Emma Do 「This photo series captures what microaggressions feel like」

Posted on June 13, 2017 commentaires
Bryan Tang’s images explore frustration, prejudice and internalised racism in Australia.

Having your identity casually put under the microscope is a common source of anxiety for those who are visibly “other.” For those with faces and voices that don’t fit the prescribed “Australian identity,” it only takes a passing comment from a stranger, friend or even a lover to suddenly feel displaced. Migrating to Australia from Malaysia in his teens, photographer Bryan Tang’s experience echoes migrant stories of past and present.

Recently, Bryan was invited to create a set of photos around the theme of ‘Asia and Australia.’ As a young fashion photographer, his body of work has thus-far mostly steered clear of politics, but given the explicit go-ahead and chance to present with a group of other Asian photographers, he decided to create a series that would confront racism head on. In 「Colour Correction」, Bryan re-stages the moment when his subjects were the target of microaggressions. Here, Bryan talks about untangling internalised racism in his own life and work, and why shooting Asian faces is relatively new to him.

How did you have the idea for your photo series?

My friend Mike Souvanthalisith was curating a photo exhibition at the restaurant Burma Lane and asked me to take part. Most of my work was fashion based so I thought I could do something more personal with a message I haven’t been able to express in fashion. In the creative world Asians are mainly sidelined to be behind the scenes, not so much in front of the camera, whether in fashion or film. I thought it would be cool to shoot a series in a cinematic way so Asians would be the protagonists.

You mentioned in our past conversations that you haven’t shot many Asian models in your fashion work. Why has that been the case?

I think there aren’t many male Asian models compared to females. Thomas, one of the guys in the photos, is one of the very few Asian male models in Melbourne. But to be really honest, I think I still need to take that step forward of choosing to shoot more non-white faces and trying to push that harder with people I work with. Sometimes when an agency forwards me a list of models to shoot, there’s only one Asian face. Recently I had a chance to do a paid shoot for a publication in Asia. They straight up told me they wanted a Caucasian model because that’s what is seen as luxurious and prestigious, even though the photos would only be seen in Asia.

How did you feel doing this project where you only shot Asian faces?

It felt refreshing and true. It felt like something I’ve always wanted to do but didn’t realise.

How did your subjects feel about re-staging moments where they experienced racism and various microaggressions?

I think they were very open. A common response to these microaggressions is shock, or not saying anything because it’s happened so many times you can’t be bothered. You just know that sometimes no matter how much you try to explain to a person why something they said is wrong, they may not get the point. It’s educational labour. So there was a general sense from everyone I shot like ‘we’ve always had these things bothering us internally and now we have a place to express it.’

Tell me about the people in the photos. How did you link up with them?

The portraits feature Jenny Wang, Lei Lei K., Thomas Chow, Nick Teng and Charmaine Salvacion. It’s a mix of people I follow online and who I’ve worked with before. Jenny was one of the first people I thought of for the series because she’s very vocal about race issues. Even her Insta name is so in-your-face (@asiangirlfriend). That’s how people seen Asian females.

I imagine a lot of Asians in Australia instantly recognise these quotes. The one where Lei Lei is being told she isn’t Asian seems odd though, she obviously looks Asian. What was the context surrounding that comment?

Lei Lei’s old friend told her that. The implication was that because she’s Asian but grew up in the West that she benefits from white privilege. But the sentiment was also that Lei Lei doesn’t look Asian. You look at her and you think how on earth could she be someone who looks white or even white passing? It’s jarring. Lei Lei was so shocked she just tried to move conversation on.

Charmaine’s quote about being told she looks half white really struck me because the idea that being ‘half’ is more beautiful was quite prevalent among my Asian family and friends growing up.

Charmaine said that she heard that comment from a lot of Asian people. She said she initially felt a sense of pride to know people thought she looked half white, even though she isn’t, but as she grew older, she became more conscious and proud of her Filipino identity. She was like, “why aren’t my Asian features celebrated in the same way?”

Even the way people say “you look half” without needing to qualify that with “half white” just shows how deeply entrenched white beauty ideals are in our Asian communities. Since starting your creative work, have you come across your own prejudices that you’ve worked to overcome?

One clear memory was when I first started out. I was too self-conscious and ashamed to use my full name in my photography work. I would use a moniker instead. At the time, I didn’t know of other successful Asian creatives here. I had this mindset that if I used my real surname then people wouldn’t take me seriously or want to work with me. I think it took a long time for me to be like, ‘screw it.’ Now that I use my real name, it feels like I’m not lying to myself. In terms of people’s attitudes, I haven’t seen much difference. But hopefully that’s because I’m making better work.

Why was it important for you to make a series directly confronting racism and microaggressions?

Racism comes in all shapes and forms, it has no definitive identity – it could come from not just strangers, but friends, or even loved ones. I think the general public is more used to the direct form, but not the indirect. This series is my way of subtly highlighting what may pass as offhand comments or compliments even. In reality they are part of a cycle perpetuating ingrained stereotypes or assumptions people may not be aware of. I hope that it starts a deeper discussion of what race means to be an Australian and internal self-reflection.

Text Emma Do
Photography Bryan Tang

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Bryan Tang
Official Website: http://www.bryantang.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bttqh56
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bttango/

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Alice Nicolov 「The Japanese artist using sport to talk about sexuality」

Posted on June 12, 2017 commentaires
The sportsman and performance artist Yuki Kobayashi on gender, identity and being naked

Basket by Yuki Kobayashi

How free do you think your mind actually is? Are you entirely absent of race and gender stereotypes? Do you reject society’s standards of what beautiful means? Yuki Kobayashi’s art will force you to confront the depth of your own convictions.

Using sport as a platform for his uninhibited performance art, the 27-year-old Tokyo-native employs his body and his clothes to explore the neutrality of gender, challenge racial stereotypes and raise questions of the self. Kobayashi’s work is pretty unique in the world of sport: an arena where people are endlessly categorised, stereotypes are usually deeply ingrained and matters of gender, race and sexuality are thrown into sharp relief. “I started to be naked to show this isn’t dangerous; this isn’ dirty; this isn’t negative,” Kobayashi explains when we meet. “Let’s just see it as a real body – this is what you’re hiding under the clothes you choose. It’s a body and you can’t choose how you’re born. That’s your original skin.”

Kobayashi, who trained as a professional tennis player, is brave. Almost unnervingly so. He dismisses the idea of fear – he likes performing too much. “Or maybe I’m too stupid to feel afraid?” he ponders. That’s a trick question. Kobayashi is not stupid. A fine art graduate of both Central St. Martins and the Royal College of Art, Kobayashi challenges preconceptions intelligently. He’s not aggressive or dogmatic – he simply opens doors for people to explore ideas in a safe space, be it in an art gallery or through a picture.

