*DISCLAIMER: This post was originally supposed to be published in May 2022. However, due to scheduling delays, AAP had to push back the publishing date to July 2022.
The month of May was an exciting and eventful one for Asians in Australia, and also around the globe. I was lucky enough to spend this May in Canada – where it happened to be Asian Heritage Month – which has made celebrating Asian wins and triumphs all the more special. When deciding on what I wanted to include in this month’s picks, I turned to the 2022 theme for Canada’s Asian Heritage Month – “Continuing a legacy of greatness” – which I feel beautifully captures the contributions of Asians across the world, especially those who have persevered and achieved great things despite complex challenges – and a complex year.
‘A Convergence of Solitudes’ by Anita Anand
The first item on this month’s Editors’ Pick is a book recommendation from a well-renowned Canadian author, Anita Anand. ‘A Convergence of Solitudes’’ follows two families across the Partition of India, Operation Babylift in Vietnam and two referendums in Quebec. In focus are two teenagers, Sunil and Hima, who settle down in Montreal to raise their family, and the deep rooted challenges of identity and belonging they face along the way. The book was released on May 17, 2022.
From the Wings – A new podcast series
The series so far has nine episodes, and includes Australian voices from a diverse range of backgrounds, including prominent Asian Australians such as Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Anchuli Felicia King, and Benjamin Law, as well as Indigenous writers, artists, and performers like Dominic Guerrera, Natalie Harkin, and Ali Cobby Eckermann.
“If female ‘teal’ independents can shift power in politics, imagine what’s possible beyond the election” – ABC News
On a more positive note, I thought I’d add in another great article from youth advocate and ‘Raising her Voice’ host, Yasmin Poole. In this article, Poole discusses the lead up to Australia’s 2022 federal election (which Labour won) and focuses on the rise of independent women running for office. As an Asian Australian woman herself, Poole effectively and succinctly captures the issues that have been circulating in Australia – including the government’s continued lack of action on climate change, gender inequality and political corruption – that have led to the increasing number of women who are sticking their hands up, and vying for change.
Asian-Australian representation in the AFL – ABC News
Now, I’m the last AAP team member to know anything about sports, however, I couldn’t help feeling a little burst of pride when I came across this news story about Alex Davies, a young AFL player for the Gold Coast Suns, who scored the winning goal for his team. What particularly caught my interest in this story was the focus on an Australian sportsman of Asian descent (Davies’ mother is Japanese). Traditionally speaking, there have been very few players of Asian descent in Australian sports – particularly in the AFL. In fact, it is estimated that less than 20 players with an Asian background play at an elite level. In this way, Davies stands out as an incredible role model for Asians across Australia – especially young Asian Australians – looking to break down these barriers.
Asian art institute opens in Western Australia
Following the theme of Asians breaking barriers in Australia, it was revealed in early July that the Art Gallery of WA, along with the Simon Lee Foundation, was establishing a five-year art exhibit, showcasing the work and talent of contemporary Asian artists. The aim of the exhibit is to celebrate Asian culture and the value of its diasporic communities in Australia. If any readers are in WA, or intend to visit, definitely add this to your itinerary! A few of the exhibitions include:
Wong Ping – ‘puberty’ | 22 JULY – 4 DECEMBER 2022
“This newly commissioned installation draws on Wong’s trademark humour to explore how human connections are shaped within technologically mediated worlds where reality and fantasy blur in the strangest and most unsettling of ways” (Simon Lee Foundation Institute of Contemporary Asian Art, 2022).
Kawita Vatanajyankur and Pat Pataranutaporn – ‘Mental Machine: Labour in the Self Economy’ | FRIDAY 7-8.30 PM, 22 JULY 2022
“Kawita Vatanajyankur creates performances and videos that require her to endure prolonged physical and emotional hardship. These performances are offered as a critical response to the exploitation of textile workers, the problems associated with hyperconsumerism, and the changing relations between humans and machines” (Simon Lee Foundation Institute of Contemporary Asian Art, 2022).
EDITOR: Simran is in her final year of university, studying a dual International Studies & Media degree. She enjoys exploring the interactions between politics and culture, and breaking down the intersections of race, gender, and class, and how they inform people’s perceptions of themselves, and the world around them.