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How Bubble Tea Became a Complicated Symbol of Asian-American Identity - Eater
While bubble tea itself is neither inherently political nor bad, per se, some Asian Americans are critical of the dominant strain of Asian-American politics, called “boba liberalism,” that the drink has come to represent in certain circles. Boba liberalism — as defined by Twitter user @diaspora_is_red, said to be among the first to coin the term — is the “substanceless trend-chasing spectacle” that is mainstream Asian-American liberalism, derided as shallow, consumerist-capitalist, and robbed of meaning.

“It’s a sweet, popular thing. It’s not very offensive,” @diaspora_is_red, identified using the name Redmond, says on the Asian-American publication Plan A Magazine’s podcast, referring to both the drink and the politics. “But it’s also not that good for you from a health point of view. It’s just empty calories.”

Boba liberalism, as Redmond (who declined to be interviewed for this piece) explains it, is “thinking the university key club and API student associations will lead the way in fighting for the dignity of the asian diaspora, in securing real material benefits to their communities, and rectifying the colonial crimes of the host country.”

It’s: “thinking t-shirts, products, and merchandise are the main way of affirming one’s racial identity. It’s capitalist consumption presented as ‘API-ness.’ Buy more crazy rich asians tickets, sell more boba, go to raves, wear this brand. It’s reliant on capitalism.”

And: “wanting to reconnect with your roots by [...] drinking bubble tea, getting added to subtle asian traits, and organizing fundraisers for your asian student association, but never studying your history and feeling solidarity with your homeland against imperialism.”

Andrew Yang and his embrace of contentious model-minority stereotypes (and alcoholic boba) are boba liberalism. So is rallying around representation in Hollywood only insofar as it affects what we see on our screens. Tolerating an abhorrent, morally bankrupt presidency as long as it guarantees lower tax rates, stable housing prices, likelier admission to Ivy Leagues, and the promise of the American dream our immigrant parents had aspired to so long ago: boba liberalism. In Redmond’s words: “All sugar, no substance.”
culture  food  diaspora 
6 days ago by sangoire
FAR FROM HOME - Artforum International
Across its ninety—seven pages, Directions to My House includes diaristic fragments, poems, family photographs, and reproductions of artworks. These scattered components, alternately deadpan and personal, add up to a provisional portrait of their elusive author: the “Indian” artist Zarina (surname: Hashmi—though she prefers to be known by her given name).

Zarina’s book contains information the intensely private artist has never revealed before: It tells us about her childhood in Aligarh (in Uttar Pradesh in northern India), where she was born in 1937; it records her marriage, at twenty-one, to an Indian diplomat, with whom she traveled the world (Bangkok, Tokyo, Paris, Bonn); it tells of her move to New York in 1976 (where she read Lucy Lippard, joined the Heresies collective, and co-organized an exhibition at A.I.R. Gallery with Ana Mendieta). We learn about her fascination with flying and her childhood love for her father’s house on the Aligarh Muslim University campus. The book might be construed as a manifesto for her practice: The ideas of displacement, memory, mobility, and loss that weave throughout its pages are the leitmotifs of Zarina’s oeuvre....

Zarina is best-known for her prints, especially woodblock, lithography, intaglio, and silk screen. But she also handcrafts sculptures in papier-mâché, metal, wood, and terra-cotta. Throughout her work, the subject of home is key, often dominating her titles. (Think of Father’s House 1898–1994, 1994, a print depicting the floor plan of her childhood home, or Homes I Made/A Life in Nine Lines, 1997, a set of nine spare, shadowy prints that represent the homes Zarina occupied during her adult life.) But this home is never fixed—it is always on the move. Home retreats into memory; it changes with the cities she inhabits. Homes I Made, 1984–92, is a suite of tiny houses placed on a triangular white ledge. Either molded from terra-cotta or cast in aluminum and fitted with wheels, these objects are crudely fashioned—like a child’s idea of “home”—and yet so fragile that they feel precious. Their minuscule, pointy forms recall both uninhabited houses and toy carts. Perhaps these mobile objects refer to migration, Zarina’s own as well as the continual transit that iterates that condition we too glibly call the “global.” The closer we look at the sculptures, the sadder they seem. Their aluminum bodies are not shiny, but dark. Their shapes recall tombstones. Is migration a living death? Is home forever lost to those who leave?...

The print Dividing Line, 2001, also reads as a reference to partition. A sinister, spidery black line bifurcating a cream page, it suggests the so-called Radcliffe Line, the geopolitical boundary—named after the British lawyer Cyril Radcliffe—that divides the subcontinent’s 175,000 square miles.

The Radcliffe Line recurs in Zarina’s woodcut Atlas of My World IV, 2001. Here, the map of South Asia is split by a thick black route that runs beyond the borders of the map, extending onto the edges of the page like a gash. (India and Pakistan are labeled in Urdu, the artist’s mother tongue.) Such lines in Zarina’s prints are often blurry, like damaged arteries that continue to leak blood. There is violence to her method; she hacks the lines out of the wood she uses for printing. These gouges give startling clarity to the continuing anguish of division....

The exhibition could not have been more appropriately situated. Dubai is now home to many South Asians, who will never obtain citizenship there—that status is reserved for Arab Emiratis—and the South Asian experience of the UAE embodies the conditions Zarina repeatedly explores in her work: of ephemeral abodes, of diaspora, of home being “foreign.”....