In this day and age, we idolise the image of the body and strict, sometimes invisible, rules govern our thoughts and discourse. But when Kobayashi confronts us with the real thing, we have to ask questions about our received cultural ideas. Dazed spoke with the artist ahead of his upcoming performance at the Yokohama Paratriennale in October to find out more about norm-defying work and why he refuses to compromise.

“Let’s just see it as a real body – this is what you’re hiding under the clothes you choose. It’s a body and you can’t choose how you’re born. That’s your original skin.”

Why do you combine sport and performance art?

Yuki Kobayashi: For me, sport and performance work are very close. The aspect of using the perception of physicality, following your intuition before you think something and how you occupy space and time are similar. Maybe the difference is that in the performance there is no opponent, no winner or loser and, while there are some rules, you can expand or reduce them by yourself and create by yourself. In the performance, action and emotion become very significant materials for making the work.

What are you trying to do with your work?

Yuki Kobayashi: When I went to Florida to play tennis there weren’t many Asian guys and I didn’t see many black guys either. I felt a little bit weird in that situation and when my friends and I tried to join in socially, there weren’t a lot of acceptable situations for us to be involved in. I was a teenager at the time so I didn’t take it too seriously but now I look back it was a little bit weird.

I want to change people’s prejudices. Humanity and biological stuff won’t change – people’s physicality is really different and it depends on how you’re born, but it’s about changing the way people think and breaking those boundaries. I don’t like using the word discrimination but it’s about how you think about everyone else and how you think about yourself – it’s more like self-discrimination. For example, ‘I’m Asian so I can’t really win in sports against stronger people.’ I want people to break down those kinds of boundaries and I want to say: ‘No, don’t think like that, you can do it!’ I think you just have to win. If you win everyone in the audience is going to think, ‘If this Asian guy can win, I can too.’ Winning is the proof and evidence that you can do it. It’s a good way of opening up people’s minds and changing their negative thinking into a positive mental attitude.

What took you from painting on a canvas to making yourself the art?

Yuki Kobayashi: I wanted to show how to make artwork that didn’t have to be painting or installations; it can also be only your body. Performance is better for communicating because it’s more direct. It’s one on one and eyes to eyes so you can feel things from the audience and it’s the most direct way of expressing yourself to someone in that moment. When I’m performing I can see every single person in the audience’s face – that’s why it’s more comfortable for me to do that. I like performing or otherwise why would I do it? I also feel a duty and a responsibility to try and bring about changes. I may be wrong, but I do believe that.

Why do you wear what might be considered typically female costumes?

Yuki Kobayashi: I want to experience what people are feeling and understand how people are looking at sexism and racism – that’s why I wear those costumes. I want to totally change my body’s identity. It’s not about my body needing to be female; I know myself that I have the body of a man. The question is how can you look more neutral? The idea of clothes as an identity and that what you wear is down to your preference is common, but in sports, you have to wear a certain costume. So women have to wear a skirt in tennis and at Wimbledon the players have to wear all white clothes. Those kinds of traditions and rules are pushing people’s identities in one direction. That was what gave me the first idea of starting to wear female clothes and playing sports in gallery spaces.

Did you ever feel like you were having an identity pushed onto you in the world of sport?

Yuki Kobayashi: I would never be pushed by anyone to wear anything I didn’t want to so I’ve never felt bad. But I’ve seen it happen to other people – that’s why I started doing this. People are really fascinated with clothes. For example, female tennis players are expected to wear sports bras, but some don’t and you can see their nipples and people comment on it. Those kinds of issues make me feel really strange like, why are people going crazy about that? It made me think about stadiums almost changing into strip clubs and that made me feel really, really weird. Why are people looking at athletes like that? It’s a sport. I don’t like the sexualisation and the sexism. I want there to be more respect and for people to see the sports. It’s just about winning and losing.

Why did you choose a cheerleader’s outfit for one of your performances?

Yuki Kobayashi: I played sports but I had never tried cheerleading before. When I choose clothes there are a few things I look for: first is whether I like it and I want to wear it. The second is how does it fit on my body? More like a modelling mentality. Then I think about the ideas, the culture and concept of those clothes and the message you send when you put them on your body. Finally, I think about how it works with the concept of neutrality.

“Cheerleaders are in a really weird position. They’re performing in the same stadium and on the same stage as the players, but somehow people don’t think they’re athletes”

That’s why cheerleader’s outfits are nice. Cheerleaders are in a really weird position. They’re performing in the same stadium and on the same stage as the players, but somehow people don’t think they’re athletes. They’re always there in the gaps or in the break time when the teams are taking a rest and they have to get up and perform. It’s an ironic situation to be in. Sometimes the players are kind of tacky – they’re too excited and full of testosterone, but the boys cheerleading with the girls seem much more gentle. I feel like the male cheerleaders are always there, supporting the women, throwing and catching them. They’re still strong but they’re kind gentlemen. I really like that idea.

Do you ever feel vulnerable when you’re performing?

Yuki Kobayashi: In Asian countries, they always think that nudity isn’t good to show and that it’s not really art. For me, it’s not good to compromise an artist’s work. I want to break the walls of the limits of showing artwork in a gallery space and that's why I started to use more nudity. I don’t think my body is dirty – it’s good to show your body as a sculpture and as a piece of art. I don’t feel vulnerable when I’m performing. I don’t really care. I don’t ever feel anything negative from the audience. Whatever the situation is, it’s about just making your work. My work doesn’t change depending on the situation because I never want to compromise myself. I just do the maximum I can in that moment. I wish I could talk to every single person and tell them to be free and that you can be whatever you want to be.

Follow Alice Nicolov on Twitter here @alicenicolov

Yuki Kobayashi 小林勇輝
Official Website: https://www.yukikoba.com/

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Curtis M. Wong 「How The Joys (And Struggles) Of The Queer Asian Experience Inspired A New Podcast」

Posted on May 03, 2017 commentaires

WNYC’s 「Nancy」 delivers frank talk and provocative dish.

When they met at the Transom Story Workshop for radio professionals in 2013, Tobin Low and Kathy Tu immediately clicked. Still, it would take the pair nearly four years to decide on a project that they found professionally satisfying.

“We just sort of immediately clung to each other. There was an immediate chemistry,” Low, 30, told HuffPost. “We were trying to create the thing that we wish we had when we were young.”

Both Low and Tu believe they’ve found the perfect outlet for their creative passions in their new WNYC Studios podcast, the cheekily titled 「Nancy」. When it launched on April 9, 「Nancy」 promised “provocative stories and frank discussions about the LGBTQ experience,” and it’s safe to say that, five episodes in, it’s lived up to that vow.

