Saturday, April 13, 2013

If I Were in LA Tonight: Generation Return // Anida Yoeu Ali Art & Justice Tour

Days before I left Cambodia, I finally gained the will to step out of my hermit/incubation period to take an opportunity to sit down with Anida Yoeu Ali at Java Cafe & Gallery. We were able to talk for a precious half hour or so about her work with Studio Revolt, our experience as a Khmer American woman in Phnom Penh, reconciling our Khmer and American identities in Cambodia, poetry-- listing the topics we brushed against makes me realize what a concentrated conversation that was. Perhaps this is what it is always like in the diaspora.

Tonight, Anida's Art & Justice Tour lands in Long Beach, just in time for Khmer New Year. If I were in LA, and if this weren't in conflict with a shoot for TWSS2, I'd be there.

Catalyst Network of Communities will host artist, writer and global agitator Anida Yoeu Ali in her public performance entitled “Generation Return: Art & Justice Post-Genocide and Post-9/11” during the 2nd Saturday Artwalk of Long Beach, CA.
Ms. Ali will present and discuss her works and ideas about contemporary justice and its residual effects on the Cambodian American experience.  
Ms. Ali is actively engaged in international dialogues, community activism, and artistic resistance to multiple sites of oppression. She upholds the belief that art is a critical tool for individual and societal transformation. Ms. Ali, born in Cambodia and raised nearly all her life in Chicago, returned to live in Cambodia in 2011 after nearly 3 decades away. She is part of a returning diaspora of artists and thinkers creating narratives of Cambodia beyond war and poverty. Through her spoken word performance and video clips, she will present a body of work which provocatively considers the diasporic past/present contours of the Cambodian American experience. The video works include her collaborative media lab, Studio Revolt, and their cinematic works with the Khmer Exiled American community (who constitute the deported diaspora).
Art Exchange
356 East 3rd Street
Long Beach, CA90802
It's my third and final New Year of the year, and I'm celebrating by giving my bike some much-needed love today, and spending tomorrow at wat with my aunt and her family in San Jose.

Not until Khmer New Year arrives, one quarter of the way into the Gregorian new year, do I really feel like the transition from the last year is complete. Since the first new year on January 1, I've transitioned between continents, cities, and living situations, and now, with the arrival of my final new year, I feel firmly grounded in a time of building.

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