Mai Ling Speaks #03
The silence of Asian people in history has played its part to fulfil the myth of being the “model minority” — a term used as a racial wedge to divide Asians and Blacks. The silence as a model minority was detrimental as it portrayed them as a homogenised group that was anti-affirmative action. In order to puncture the myth that Asians are white adjacent, complacent and silent, we need to build coalitions, inquire into our own internalised racisms and find ways to build bridges between minority groups instead of being instrumentalised to pit against each other.
During the ongoing Black Lives Matter movements, the slogan “Yellow peril supports black power” was reactivated to purport the delusion that Asian struggles were likened to black struggles. This is simply not true. Yet, the global unrest we are experiencing today is urging us to open up the conversation and broaden our perspectives on anti-racism by readdressing history and finding coalitions and allies.
Mai Ling Speaks #03 presents two invited guests, Miwa Negoro and Xiang Zairong, who are actively dealing with these crucial themes within their projects.
Negoro speaks about her current project “Mitsouko & Mitsuko” that she has developed with Japanese-born choreographer and performance artist Michikazu Matsune in Vienna. The project spans a narrative arc that encompasses history and fiction, individual biographies and the construction of cultural identities that was inspired by stories of the famous perfume ‘Mitsouko’. Her talk addresses modern global history and politics as well as the birth of Yellow Peril.
Xiang's performative statement that consists of texts and poems narrates a state of mind and its environments by queering the myth and fantasy attached to various minorities and social categorisations of race, gender and sexuality.
He states: “the visceral experiences of racist discrimination I encountered in the gay community in the schwulest of all cities Berlin prompted me to reflect on desire, queerness, racialisation, and visibility: the weight and freedom of total darkness and anonymity; the liberating energy and the burden of visibility and identity. I wonder, in an age of increasing division and polarisation, should it not be stressed that solidarity is the departing point and very condition (not a future to come or a goal to achieve) that sustains our survival.”
*Initial broadcast time on echoraeume.klingt.org: 8pm, Friday 10 July 2020
*This project is financially supported by ÖH Uni Wien.