Watch a short video of Low and Tu discussing LGBTQ stereotypes.

The 12-episode show’s latest installment, released April 30, took an in-depth – if somewhat skeptical – look at『Harry Potter』author J.K. Rowling’s implication that Albus Dumbledore is gay. Other episodes have featured gay porn stars, coming out stories and interviews with supporters of President Donald Trump who happen to identify as LGBTQ.

Queer-themed podcasts, of course, are nothing new. But Low and Tu, 31, believe 「Nancy」 is unique in that their podcast examines LGBTQ issues through an Asian-American lens. Though she and Low were raised in California, Tu was born in Taiwan, a fact which she believes factors heavily into the content and tone of 「Nancy」. The debut episode, 「Hello, hello」, saw Tu sitting down with her Taiwanese-American mother, who has thus far struggled to accept her daughter’s sexuality, for an emotional series of conversations.

Listen to the first episode below.

“We loved this kind of storytelling, and we wanted to bring it to things that we’re passionate about, which have a lot to do with our identities,” Low said. “We’re both queer, we’re both Asian, we’re both radio producers, so it was like, how can we make something that’s informed by all of those things and bring them together?”

As for as the podcast’s name, Tu and Low brainstormed (and eventually scrapped) a number of other options. Eventually, they chose 「Nancy」 in an effort to reclaim a derogatory, if antiquated, term used to refer to effeminate gay men.

“We went through a laundry list of all the puns that we could possibly think of,” Tu said. “None of them really sat right because they were either too on the nose or too weird.” Eventually, they settled on the name, which Tu said “worked out great. It refers to a part of culture. It’s sort of reclaiming that.”

Listeners seem to have taken to the first 12-episode season of 「Nancy」 thus far. Since its launch last month, the podcast has been featured in both『The Guardian』and on NBC;『New York Magazine』’s Vulture blog said the show is indicative of “an empathetic sense of how it feels to be young, searching and a work in progress.”

In the second episode, Low searches for an openly gay Asian male porn star.

Still, Tu and Low are aware that the debut of their podcast comes at a time when the LGBTQ community is facing an uncertain future in the Trump era.

“We always want it to be a place where people, especially queer people, would come, listen and feel affirmed,” Low said. “One thing we really try to do is let people tell their own stories in a way that engages in both what is difficult about their experience, and also what is joyful.”

Though Tu and Low are proud of the buzz that 「Nancy」 has been received, they’re already planning ahead for the future. The pair said they would love to feature stage and screen star B.D. Wong in a future episode, as well as 「Golden Girls」 icon Betty White.

“I just really want to put something good and positive into the world,” Tu said, “and this accomplishes that, 100 percent.”

Want more 「Nancy」? Head here or listen on iTunes here.

For the latest in LGBTQ entertainment, check out the Queer Voices newsletter.

Curtis M. Wong
Queer Voices Senior Editor, HuffPost
Curtis M. Wong is the Senior Editor of Queer Voices at HuffPost. He has written for『The Prague Post』,『Passport Magazine』,『The Hartford Courant』,『Business Insurance Weekly』, Abu Dhabi’s『The National』and Ohio’s『Akron Jewish News』, among other publications.

Kathy Tu
Official Website: http://www.kathytu.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/_ktu

Tobin Low
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tobinlow

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MeseMoa. めせもあ。「Shadow Kiss」

Posted on April 29, 2017 commentaires

MeseMoa. 「Shadow Kiss」 - from『Secret』released on April 29, 2017.

Les MeseMoa. (anciennement Morning Musumen) repoussent les limites du fan service avec un concept tout simple : ils s'embrassent tous pendant tout le clip !

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Chris Lam 「Hot Taiwanese Men To Follow For Self-Care」

Posted on April 20, 2017 commentaires

Chris Lam 「Hot Taiwanese Men To Follow For Self-Care」 - posted on April 20, 2017.

Taiwan represent! What better excuse to talk more about hot men than my Taiwanese heritage, right? You're welcome again btw.

Featured men:

Woody Liang
Woody Liang via Instagram

Jacob via Instagram

Yukuei Lo
Yukuei Lo via Instagram

Ted_n_the_ins via Instagram

Freddie Hung
Freddie Hung via Instagram


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Mike Miksche 「Circuit Parties Began Fading in North America a Decade Ago – Why Are They So Hot in Asia?」

Posted on March 31, 2017 commentaires
On Saturday, hordes of gay men and other dance lovers will descend upon a club space in Manhattan for the 「Black Party」, an edgier, kinkier underground variant of the “circuit party,” a gay institution that has, for better or worse, defined a certain strain of macho, drug-embracing, sex-positive party culture since their initial appearance around 1980. Circuit parties can be found all over the globe – on the circuit, as it were – from Palm Springs and Paris to Barcelona and Bangkok. But regardless of locale, the basics are the same: They feature local and world-class DJ talent and performers, have immersive production values, and are held in large venues filled with writhing, shirtless men.

Speaking of Bangkok, I just finished up a two-month stint living there, and while I had arrived expecting surprises, the existence of a circuit party was not one of them. Just as I was preparing to move, I came across a trailer for one.

「WHITE PARTY BANGKOK 2017 | Official Trailer #2」 - posted on November 30, 2016.

It was based on the original 「White Party」, which started in Palm Springs, California, in 1989.* The Palm Springs festival is still around, the style and aesthetic same as it always was – ads feature chiseled alpha males in speedos, flexing and posing. The Bangkok homage, named 「The White Party Bangkok」, takes place over New Years and is produced in collaboration with the founder of the Palm Springs festival, Jeffrey Sanker. The trailer mimics that old school American circuit style with beautiful, buff men outfitted in aviators and designer underwear.

Despite the familiarity, seeing the video stirred the same sort of excitement I used to feel prior to attending one of these events over a decade years ago. It transported me back to that time when circuit parties were at the peak of their popularity in North America. Even the soundtrack triggered nostalgia, with a circuit remix (yes, it’s a whole style) of Abba’s 「Voulez-Vous」. But nostalgia is not exactly enough to fuel a lively cultural form. The remix’s tribal sound is from another time; its basic beats have since evolved to techno, deep house, or nu disco in the trendier queer club scenes. And many of the DJs who brought this genre to thousands of rolling queens have moved on as well: People like Victor Calderone who, back in the day, had famously remixed Madonna’s 「Ray of Light」, has since gone on to more techno work and is playing some of the biggest EDM festivals around the world.

