We’ve all heard of the stories of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as babies — culturally American but legally not. But what happens if you’ve been in the US legally for decades, but still can’t obtain a green card to stay in your home country because of holes in the US immigration system that the government has no plans to fix?
ISSUE: Fall 2012
STORY: Ada Tseng
In 2006, Ana La O’ — at the time an undergraduate at UCLA — wrote a cover story for the alternative weekly newspaper LA Citybeat titled “The Hidden Classes,” about the first wave of undocumented immigrants that could afford to attend California public colleges after 2001’s AB 540 law allowed them to pay in-state tuition rates. The students she interviewed had been brought over to the United States as kids and educated in the American school system, yet they were unable to work legally and in danger of being deported to countries they hadn’t lived in for 15 to 20 years.
“It was the first time that I had spoken to people who had the same kind of psychology that I did,” says La O’, who moved to the U.S. from the Philippines when she was 11 months old. “I totally understood everything about being culturally American, but not having the same rights, feeling in limbo, and working toward this degree without knowing what I could actually do with it when I graduated.”
Except that La O’ was not an undocumented (what some call “illegal”) immigrant. By 2006, La O’ had been living in the United States legally for 21 years. Yet, for the next five years, she would continue to struggle to get a green card, until she was so fed up with the holes in the United States immigration system that she voluntarily self-deported in 2011, leaving her family and friends to move to the Philippines. Being plopped into a country she hadn’t lived in since she was a baby seemed like a better option than the hoops she would have to jump through just to be considered for – let alone acquire – a green card, after 26 years of living in this country.
ISSUE: Winter 2012-13
STORY: Malissa Tem
Spray paint cans and unfinished canvases line the floor of Allison Torneros’ shared art studio. A self-described pop surrealist artist, Torneros uses acrylic, spray paint and other media to bring her vivid imagination to life on canvas. She begins the process by aimlessly splattering paint onto the canvas until a form begins to appear. At times, it is her own face that takes center stage in her paintings.
“When you step back and look at it together, it creates its own story,” says Torneros of her work. Her paintings often reflect her mood or her personal struggles growing up as a Filipina American in the San Francisco Bay Area. While attending Catholic high school, Torneros says she was characterized as the promiscuous bad girl, and later, the innocent schoolgirl, something that Torneros believes arose out of pop culture rather than actual traits that she possessed at that time. One of her showcases features paintings of the two major stereotypes often cast on Asian American women — the Dragon Lady and the Lotus Blossom.
These days, the 27-year-old is often better known by her professional alias, Hueman. “‘I am not a robot, I am a human’ — it was a mantra I said to myself to snap out of a bad funk,” says Torneros. She has ventured out onto a bigger canvas — wall murals. It seems a natural progression for someone whose fine-art-meets-street-art aesthetic grew out of the world of hip-hop, something her late brother introduced her to. “I grew up admiring murals, but the big thing that held me back was that I was a woman,” says Torneros.
“[The mural art scene] seemed so male-dominated and ego driven, and I didn’t want to deal with it.”
But when she moved to L.A. and her work started getting bigger (both literally and figuratively), Torneros realized she had found her calling.
“When I started doing more murals, I was meeting people and I began using my whole body to do my art,” says Torneros. “I felt more human.”
January is National Stalking Awareness Month. It’s a crime that affects more than 6.6 million adults each year, yet stalking is little understood in the media and gravely under-reported by victims. Contributor Janice Jann breaks the silence and shares why it’s important to take this threat seriously.
ISSUE: Winter 2012-13
STORY: Janice Jann
The term “stalker” gets tossed around far too lightly these days.
“Ew, are you stalking me?” you joke when bumping into someone at the same frozen yogurt shop.
“I’m going to Facebook stalk him,” when you find out a friend has a new boyfriend.
But when you find yourself the victim of actual stalking, it’s no laughing matter.
Jamie Chung may be the hardest working Asian American actress in Hollywood right now. Writer Paul Nakayama witnesses the star in action.
