Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Emmy Nomination for A Village Called Versailles

In a Subversities update: Director/Producer S. Leo Chiang’s documentary, A Village Called Versailles, has been nominated for an Emmy in the "Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story - Long Form" category. The film, which is about the rebuilding of a community post-Hurricane Katrina, portrays the small New Orleans suburb of Versailles and its inhabitants, made up largely of Vietnamese refugees who have already been displaced once before – after the fall of Saigon.

A Village Called Versailles follows their stories from arriving to evacuating, evacuating to returning. It culminates when their redevelopment efforts are threatened by the unexpected opening of a government-sanctioned toxic landfill two miles away. In all this, the documentary tries to capture the trauma of displacement, and what is lost in translation between a generation of “boat people” and their children – all of whom must co-exist in Versailles.

As many reflect on Katrina this week, and as the comparisons to Irene begin, it will be interesting to see the cultural and generational impacts that are often delayed by time. Relevant, too, is the issue of environmental justice in an area of the United States that is so densely pact with first-generation immigrants and economic disparity.

This is the first Emmy nomination for Taiwanese-born director, S. Leo Chiang. Recipients will be announced on September 26th at New York City’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Click here to learn more about A Village Called Versailles, and here to listen to our extensive K-UCI interview with Chiang - conducted before his film made its PBS debut last year.

Subversities is currently seeking an update from Chiang. We will pass new insights onto readers as we learn them.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Saving Chinatown, Riverside

Efforts in Riverside, California, to preserve its historic Chinatown may get a boost if enough netizens vote by Thursday early afternoon to support those efforts in the This Place Matters Community Challenge offered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

These grass-roots efforts, with the active support of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, are among 100 preservation projects seeking to win 3 cash awards.

For more information, you can check out this web site. Voting ends June 30, 2011 at 1:59 PM Pacific time. A link there allows one to vote after registering one's email and zip code and receiving a password. The Riverside Chinatown efforts are listed as: Chinese Historical Society of Southern California - Riverside, California Riverside Chinatown. As of this posting, the group is ranked 29 out of 100 unless more people decide to vote.

The local preservationists have formed a Save Our Chinatown Committee which is seeking to stop development above what has been partially uncovered as the remains of historic Chinatown, first founded in 1870, [CORRECTION: actually the second Chinatown, in 1885, after residents of the first Chinatown were forced out,] with its residents responsible for much of the citrus activity in the county. The Los Angeles Times recently profiled the struggle, including the activism of a UC Riverside librarian, Judy Lee.

A facebook site has also been set up: Save Riverside Chinatown.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Edgy City: Urban/Rural Space and Ho Chi Minh City

Link to audio of program:


As Ho Chi Minh City races to be Vietnam's most modern metropolis, some outlying areas are left behind. Yet they become
interesting because they exhibit many of the tensions that face the developing country after decades of war, as Vietnam copes
with being nominally Socialist but practically capitalist, and races to modernize itself, at the risk of leaving behind
peasants in the largely rural country.

Erik Harms, who teaches Anthropology at Yale, has offered a revealing look at
the social lives that intersect each other in the wake of this modernization race. Focusing on Hóc Môn, on the edge of
Saigon, he writes like a journalist [I mean his writing is readable], revealing social lives as otherwise marginalized
residents of this region on the Trans-Asia Highway are able to tell their stories through his new book, Saigon's Edge: On
the Margins of Ho Chi Minh City
, now out from University of
Minnesota Press

Harms is interviewed by KUCI Subversity show host Daniel C. Tsang, in the first show of this 2011 summer online series, as
Subversity takes a break from radio broadcasts for the summer. The interview is exclusively available online, and as
podcasts, with a official posting date of Monday 20 June 2011 but the interview was taped earlier today, 17 June 2011 at
KUCI's studios.

Interview with Harms by Yale University posted on YouTube:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Greg Louganis Speaks at UCI Graduation

Updated: Link to audio of program:


Louganis in video feed

In an inspirational speech Olympic twice-gold medalist Greg Louganis, of Samoan/Swedish heritage, and a UCI drama alumnus,
Friday 10 June 2011 addressed graduating seniors at UCI's Arts School graduation (the event also included graduates from the
Physical Sciences).

Louganis, who was HIV-positive when he won the two golds in diving in the 1988 Olympics, said he is proof HIV/AIDS is no
longer a "death sentence." He exhorted UCI's graduating students in the Arts and in Physical Sciences to be imaginative {"to
explore your imagination") and have trust in fellow human beings, even though he himself was at times overly trusting of
others ("I'd rather trust... than be cynical").

The UCI drama alumnus said this was his first graduation he ever attended.

On the last Subversity show of this quarter, we air an edited version of his talk in the first part of Subversity this
evening, 13 June 2011, at 5-6 p.m. on KUCI, 88.9 FM in Orange County, California, and simulcast via