"Abu Kisha" by Haifa Bint-Kadi
From my series, "What Once Was, Still Is and Will Forever Remain". A series of paintings representing villages n Palestine that were depopulated or destroyed by the Israeli military.
"decolonize notes" by Paula Te
This mini zine was made around the end of November 2020, as I was participating in a study group of (diaspora POC) settlers wishing to critically engage with the real political implications of decolonization in the so-called United States. It shares my in-progress thoughts and actions spurred by what we’ve engaged with so far. I am indebted to Tara Marsden and the radical participants in the Oakland Summer School study group for sharing and creating space for this unsettling and accompliceship.
Paula Te is thinking about the interfaces of learning, crafting, and community. She's always starting too many projects and never finishing them. Find her collaborations on Indonesian-Chinese identity at http://50years.today
"Solidity" by Aisha Fukushima
SOLIDITY explores the power of solidarity building through music, poetry, and inspiration from nature. The sounds and words are inspired by Aisha's glocal roots spanning occupied Duwamish territory in Seattle, to Yokohama, Japan and beyond.
Aisha Fukushima (she/they) is an award-winning African American Japanese Performance Lecturer, Justice Strategist, Vocalist, Producer, and RAPtivist (rap activist). Fukushima founded RAPtivism (Rap Activism), a global hip-hop project, and has had the joy of creatively collaborating with changemakers across 4 continents.
"Images of Softness" by Dwight Dunston
With artist, best friends, and life partners Sterling Duns and Sophie Sarkar as the main focus, Images of Softness explores what it means to be in tender relationship with ourselves, one another, and with our ancestors thru images, words, and sounds. The history of solidarity in the US and beyond between Black + Asian folks has been joyful and heartbreaking. In this short experimental film, Duns looks to bombard viewers with "images of softness" to encourage the viewer to remember their own humanity and the humanity of others.
Dwight Dunston is a West Philly-based facilitator, hip-hop artist, educator, and activist with roots in the Carolinas and deeper roots in West Africa.
"Snackpacking in the Sierras" by Endria Richardson
Endria Isa Richardson is a black, malaysian, and gay american writer from Worcester, Massachusetts. Her stories are in Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, FIYAH, Nightmare, and other fantastic/al magazines. In her past life, Endria was a prison abolitionist lawyer. You can find more of her work at www.endriarichardson.com.
"Fingerweavings" by Keena Graham
I had grown up learning how to make friendship bracelets just like every preteen. These were colorful yarns tied into knots that kids would wear around their wrists and ankles. Easy. I was so good at it that I even made a few dollars weaving bracelets in high school... Fast forward 15 years. I was at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC. Displayed prominently on a wall were examples of weavings from West Africa. The weavings were made up of individual strips sewn together. The technique that I thought I developed had been done in West Africa for hundreds of years. What?! A good friend of mine once told me about cultural memory. I thought that she was a bit nuts. How could I remember something that my ancestors did or experienced well before anyone knew I existed? My weaving journey has definitely changed my mind. My Choctaw and African ancestors gave me a gift that I’ll treasure always.
Keena Graham is an Alabama native who loves to weave dreams into schemes that can be redeemed.
"Grandma Ann's Okra" by Sophie Sarkar
My boo Dwight had told me many stories about his Grandma Ann and her prolific garden where she grew okra in Johnstown, PA. These paintings are based off of his stories and are a tribute to her and to okra, one of our favorite veggies. Okra or bhindi is a culturally important vegetable in many Black and Asian food traditions, and we both inherited our love for okra from our elders.
Shortly after I completed these paintings, Dwight found a photo of his Grandma Ann posing in her garden. Like magic, she was wearing a striped purple shirt, like the one I had painted from my imagination.
Given the proliferation of stories about violence upon and between Black and Asian peoples, these paintings attempt to capture one way in which our lives and histories are also lovingly and tenderly interwoven. May the okra help remind us to be soft with one another and hardy together.
Sophie Sarkar is an artist and environmental organizer. Raised by a mixed Asian family in the rural grasslands of the Palouse, Sophie’s work is often about making home in unexpected places. www.sophiesarkar.com
"A4BL" by Robert Liu-Trujillo
I created this illustration during the spring of 2020 amid the civil unrest surrounding police terrorism as a way to show solidarity between folks. It is a hand lettered illustrations that reads "Asians For Black Lives" using the colors purple and green. There is a scroll with the letters and a chain to represent our interconnection.
Robert Liu-Trujillo is father, husband, artist and an author based in Oakland California. Insta:@Robert_tres
"1st Gen" by Vasu Sojitra
Two sides of the same coin. We live in a world where identities are boarders and boxes we all fit into to help us find community. To be first generation is to be pulled between two communities and not feel welcomed in either: you're not brown enough, you're not white enough. The healing balance comes with the understanding that it's not our identities that make us human, it's our compassion for one and other. Our similarities bring us together and our differences keep us apart, but it is our differences that make our relationship much more beautiful and unique.
Vasu Sojitra is a disability access strategist and a professional athlete with the motto of “#ninjasticking through the woods to bring intersectionality to the outdoors”
“End of the World” by Jordan Penland
One experience I believe is shared amongst the Black and Asian communities, is both groups' ability to overcome the adversity of a world that perpetually feels as though it is at its end. I have both experienced and witnessed an internal madness that comes from living each day surrounded by a constant reminder of our groups’ disparity and oppression in an overly industrialized/colonized society. It is overwhelming, knowing that your people are suffering as a result of the ignorance and greed of the ruling class. And with the ever declining state of the planet, both environmentally and socially, it can feel as though we are at the end of the world. However, I do know that both groups possess a strength and integrity to embrace this madness, harness the powerful emotions that come along with it, and overcome the restrictions placed upon us in order to perpetuate the shared goal of obtaining a more equitable future. The purpose of this piece is to showcase the control, color and life among us, as we continue this struggle.
Jordan Penland is a 25 year old, half Black, half Ecuadorian multimedia narrative artist from Los Angeles, CA. When he isn't busy drawing, he is listening to the bees, trying to hear the rhythms of creation; you can contact him on instagram @mostlymildmidnightmocha.
"Our Creation, Our Liberation" by Julia Chatterjee
This piece is an ode to my Philly squad - strong, resilient, beautiful Black and Asian women who have helped each other heal and love ourselves when all our cultural patterning via white supremacy screams that we are not enough. Now we become the four faces of Brahma, creating what will be our shared liberation.
Julia Chatterjee is an American-born confused desi korean baby queer living in West Philly, dreaming of Kolkata. A lover of languages and words, friends and family, warm days and summer storms.
"Wish You Were Here... " by Jude Feng + Matthew Armstead
A postcard exchange between two people in new friendship – one Black, one Asian – reflecting on moments in time of how Queerness, Christianity, and being Black & Asian wove through their lives.
Jude Feng is a transmasc somedays-guy/somedays-non-binary Chinese/Taiwanese American, born and based in Texas. They are committed to a collective liberation and embrace justice work as the healing of our collective spirituality.
Matthew Armstead lives in Philadelphia and works at the intersections of art, spirituality, and social change. When Matthew is not training, facilitating, and coaching, you can find them in the garden or the kitchen sharing the joy of food.