Overall, the gay party scene just seems so much more eclectic these days. There are groups like Horse Meat Disco headlining parties around the world, re-introducing the homos to that glittery ’70s sound while re-inventing it at the same time. I’ve seen them pack the Output venue in Brooklyn with guys dancing into the morning hours, seduced by smooth strings and that original four-on-the-floor rhythm. And then there are events like 「Burning Man」, where we have our own LGBTQ theme camps in Black Rock Desert. We’ve come so far from that circuit vibe, with it’s non-inclusive standards of beauty and its stale sound. Of course, there are still many devout followers – but they kind of feel like those punks who won’t let go of the whole hardcore thing.

However, what seems played out to some can be revolutionary for others. According to Blue Satittammanoon, the producer and organizer of 「White Party Bangkok」, the circuit scene in Asia is as fresh as new wave. This specific party is only in its second year, and the most recent festival saw approximately 13,000 patrons over the course of three days. That’s up from 12,000 who attended the previous year, when every single party at the festival sold out. As I dug deeper, I learned that similar such parties were happening all over Asia, creating a circuit of their own spanning from Bangkok to Seoul, and Shanghai to Tokyo. Given that the circuit scene in North America has been slowing down for the last decade or so, it’s surprising that the practice would catch on in Asia now, and with such strong appeal. To find out why, I decided to reach out to local organizers – but first, I reflected on what drew me to circuit all those years ago.

I began fashioning myself as a circuit queen in the early to mid 2000s. I’d just come out and moved to the “big city,” which for me was Toronto, having grown up in a small town in southwestern Ontario. I got an office job, began earning a decent salary where they gave me my own desk and box of business cards. I had disposable income for the first time in my life, too, so I was poised to become a circuit boy – it’s not a cheap lifestyle, given the steep cover charges, necessary synthetic drugs, and travel expenses.

The first circuit festival I attended coincided with Pride weekend in Toronto. It was the first time that I’d ever taken ecstasy, and I still remember the feeling of coming up on the pills – problems that I’d been having with my family seemed to untangle themselves in time with the beat. we weren’t speaking after my coming out, but on the dance floor that didn’t matter. I’d resolved all our issues ... in my head, at least ... with chemically induced reasoning. I soon felt an intense euphoria just by moving my body with all those other men, with my people. Eventually I took my shirt off, comfortable enough to flaunt my body, proudly enjoying my sexuality and losing myself in the lights and sounds. It was fabulous. The drugs were fabulous. I felt so beautiful that night.

Inevitably, all my problems came right back when the weekend was over; but to escape from them, even for a bit, made them much more bearable. From that Friday on, I did “e” pretty much every weekend for years, in addition to gradually incorporating other drugs to take the edge off, like ketamine and coke.

I got buff, hitting the gym twice as hard, traded in my ironic graphic tees for skin tight muscle shirts, and even attempted to shave my body hair – smooth skin being the coin of the circuit realm. Being a very hirsute gentleman made the chest shaving problematic. The first time I tried, I just used a razor, but it turned out a mess since I still had so much hair on my thighs and lower back. I used Nair the next time, which worked, but left me freaked out by how easily the hair came off. I decided in the end that the best way to fit in was to just keep the chest hair trim. People seemed okay with that. In fact, there was even a niche market for it back then, well before beards and body hair were hip.

In circuit culture – both on the dance floor and in the effort it took to look the part – I found I was so much more than the “faggot” my family had said I was. I got in shape, I had my own phone extension at work, and I went to fun parties with beautiful, interesting people all the time.

I was following in a disco ball-lit path that thousands of gay men before me had strutted down. The circuit party started with men travelling between the The Saint in New York, The Probe in Los Angles, and Hotlanta in Atlanta. Many more parties followed all over North America, including Sanker’s 「White Party」 in the late ’80s. Although some of the events today are purely for profit, during the AIDS epidemic in the ’80s and ’90s many became a way to raise funds for HIV/AIDS service providers. They were also where the community could come together and celebrate life during tough times, while remembering those who had passed. But as the immediate threat of AIDS faded – and gays were afforded more and more social opportunities outside of our ghettos – the popularity of circuit declined.

To find out what was happening in Asia during those early days of American circuit scene, I spoke to Yoshida Toshinobu, the Promoter of 「Shangri-La」, which is the leading party series of its kind in Tokyo. “Other than in Japan, the doors to the gay scene hadn't been opened yet,” he explained via email through a translator. “So in the ’80s and ’90s, most gays had to remain closeted. The only fun they could have was going to regular clubs. In Japan, there were gay nights every weekend, and house music was in its heyday.”

Although the 「White Party Bangkok」 only got starred back in 2015, a semblance of a circuit scene was forming in Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore fifteen years earlier, according to Toshinobu. Other countries like Thailand, China, and South Korea joined later on. The 「Shangri-La」 parties began back in 2003, just when the scene in North America was slowing down. They hosted five parties the first year, drawing 10,991 patrons total. 13 years later there was only a slight reduction in numbers, with 10,714 people attending their five events. So what makes circuit so vital to the Asian scene when, in its homeland, the necessity of it was largely obsolete?

“Now we’re seeing a kind of normalization of gay,” Russell Westhaver told me over the phone. He was careful not to imply that gay lives were adversity-free today, but just that there’s an increase in recognition of same-sex rights in the West. Westhaver is an Associate Professor at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, and he has spent many years writing about and studying the circuit scene as a participant and observer, though he admitted his last real party was 2003’s 「Black and Blue」 in Montreal. “I think as we become normalized we can occupy public spaces in these somewhat more comfortable ways,” he explained. “The need for collective confirmation, these sub rosa or hidden or alternative spaces becomes less of an issue.”

Of course, Japan is different than North America, and Thailand has its own situation as well. Though a city like Bangkok can seem like a paradise for gay tourists, with a number of gay nightclubs, saunas, and go-go bars, there are no anti-discrimination laws protecting the LGBTQ community who actually live there. Same-sex marriage is yet to be recognized. There’s even a sort of conversion therapy for transgendered youth.

Despite Toshinobu’s portrait of Japan’s relative cultural openness, anti-discrimination laws and recognition of same-sex marriage aren’t any better in Japan or the countries in the region making up this Asian circuit. Taiwan may become the exception, where late last year a marriage equality bill was approved by a legislative committee that could lead to the legalization of same-sex marriage. Still, to say that homosexuality has been ‘normalized’ like in North America is a stretch.

So could the lack of LGBTQ rights explain the popularity of the circuit scene in Asia?

Although his understanding of Asia is admittedly limited, if Westhaver were to guess, he’d say yes: “I think it’d be generally fair to say that when the rights of gay people are not particularly secure, when they are fundamentally marginalized in ways that they’re probably not in North America, they would experience the same kind of challenges that I think circuit parties in North America spoke to, which is a visceral celebration; being present in the moment; a kind of abandonment where you could be fundamentally who you are at a bodily level.”

