A Blade of Grass
Parallel Fields: Housing Justice
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
6 to 8pm
This event explored the intersection of art and community organizing for housing justice with 2016 ABOG Fellows Tomie Arai, ManSee Kong, and Betty Yu (also known as Chinatown Art Brigade) and Tina Pham, Chinatown Tenants Union Lead Organizer of CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities in a conversation moderated by Ben Davis, National Art Critic of artnet News.
Chinatown Art Brigade
Working collectively as Chinatown Art Brigade, Tomie Arai, ManSee Kong, and Betty Yu’s ABOG Fellowship supports Here to Stay, a collaboration with CAAAV’s Chinatown Tenants Union, a grassroots organization that works with pan-Asian communities around tenants’ rights, youth leadership, and community empowerment. The project addresses themes of gentrification, displacement and community resilience in Chinatown through projections onto buildings and public landmarks in Chinatown and the Lower East Side. Artwork based on oral histories, developed in community-led workshops, is directly incorporated into montages featuring graphics, illustrations, photo, and video. Click here to learn more.
Tina Pham, Chinatown Tenants Union Lead Organizer
Tina Pham began local grassroots work in Washington DC with immigrant youth at Asian American LEAD. She moved from direct social services to direct action organizing with the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC) as Lead Organizer, working with communities in the DC/MD/VA area focusing on housing, immigration, language access, and worker rights issues. At the APALRC, she worked on campaigns in Chinatown on housing and community development issues and created the DC Nail Salon Project, the first of its kind at that time on the east coast. She left the Washington DC area and moved to New York to join the labor movement. Pham became a Lead Organizer at the Committee of Interns and Residents, working on a diverse range of union drive campaigns. She joins CAAAV hoping to return to her original roots and passion for organizing Asian Pacific Islander American communities. Learn more: caaav.org
Ben Davis is an art critic living and working in New York City. He is currently National Art Critic for artnet News and Critic-in-Residence at Montclair State University. He was formerly Executive Editor of Artinfo.com and was one of the editors of The Elements of Architecture, the catalogue for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. His writings have appeared in Adbusters, The Brooklyn Rail, Frieze, New York, Slate.com, The Village Voice, and many other venues. He is the author of 9.5 Theses on Art and Class (Haymarket 2013).
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Parallel Fields is a discussion series that pairs an artist and a non-artist, both of whose work is socially engaged, to discuss with an audience how different professions are connected.