ISSUE: Winter 2012-13
DEPT: Cover Feature
Photographer: Diana King
Stylist: Ashley Avignone @ The Wall Group
Makeup: Shelly Samia
Hair: Alex Polillo
Photo Assistant: Kevin Burnstein
Stylist Assistant: Liat Veysey
Producer: Olivia Wu
Story: Paul Nakayama
We’re giving away tickets to Justin Chon’s upcoming movie screening for 21 and Over on February 27th in Los Angeles!
1. Like KoreAm/Audrey on FB & Twitter
2. Tweet: I’m excited to see @koream’s Feb cover boy @justinchon in #21andOver
3. Leave a comment on this post with your name and Twitter handle!
ABOUT 21 and Over
This season of The Bachelor is nearing its end and with only three contestants left, we are able to get a much closer look at all of the girls. This is certainly true for Italian-Pilipino contestant, Catherine Giudici. On the most recent episode, Sean visited the home towns of the last four girls which gave Catherine time to show Sean the ins and outs of Seattle as well as some knowledge on Pilipino culture. With a middle name like Ligaya (Tagalog for “happiness”) and a mother who’s a Pilipino historian, we were not surprised to see that she was quite connected to her roots.
Before meeting her family, Catherine prepped Sean with a few helpful hints. She taught him to call her grandmother “Lola” which is the Tagalog equivalent. She then taught Sean the polite and formal method for greeting an elder- mano. This gesture is one that is performed as a sign of respect to the elders. The person bows towards an elder’s offered hand and presses his or her forehead on the elder’s hand. After the proper introductions (as well as gestures of Mano), Sean was asked to help make Lumpia with the family- a popular Filipino roll.
In the past, this show has been criticized for its lack of ethnic diversity so we were delighted to see this 26 year old graphic designer bring some of her culture into the mix. To watch full episodes of The Bachelor, click here and be sure to watch the final episodes!
The 10th Annual Asian Pacific Filmmakers Experience in Park City was held on January 22nd, 2013. The event is a reception which recognizes and celebrates all the Asian Pacific filmmakers with works in this year’s Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals.
Continue reading to see a list of all the celebrated filmmakers. Continue Reading »
From the National Asian Pacific Islander American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF):
On Friday, January 18, 2013, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) celebrated the defeat of Virginia’s HB 1316. If passed, the bill would have criminalized doctors for performing sex-selective abortions. The Virginia House of Delegates Committee on Courts and Justice held a hearing on HB 1316 in its Constitutional Law Subcommittee. The subcommittee voted unanimously to not proceed with the bill.
Executive Director Miriam Yeung stated, “This bill was a wolf in sheep’s clothing and we are thrilled it died in committee with unanimous bi-partisan opposition. This sends a message that when API women embrace our power and raise our voices, we will be heard.”
Shivana Jorawar, NAPAWF’s Reproductive Justice Program Director, delivered testimony at the hearing about how the bill would affect Asian American and Pacific Islander (API) women. She stated, “We are happy this underhanded bill did not pass. We cannot promote equality for women by taking away their rights. This bill was not about empowering women. It was about limiting our right to self-determine whether and when to have children.”
NAPAWF is thankful to its members and allies from Virginia and across the country who helped defeat this measure by calling Virginia legislators and expressing opposition.
For more information on NAPWF, please visit their site.
Day 3 of stalking Asian celebrities and we came up with a largely Asian American mix of pictures. It seems celebrities in Asia take Saturday mornings off in the social media world.
1. Jason Chen (@jasondchen) and Joseph Vincent (@josephvincent) go on a man-date together to the #HappiestPlaceOnEarth aka Disneyland.
3. Finally, here’s something cringeworthy that woke me up from my end of the day stupor. Posted by one of the “K-town Reality Show” producers, Eddie Kim (@iameddiekim), of comedian Danny Cho (@dannycho).
Move over, Martha Stewart! Crane & Canopy is an up-and-coming bedding company of high quality that is comparable to designer brands out there right now. With elegant designs perfect for your bedrooms (and very comfortable looking too!), Crane & Canopy’s co-founder, Karin Shieh, chats with Audrey about how they got their start, their current collections, and future plans.