Traditionally, these circuit parties are a place for gay men to be themselves – a sentiment Satittammanoon had expressed several times. “There’s something magical when thousands of gay men come together,” he said. “You feel like you’re part of a community that’s bigger than yourself; it’s empowering at the same time.”

“For those brief hours, you’re the majority. You feel the power on the dance floor,” Stephen Pevner, the executive director of The Saint at Large told me from his office in New York. (The Saint at Large produces 「The Black Party」 each year.) “I think [the circuit] follows wherever gay people who feel oppressed are gaining a mental picture of where they could be going.”

Since it’d been so long since Westhaver had been to a circuit party, I was curious what he thought about them after all these years. He described them as a necessary and “fraught” site of affirmation: “It was a place where gay men who, at one level, may have felt and experienced a great degree of marginalization could confirm themselves in a bunch of different ways in a narrower sense. It served the same function as gay pride does, more generally.”

Westhaver uses the word fraught to mean “neutral complicated.” He appreciates the positive aspects of the circuit, such as the connection one can feel with others and the freedom to express oneself through dance. But he also sees the negatives, like valuing particular notions beauty, the close connection the scene has with drug use and addiction, as well as the possibility of risky sexual behavior that comes with excessive drug use. Ultimately, he sees the circuit as a place of both empowerment and danger.

I eventually stopped going to circuit parties because I grew to prefer trance and techno music over that circuit and tribal sound. After arriving at a party and being there for an hour or two, I’d slip away from my friends and go to one of the underground clubs in the city that weren’t gay per se, but were certainly gay-friendly. That was in 2006, and same-sex marriage had been legalized in Canada a year earlier, which might be why I was finding more and more straight techno clubs that were gay-friendly. I started bringing fuck buddies and lovers with me, and we’d dance together all night long, grinding and kissing. Nobody said a thing to us and I felt more myself at these places than I did at circuit parties, because I didn’t need to assimilate to a certain look. I haven’t trimmed my chest hair since.

That said, I owe a lot to the circuit scene because it was a stepping stone toward self-acceptance. Once I left that world and started going to straight venues, I felt empowered in a different way, because I was able to be gay in a straight setting. Integrating my life was intimidating at first, but it turned out to be an important shift that helped me deal with my family when we started talking again. Those people at the club accept me, so you will to. And they did.

“The fact that emancipation has given us the freedoms to be out basically says that these circuit parties aren’t even really essential anymore,” Pevner said. Since this isn’t the case in Asia – not yet anyway – events like 「The White Party Bangkok」 seem crucial as they may help some men see how coming together in joy and communal action might get them somewhere better. Despite my conflicting feelings about the circuit scene, there’s no denying that during certain periods they have been instruments of empowerment, only becoming obsolete when equality is achieved. For gay men in Asia, circuit is currently a wonderful thing. But when it fades, that will be a good thing, too.

*Correction, Apr. 2, 2017: Due to a production error, this post originally misstated the city in which the original 「White Party」 began.

Mike Miksche is a regular contributor to『Lambda Literary』and『Daily Xtra』. He’s also written for『The Quietus』,『The Gay and Lesbian Review』and『Litro Magazine』.

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Alexa Tietjen 「Ross Butler on Working With Selena Gomez and Shattering Asian Stereotypes」

Posted on March 30, 2017 commentaires
Ross Butler by Dan Doperalski

The actor plays Zach in 「13 Reasons Why」, out on March 31 via Netflix.

Ross Butler decided early in his career that he had had enough of Hollywood’s stereotyping. The actor – of American, British and Chinese descent – grew frustrated that the only roles he seemed to get called in for were “Asian roles” like “the martial artist or the nerd.” So he put his foot down.

“I told my team, ‘I don’t want to go out for Asian roles anymore,’” Butler says. He found himself in a dark period immediately following, but soon enough, he got called in for roles that didn’t specify an ethnicity. And he started booking them.

The 26-year-old now plays fictional teen Reggie Mantle on 「Riverdale」 and has also landed a part in Netflix’s 「13 Reasons Why」, Selena Gomez’s passion project based on Jay Asher’s 2007 novel. Butler plays Zach, a high school jock and one of the reasons why the show’s main character, Hannah (Katherine Langford), decided to take her own life.

“People in high school either feel like they’re with the cool kids in a clique or they’re isolated – there’s no in-between,” Butler says. “I wasn’t bullied or anything, but I didn’t really fit in. I think Zach has a feeling of that. Even though he’s seen as a popular kid, he’s actually really lonely. It’s that mixed with high school, where you have to put on this facade of who you are.”

He describes Gomez, an executive producer on the show, as “super down-to-earth” and not what he expected from someone who’s been in the spotlight for about a decade. Castmate Tommy Dorfman echoed this sentiment at an event in New York City earlier this month.

“She’s superhumble and supportive and obviously has a lot of experience to share,” Dorfman said of Gomez. “A lot of us are really new to this industry and she was there as an amazing resource. She’s so passionate about this book and this story being told.”

Gomez’s devotion to the project stems in part from her own struggles. She completed a 90-day stint in rehab last year to help her cope with anxiety and depression. Butler alludes to this time, saying Gomez was able to offer the cast “a lot of insight.”

“She was dealing with a lot of personal things a year ago,” Butler says of the actress-turned-singer. “Talking to her about that gave us a new perspective on the subject and how anybody can be affected by these things.” Through conversing with Gomez and working on the show, Butler was inspired to learn more about suicide prevention and depression diagnosis and how to have meaningful conversations about both of these.

“Try to imagine what it’s like to be this girl who’s getting bullied and is supercrushed to the point where she’d wanna take her own life,” he says. “All of our actions have consequences whether we know it or not. We never know what people are going through until something tragic happens – if they don’t talk about it.”

While he waits to see whether 「13 Reasons Why」 will get picked up for a second season, Butler continues to focus on shattering Asian stereotypes.

“Why can’t we have an Asian Brad Pitt or an Asian Ryan Gosling? Those type of roles, lead males,” he says. “I see this gap in the industry now where there isn’t an Asian leading man.”

He says he’s been auditioning for “leading” roles in which “the guy gets the girl at the end.” Perhaps he’s on his way to filling that void in the industry. At any rate, he says these potential projects are signs of “a good trending change.”

Author: Alexa Tietjen/Date: March 30, 2017/Source: http://wwd.com/eye/people/ross-butler-selena-gomez-asian-stereotypes-10851580/

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Nassira El Moaddem 「« Asiatiques de France » : « Prenez la parole, montrez-vous, osez  ! »」

Posted on March 28, 2017 commentaires
Hélène Lam Trong, journaliste et réalisatrice d’origine vietnamienne, signe le clip 「Asiatiques de France」, une vidéo pour rendre visible la minorité asiatique à travers des personnalités et des anonymes. Durant deux minutes, le clip recense les insultes racistes proférées contre les Français d’origine asiatique, rappelle ce qu’ils ont apporté à la société et ce qu’ils sont devenus : des citoyens français à part entière. Interview.

