Wednesday, March 22, 2006

More pics of AAI Memory Trees

More Pics of Memory Trees

AAI Memory Trees


For those not aware of the situation which faces the Asian Arts Initiative in the next couple of months, because the Pennsylvania Convention Center is planning to expand its facilities, AAI and other community arts organizations on Cherry Street in Philly are being forced to give up their space and find a new location. After being in this space for the past nine years, AAI will have to relocate during the summer.

A few weeks ago, I led a GenerAsian Next workshop at AAI. The workshop facilitator, Gary San Angel, asked me if I could have the youth explore the topic of AAI's forced relocation and help them find a connection to honoring the past and remembering personal histories. One of the exercises I had them do was an AAI Memory Tree--sort of like a Family Tree but, obviously, thinking about and documenting their lives in AAI's space and the impact it's had on them personally, artistically, politically, socially. The youth did an amazing job, and I'd like to share some pics which highlight the details of their memories-as-testimony, showing the indelible imprint AAI's Cherry Street space has had on so many APIA artists over the years. We're going to miss it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Catzie's First Post

Hey guys, I'm so sorry I haven't been posting. I've been distracted for a bit. I dont know if I can leave long ass paragraphs of my life in detail, but I wont cheat you a mini-post that's not really saying anything either.

First, is that I'm truly addicted to Myspace. My only goal in life now it seems is to see how wants to be my "friend" and who has added anything interesting to say and who's been hooking up their page. I try and try not to, but it's sooooooooo hard. I go a few days and then you hear it in conversation about so and so's page, how funny it is and did you read so and so's blog. I cant help it. Sigh...

Okay Update Time! I've been chosen to represent my photography at the the Asian Arts Initiative in Philly. The exhibit goes up mid-April, but I forget when the reception is. For more info you can visit

I think that's all I have for now. Until the next re-union of Flavor of Love...


Friday, March 03, 2006

Flavor of Love


I’m a TV addict. It’s OK, though, b/c I tell myself that it’s good for building my social awareness and such. And that might be true with some stuff I watch, but not all of it. Like “Dancing with the Stars”—how was that building my social consciousness? I guess it WAS interesting how the other celebrities sort of mocked Master P’s profession that he was on the show for his people in the ‘hood, but I really watched it b/c, well, I just liked it, that’s why. That’s entertainment, you know? And sometimes I need mindless stuff to do.

Speaking of mindless, I’ve also been watching “Flavor of Love.” I could say I watch it b/c in the earlier episodes I wanted to know why’s the Asian chick got to be the S&M, whip-carrying snitch? And why’s her nickname got to be “Red Oyster”? But honestly, I really don’t want to care. I don’t know this woman, and her presentation of herself should be of herself, not a whole group of women. If only we could make it so. But I tried to ignore her snitching ways, rationalized that she’s probably just on the show to break into the entertainment biz, and got on with the REAL reason why I watch the show and that’s . . . FLAvor FLAV!!!

Honestly, I will watch any show that has Flav in it. I watched the “Surreal Life,” “Strange Love,” and now this one. I watch it b/c Flav is a bona fide, living throwback. He reminds me of the shadow of anger and sometimes life’s all about getting through the bullshit so folks can have fun (and I DO need to be reminded of that). And Flav never changes. No matter how old he gets, he’s still Flav. And it’s comforting to know that some things in life remain constant. So maybe he’s embarrassing to Chuck D at times—like when Brigitte Nielsen came onstage with her big, white-ass self during a Public Enemy concert dancing all crazy—but I’m not going to hate on his hustle. B/c we all got to hustle some way or other, and if we can have some fun doing it, then we’d be the lucky ones. Yeah, BOYEEE!!!

Now that the show has gotten down to the final 2 women, though, I have to say what’s kept me watching has been the women b/c I find the women to be interesting, outrageous, and typical. The dramafests are TOO FUNNY—I can’t even begin to explain to you. OK, we could all have the usual conversations about stereotypes and representations and sexism and racism, yeah, yeah. And not to say it’s not important b/c it is. But, you know what, sometimes we act like this—only we’re not on blast through a contrived TV show setting. So when these women are all up on Flav, half-naked, kissing, maybe giving IT up, some of us have done that trying to get a man—or keep a man. I’ve been thinking about a lot of stuff lately, and I have to say that as a heterosexual woman, I think we get all kinds of mixed messages on what men are looking for in THE woman. And it makes us act crazy. So I can empathize with New York when she’s steaming—‘OOL STEAMING—when she’s not getting the attention she thinks she should get from Flav after she’s done told him that she loves him—and Why isn’t that enough for him? I’ve had those conversations with myself. I know why Pumkin is acting like a Ho b/c she thinks that’ll make him keep her around. And Hoopz is keeping this balance btn being vulnerable and hard b/c sometimes he’s got to be able to see you as his friend too—someone he can just kick-it with, like one of his guy friends. So, yeah, it’s another dumb The-Bachelor-formula reality show, contrived and fake in so many ways, but also very recognizably true-to-life. Some of this stuff you can’t write into a show about how men and women relate to one another—it’s the game, and this is how we survive it.

The show also exposes the hate that women have for each other when they’re competing for man. How did that dumb beyatch think she could spit (and it was a nasty one!) on New York and then turn her back and walk away?! She deserved to have her ass thrown in the camera if not catch a beat-down.

Anyway, do what you must for love, but ladies, as Lauryn Hill has reminded us before: “Don’t be a hard rock, when you really are a gem.” We deserve to be respected. And that respect must begin with respecting ourselves.

Ugh, so maybe there is some social consciousness element to watching this show :P