIS? Kodak is a collective of eight South Asian women from a variety of backgrounds and locations who work with graphic storytelling of different kinds, including illustration, comic art, filmmaking, design, typography, and writing. Members are Aindri Chakrabortty, Akhila Krishna, Janine Shroff, Aarthi Parthasarathy, Garima Gupta, Pavithra Dikshit, Kaveri Gopalakrishnan and Mira Malhotra.
WHY IS IT INCLUDED HERE? The projects taken on by the eight members of Kadak - individually and as a collective - cover a wide range of comic and illustration styles, but across the board they engage in socio-political and cultural commentary on feminism, sexual identity, gender, and urban life in India. They’ve got a good sense of humor and they seem to be redefining the understanding the role of women in Indian comics. A good place to start if you want to explore is Royal Existentials, a weekly webcomic series using Indian vintage art and imagery to tell stories of historical and contemporary angst.