Bondy Blog  : Comment t’est venue cette idée de clip sur les Asiatiques de France ?

Hélène Lam Trong : Je ne peux même pas dire que c’est mon idée. En début d’année, j’ai tourné un documentaire pour France 2 sur le comédien Frédéric Chau, 「Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au Bon Dieu」. En le suivant, notamment dans le xiiie arrondissement, j’ai rencontré beaucoup de personnes impliquées dans l’organisation du défilé du Nouvel An chinois en particulier, et dans la vie du quartier en général. Autour d’un café, j’ai fait la connaissance de cinq de amis de longue date, My-Anh, Kim Lys, Kim Anh, Jacques et David. Il m’ont montré une vidéo faite par les Américains d’origine asiatique. Ils m’ont dit qu’ils adoreraient pouvoir faire une vidéo similaire en France. Ils m’ont alors demandé si je connaissais des réalisateurs qui pouvaient faire ça. J’ai un peu cherché sans trouver. Du coup, je me suis portée volontaire. Mais en posant certaines conditions pour adapter le clip au public français.

Bondy Blog : Lesquelles ?

Hélène Lam Trong : Je n’assumais du tout qu’il puisse y avoir un appel au vote dans le clip par exemple. Je suis journaliste et je ne voulais pas qu’il y ait un message politique qui plus est clivant ou partisan.

Bondy Blog : À quelle nécessité ce clip répond ?

Hélène Lam Trong : Il y avait un sentiment d’urgence. Les Asiatiques sont régulièrement visés par des actes racistes, par un racisme ordinaire et par des actes violents ce qui est évidemment mal vécu par beaucoup de monde. Il y a une libération de la parole raciste en général. Mais à la différence d’autres minorités, les Asiatiques n’ont pas d’organisation constituée de défense de leurs droits. Cette vidéo est juste là pour dire, sans prétention ni revendication précise, « Eh oh, on est là, on existe, on aimerait qu’on voie en nous des Français avant de voir des Asiatiques ».

Bondy Blog : Quel est l’objectif de ce projet  ?

Hélène Lam Trong : À vrai dire, on n’a pas intellectualisé la démarche. Mais en mettant côte à côte personnalités et anonymes, en créant un effet d’accumulation, on avait envie de dire que l’invisibilité qu’on reproche aux Asiatiques, elle est avant tout subie. L’autre message s’adresse directement aux Français d’origine asiatique : « prenez la parole, montrez-vous, osez ! »

Bondy Blog : Avec quels moyens as-tu pu réaliser ce clip ?

Hélène Lam Trong : Très peu ! On a lancé un « kiss kiss bank bank » auprès de nos proches. On a récolté un peu plus de 2500 euros. Mélissa Theuriau, que je connais, a aussi eu la gentillesse de nous soutenir en mettant à notre disposition un studio qu’on n’aurait jamais pu louer sans son aide et en me permettant d’acheter des images de l’INA via sa boîte de production.

Bondy Blog : On sait la difficulté en France d’afficher parfois ses engagements citoyens. Dans ce clip, il y a des personnalités : Frédéric Chau, François Trinh-Duc, Anggun, Alphonse Areola, Anne-Solenne Hatte, Raphäl Yem, Steve Tran et bien d’autres. Est-ce qu’il a été difficile pour toi de les convaincre ?

Hélène Lam Trong : Absolument pas ! Au contraire ! Elles ont toutes été extrêmement enthousiastes. Frédéric Chau m’a aidée, à travers sa notoriété, à joindre les personnalités dont je n’avais pas les coordonnées, ce qui m’a confortée dans la conviction qu’il y avait un truc à faire maintenant, tout de suite. Tous les participants se sont démenés pour venir en studio malgré leurs emplois du temps très chargés. Je pense notamment à Anggun qui est venue directement en rentrant du Japon et aux sportifs comme François Trinh-Duc et Alphonse Areola, qui se sont pliés en quatre pour que le tournage soit possible avec eux.

Bondy Blog : Il y a ce message très important : « Vous dîtes de nous que nous sommes invisibles mais regardez nous, nous sommes bien là ! »

Hélène Lam Trong : Exactement. Et pour les jeunes français d’origine asiatique, il est important d’avoir des modèles qui leur ressemblent. Par exemple, Frédéric Chau m’a raconté qu’il ne se reconnaissait pas dans les figures qu’il y avait à la télévision, que ce soit dans leur physique que dans leur vie tout simplement. C’est exactement la même chose pour les livres d’enfants, les dessins, ou les films dans lesquels lorsqu’il y a des Asiatiques, ils jouent des Asiatiques et pas des rôles de journalistes, d’avocats ou autre. Il y a un manque de modèles. Avec ce clip, les jeunes ont une palette inspirante, j’espère.

Bondy Blog : C’est un message très universel, celui de dire « nous sommes qui nous sommes, avec notre histoire et les images d’archives sont là pour en témoigner, mais on ne fera rien sans être ensemble ». Ça change des discours séparatistes actuels...

Hélène Lam Trong : Bien sûr. L’histoire permet d’éclairer le présent. Ceux qui organisent les divisions aiment à gommer certains passages de l’histoire. Il est bon de les rappeler, même de manière laconique, y compris pour les jeunes qui ne savent pas forcément quelle est leur histoire commune avec la France. Le message est « Nous sommes des Français comme les autres », mais on peut lire aussi « Nous sommes des immigrés comme les autres ».

Bondy Blog : Est-ce que ce clip va déboucher sur autre chose, un autre projet ?

Hélène Lam Trong : Pas à mon niveau. Ou alors un documentaire peut-être, pourquoi pas. En tout cas, les participants espèrent tous que cela va créer une impulsion dans la communauté, que cela va pousser certains à prendre des initiatives pour mieux faire connaître la communauté. Et si ça peut déjà donner du baume au cœur à ceux qui subissent des moqueries quotidiennes, c’est déjà beaucoup !

Pour en savoir plus, rendez-vous sur la page Facebook « Asiatiques de France »

「Clip Asiatiques de France」 - posted on March 23, 2017.

Avec: Steve Tran, Frédéric Chau, Linh-Dan Pham, Leng Toan, François Trinh-Duc, Anne-Solenne Hatte, Pierre Sang, Anggun, Raphaël Yem, Alphonse Areola, Hom Nguyen, Alexandre Nguy, Paul Duan, Émilie Tran Nguyen, Monsieur Nov, Soc Lam, Sophie Hua, Sommany Nhouyvanisvong, Nhi Oum, Nguyen Vy Thuy, Véronique Ung, Éloïse Giromanay, Ty Boun Tai, Sophie In, M. Nguyen, les Smileyz, My Anh Hoang, Jessica Liu, Elsa, Christelle, Hervé et Léo Vongsamay.

