Shows: September 10, 2018

Photo for 'Saving Pearl River'

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Saving Pearl River

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When Ming Yi Chen opened a Chinese department store in New York City in 1971, China was behind the Iron Curtain and soy sauce and chopsticks were still exotic to Americans. There were no real diplomatic or commercial relations between China and the U.S., but there was a lot of curiosity.

Over the next forty years, Pearl River would emerge as a cultural institution in New York and an icon of globalization. But it nearly vanished when it was swept up in the retail collapse of the late 2000s. APF co-producer Michelle Chen, the daughter of the store's founder, tells the story of how Pearl River came back to life in this special production by Feet in Two Worlds.

For the full podcast, go to Feet in Two Worlds.

Special thanks to Feet in Two Worlds, Chinatown Art Brigade, Will Coley, Wing on Wo, Telly Wong and the Pearl River community.

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Critical poetry with Kay Ulanday Barrett

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Poetry and art is an aspect of political life that is often overlooked, yet critical, to build community, to spark difficult conversation, and to introduce the broader public to social justice issues like race, disability, class, and gender. Asia Pacific Forum Radio speaks with Kay Ulanday Barrett about the 2-year anniversary of their piece, "When the Chant Comes," life after loss, creativity under empire, and mapping joy through sickness and grief.

A Campus Pride Hot List artist, Trans Justice Funding Project Panelist, and Trans 100 Honoree, Kay Ulanday Barrett aka @brownroundboi, is a poet, performer, and educator, navigating life as a disabled pin@y-amerikan transgender queer in the U.S. with struggle, resistance, and laughter. Check out their work at


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This program is brought to you by Olivia Canlas and Michelle Chen of the APF collective.

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