The series comprises thirty-six semiabstract forms that Zarina calls “idea images.” These include a tiny floor plan of her Aligarh home, a vertical line or a horizontal one, black triangles, cream squares, crosses. Their subtle simplicity recalls the inky pictography of ancient Japanese and Chinese calligraphy; this impression that is extended thanks to the words in Urdu—“journey,” “border,” “road,” and “time”—that accompany each picture. And so, while the images appear to be abstract, they also embody the concepts to which they are tied. The threshold permeates all of them. It is the line that divides, but also one that invites visitors into one’s home. It makes home a foreign place, and a foreign place home.
architecture  home  map_art  borders  diaspora  lines 
7 weeks ago by shannon_mattern
Donald Trump wants people to ‘go back’; here is what happens when they do
July 23, 2019 | Financial Times |Melissa Tandiwe Myambo.

Some researchers believe that the US pays an economic price when it loses heritage migrants and return migrants — those who come to the US for a time and then return to their home countries. Indian-born and Indian heritage migrants from Silicon Valley to India helped sow the success of Bangalore’s IT industry.

China’s economic insurgency has been boosted by its huge diaspora. Evidence from Georgia and the Philippines shows that when emigrants return, or their children do, they bring capital, skills and entrepreneurial ambition.
............Heritage migration can also end up harming the US in another way. The Department of Homeland Security warns that the process can radicalise would-be terrorists, who may then return to the west to carry out violent attacks.
..........People become heritage migrants when they are made to feel that they do not belong in the country in which they grew up. Some would-be terrorists are an extreme version who express their anger at exclusion in a violent and deadly fashion.
........When Mr Trump tells people to “go back” to their countries and then follows that up with campaign rallies at which his supporters chant “send her back” about naturalised American citizen and sitting member of congress Ilhan Omar, he is creating a hostile environment. That almost certainly bolsters many Americans’ feelings of alienation.

Some of them may indeed leave and we may all come to regret that.
9/11  alienation  Diaspora  Donald_Trump  heritage_migration  non-whites  stereotypes 
july 2019 by jerryking
Let a Thousand Mulans Bloom

The intention was apparently to create a mythic version of China, analogous to Black Panther’s Wakanda, but many fear a slurry of incongruous iconography devoid of meaning.

I’ve seen online criticism of this mythic approach that likens it to other examples of diaspora culture, like General Tso’s chicken, as well as jokes about how producers shouldn’t have hired set designers from Chinatown. But what underpins these quips is the idea that the diaspora has had its Chineseness corrupted by Western society, that diaspora cultures with their own real histories are no longer “authentic.”

The danger of a mythic mashup of Chinese culture is thus less that it is historically inaccurate and more that it reiterates the idea constantly pushed by the Chinese government—that there is an ancient and eternal Chinese nation-state. It turns the “One China” policy into mythology. It isn’t so much pandering that I fear but the idea of a flattering of very modern—and exclusive—ideas about Chinese identity rather than one that interrogates and reinvents them.

For all its songs and wise-cracking dragons, it also reframes Mulan’s story as one of struggling to meet parental expectations, a sense of alienation from one’s wider culture, and self-discovery in disguise, all of which resonated with the diaspora audience.

somewhere along the process the diaspora was cut out of the conversation. That’s visible in Mulan’s surname, which is now written and pronounced as Hua (Mandarin) and not Fa (Cantonese).
diaspora  chinese  american  entertainment  movie  classic  female  warrior  question  debate  disney  critic  from instapaper
july 2019 by aries1988
Colin Palmer, Historian of the African Diaspora, Is Dead at 75 - The New York Times
July 11, 2019 | The New York Times | By Neil Genzlinger.

Colin A. Palmer, a historian who broadened the understanding of the African diaspora, showing that the American slave trade was only one part of a phenomenon that spanned centuries and influenced cultures worldwide, died on June 20 in Kingston, Jamaica. He was 75.....Professor Palmer published his first of many books in 1976.....it was called “Slaves of the White God: Blacks in Mexico, 1570-1650,” chronicling a period when the colonies that would become the United States were still in their formative stages. The book set him on a career-long path.....Palmer definitely brought about a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the African diaspora, one that extended well beyond African-American history or the history of the slave trade,” ....Palmer did more than just show that the African diaspora was not a single event; he examined the various strands of it for differences and similarities.....any examination of diaspora began with a study of Africa itself.....Palmer also wrote well-regarded articles and books on the Caribbean countries, including “Eric Williams and the Making of the Modern Caribbean” (2006), about the historian and politician who led Trinidad and Tobago to independence.....Palmer's research showed that the Spaniards had brought in black slaves to Mexico as early as the 1520s.....Palmer identified five streams of African diaspora, the first being the initial spread of humans from Africa in prehistory....There were two other “premodern” streams, as he called them. One involved the movement of Bantu-speaking peoples out of the areas now known as Nigeria and Cameroon to other parts of Africa and India in about 3000 B.C. The other was related to trading in the fifth century B.C.

The Atlantic slave trade, which he said began in earnest in the 15th century, was the fourth stream; the fifth began after slavery’s demise and continues today.
Africa  Afro-Latinos  Caribbean  Diaspora  historians  history  Mexico  obituaries  PhDs  scholars  slavery  UWI 
july 2019 by jerryking
The Global Chinese Philanthropy Initiative (GCPI) is a unique bilateral research project that examines the contributions of Chinese and Chinese American philanthropists in the U.S. and Greater China.
china  diaspora  funding  philanthropy  research  usa 
june 2019 by sdp

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