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Marine Le Breton 「Dans ce clip, les « Asiatiques de France » s’attaquent aux clichés dont ils sont victimes」

Posted on March 23, 2017 commentaires
Frédéric Chau & Alphonse Areola

Plusieurs personnalités apparaissent dans cette vidéo, parmi lesquelles Pierre Sang, Anggun ou Frédéric Chau.

CLICHÉS – « Bruce Lee », « Jackie Chan », « Vous êtes discrets », les « chinetoques »... Ces mots et propos, les Asiatiques de France en ont marre de les entendre et ils prennent la parole pour s’attaquer aux clichés qui perdurent à leur sujet.

Dans une vidéo réalisée par la journaliste indépendante Hélène Lam Trong, postée ce jeudi 23 mars sur la page Facebook « Asiatiques de France », plusieurs personnalités apparaissent, parmi lesquelles le chef Pierre Sang, la chanteuse Anggun ou encore le comédien Frédéric Chau, rendu célèbre par son rôle dans 「Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au Bon Dieu」.

Partagée plus de 5000 fois en à peine quelques heures, ils appréhendent en deux minutes les stéréotypes dont la communauté asiatique en France souffre encore aujourd’hui.

「Clip Asiatiques de France」 - posted on March 23, 2017.

Avec: Steve Tran, Frédéric Chau, Linh-Dan Pham, Leng Toan, François Trinh-Duc, Anne-Solenne Hatte, Pierre Sang, Anggun, Raphaël Yem, Alphonse Areola, Hom Nguyen, Alexandre Nguy, Paul Duan, Émilie Tran Nguyen, Monsieur Nov, Soc Lam, Sophie Hua, Sommany Nhouyvanisvong, Nhi Oum, Nguyen Vy Thuy, Véronique Ung, Éloïse Giromanay, Ty Boun Tai, Sophie In, M. Nguyen, les Smileyz, My Anh Hoang, Jessica Liu, Elsa, Christelle, Hervé et Léo Vongsamay.

Petit rappel d’histoire à l’appui – les Asiatiques ont combattu pour l’armée française pendant les deux Guerres mondiales, ils ont été des boat-people, ces Vietnamiens qui ont fui leur pays – la vidéo insiste surtout sur ce que ces personnes asiatiques représentent aujourd’hui dans la société française : des Français. Ils sont « entrepreneur, agent immobilier fonctionnaire, avocat, médecin, professeur des écoles, retraité (...), liste la réalisatrice. Bref : ils sont comme tout le monde.

« Le message est double », explique Hélène Lam Trong, contactée par『Cheek』magazine, « rappeler que les Français d’origine asiatique sont des Français à part entière, tout en les incitant à investir davantage l’espace public (...) Il s’agit juste de dire « Je ne suis pas discret, je ne suis pas mangeur de chien, je ne suis pas tching tchong, niakoué ou Bruce Lee », poursuit-elle.

Le projet est né il y a très peu de temps avec une rencontre avec Frédéric Chau, qui lui a fait « rencontrer la communauté asiatique du xiiie arrondissement », précise-t-elle à『20 Minutes』. En quelques jours, après une petite aide par crowfunding, le projet est né.

Et cette vidéo vient rappeler une nouvelle fois que les discriminations dont sont victimes les Asiatiques. En septembre dernier, plusieurs milliers de personnes manifestaient à Paris contre le racisme anti-asiatique.

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Nicolas Raffin 「VIDEO. Anggun, François Trinh-Duc, Alphonse Areola… Les Français d’origine asiatique prennent la parole dans un clip」


MOBILISATION Ils veulent notamment casser plusieurs clichés trop souvent associés à cette communauté...

Les Français d’origine asiatique veulent s’exprimer. « Ils n’ont plus envie qu’on les considère comme réservés, discrets » explique Hélène Lam Trong. Cette journaliste indépendante vient de réaliser un clip, publié ce jeudi sur Facebook. La vidéo veut inciter les Asiatiques à prendre la parole pour « changer les choses ».

Dans ce clip apparaissent des personnalités telles que François Trinh-Duc, joueur professionnel de rugby, la chanteuse Anggun, le gardien du PSG Alphonse Areola, mais aussi Frédéric Chau. Le comédien, qui a notamment joué dans 「Qu’est qu’on a fait au bon Dieu ?」, a rencontré Hélène Lam Trong qui voulait réaliser son portrait.

« Il m’a fait rencontrer la communauté asiatique du xiiie arrondissement de Paris, raconte-t-elle à『20 Minutes』, et notamment un groupe de copains : Jacques, David, Kim Nay, Kim Lys et My-Anh. Ils ont tous des métiers très différents et ne sont pas politisés. » Ensemble, ils décident de s’inspirer d’une vidéo tournée aux États-Unis et incitant la communauté asiatique à s’inscrire sur les listes électorales.

« Je n’ai pas du tout eu besoin de les convaincre »
Après un rapide crowdfunding et grâce à un studio prêté par la journaliste et productrice Mélissa Theuriau, le tournage est bouclé en quelques jours. Hélène Lam Trong s’étonne même de ne pas avoir eu à forcer pour convaincre les stars de participer. « François Trinh-Duc est venu exprès de Marcoussis [centre d’entraînement de l’équipe de France de rugby] pour participer au clip, Alphonse Areola est venu après l’entraînement avec le PSG avec sa voiture », explique-t-elle.

Au final, la vidéo est le résultat d’un compromis : « le groupe que j’ai rencontré voulait surtout s’adresser à la communauté, moi je voulais que ça parle à tout le monde, explique la journaliste : on a essayé de trouver un équilibre, c’est pour ça qu’on incite les gens à s’exprimer de manière générale, pas forcément en votant. »

Le ras-le-bol de la communauté
L’intiative rappelle que la communauté asiatique est victime de discriminations. À l’été 2016, plusieurs marches avaient été organisées à Paris et Aubervilliers après la mort de Zhang Chaolin, un couturier victime d’une très violente agression au moment d’un vol. « Ces délinquants nous croient riches, s’énervait Joëlle, rencontrée en 2016 par『20 Minutes』. Ils sont persuadés que nous nous promenons avec beaucoup de liquide sur nous ».

En décembre 2016, Anthony Cheylan, rédacteur en chef de Clique TV, se fendait d’un article cinglant après un sketch de Kev Adams et de Gad Elmaleh rempli de clichés sur les Chinois.

Avec ce nouveau clip, Hélène Lam Trong n’a pas forcément de but précis : « On n’a pas réfléchi à la suite, reconnait-elle, je pense que ceux qui ont participé ont envie d’initier un mouvement pour montrer que quand on se met dans la lumière ce n’est que du bon. »

「Clip Asiatiques de France」 - posted on March 23, 2017.

Avec: Steve Tran, Frédéric Chau, Linh-Dan Pham, Leng Toan, François Trinh-Duc, Anne-Solenne Hatte, Pierre Sang, Anggun, Raphaël Yem, Alphonse Areola, Hom Nguyen, Alexandre Nguy, Paul Duan, Émilie Tran Nguyen, Monsieur Nov, Soc Lam, Sophie Hua, Sommany Nhouyvanisvong, Nhi Oum, Nguyen Vy Thuy, Véronique Ung, Éloïse Giromanay, Ty Boun Tai, Sophie In, M. Nguyen, les Smileyz, My Anh Hoang, Jessica Liu, Elsa, Christelle, Hervé et Léo Vongsamay.

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Myriam Levain 「Les asiatiques de France en ont ras-le-bol des clichés et le disent dans un clip」

La journaliste Hélène Lam Trong a rassemblé des personnalités et des anonymes asiatiques français dans un clip qui remet en question les stéréotypes dont est victime la communauté asiatique en France.

Hélène Lam Trong & Pierre Sang

Du chef Pierre Sang aux comédiens Frédéric Chau et Lin Dan Pham, en passant par de nombreux anonymes qui ont accueilli l’idée avec enthousiasme, c’est un joli petit groupe que la journaliste Hélène Lam Trong, 35 ans, a réussi à réunir en quelques jours, quand le projet de tourner un clip contre les clichés sur les Asiatiques s’est accéléré. Si c’est un groupe d’habitants du xiiie arrondissement qui en est à l’origine, c’est la jeune femme qui s’est démenée pour donner corps à cette envie. Interview express.

C’est quoi le message principal de ce clip ?

Le message est double : rappeler que les Français d’origine asiatique sont des Français à part entière, tout en les incitant à investir davantage l’espace public. C’est modeste comme ambition, mais on part quasiment de zéro. Il s’agit juste de dire « Je ne suis pas discret, je ne suis pas mangeur de chien, je ne suis pas tching tchong, niakoué ou Bruce Lee. Je suis professeur des écoles, footballeur, médecin, agent immobilier, rugbyman, avocat, comédien, comédienne, chanteuse, étudiante, retraité, chef cuisinier, journaliste etc. Français, quoi ».

「Clip Asiatiques de France」 - posted on March 23, 2017.

Avec: Steve Tran, Frédéric Chau, Linh-Dan Pham, Leng Toan, François Trinh-Duc, Anne-Solenne Hatte, Pierre Sang, Anggun, Raphaël Yem, Alphonse Areola, Hom Nguyen, Alexandre Nguy, Paul Duan, Émilie Tran Nguyen, Monsieur Nov, Soc Lam, Sophie Hua, Sommany Nhouyvanisvong, Nhi Oum, Nguyen Vy Thuy, Véronique Ung, Éloïse Giromanay, Ty Boun Tai, Sophie In, M. Nguyen, les Smileyz, My Anh Hoang, Jessica Liu, Elsa, Christelle, Hervé et Léo Vongsamay.

Pourquoi t’es-tu investie dans ce projet ?

Le projet est né d’une rencontre, il y a quelques semaines à peine. J’étais en train de tourner un documentaire pour France 2, sur l’acteur Frédéric Chau. À travers lui, il était bien sûr question des problématiques que rencontrent aujourd’hui les Français d’origine asiatique. Nous avons notamment tourné dans le xiiie arrondissement de Paris, pendant le Nouvel An chinois. Et j’y ai rencontré des habitants actifs du quartier. Parmi eux, il y avait un groupe de cinq vieux copains, aux professions très éloignées des médias et du show-biz (traiteurs, agent de voyage, marketing, expert comptable...). Ils m’ont montré une vidéo faite par les Américains d’origine asiatique en disant « on aimerait tellement qu’une vidéo pareille existe en France ! ». Parce que je suis moi-même à moitié vietnamienne, j’ai une sensibilité à tout ce qui touche la communauté asiatique, même si j’ai grandi loin d’elle. J’ai proposé que cette vidéo, on la fasse ensemble. Mais en posant quelques conditions : ne pas lui donner de sens proprement politique et s’adresser à tous les Français, pas uniquement à ceux d’origine asiatique. J’ai tâté le terrain auprès de plusieurs personnalités, elles ont toutes été extrêmement enthousiastes. Mélissa Theuriau a accepté de nous soutenir dans la production. Du coup, on s’est lancés.

« Si on n’a plus envie d’être invisibles, il faut oser le dire. »

Comment expliquer le manque de visibilité des asiatiques en France ?

Le manque de visibilité vient, à mon sens, d’un manque de représentativité. Aujourd’hui, il y a des asiatiques dans tous les secteurs d’activité, à tous niveaux de qualification. En revanche, ils sont moins présents dans le paysage médiatique et donc dans l’imaginaire collectif. Le meilleur exemple est peut-être le cinéma où il reste rarissime de voir un comédien d’origine asiatique interpréter un Français lambda. Par ailleurs, il faut le dire, une certaine réserve a été adoptée par la « première » génération d’immigrés asiatiques, ceux arrivés en masse à la fin des années 70, début des années 80. Probablement parce qu’ils avaient tout perdu et étaient dans une logique de survie pure. Peut-être aussi qu’en tant que réfugiés accueillis, à l’époque, à bras ouverts par la France, ils se sentaient redevables. Ce qui les a rendus peu enclins à dénoncer le racisme qui pouvait les viser. Mais cette réserve n’est plus ce à quoi aspirent les deuxième et troisième générations.

Notre génération sera-t-elle celle du changement ?

C’est une évidence. Même s’il existe des freins intergénérationnels : adopter une attitude qui s’inscrit en opposition avec celle de ses parents n’est pas toujours simple. Au sein de la communauté, on sent un vrai souci de ne pas froisser les aînés... associé à une vraie volonté d’avancer. Pas facile ! Cependant, le changement s’impose un peu de fait. Aujourd’hui, les asiatiques sont visés directement par des actes violents, ils font l’objet de sketches et de blagues que plus personne n’ose se permettre à propos d’autres communautés. Pour renverser les préjugés, il faut mouiller la chemise. Ça peut prendre des formes différentes mais si on n’a plus envie d’être invisibles, il faut oser le dire. Haut et fort.

Author: Marine Le Breton/Date: March 23, 2017/Source: http://cheekmagazine.fr/societe/clip-asiatiques-france-helene-lam-trong/

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