Exploring deeper into Asian American Arts and Media and the different impacts that it possess on its particular audiences, opened my mind to the countless possibilities that are able to arise due to creative cultivation of knowledge and awareness in generating progress and change. In this weeks readings we examined the first chapter “A Play of Positionalities” of Margo Machida’s Unsettling Visions. First off I am very thankful that we only had to read the first chapter, for the language in this text, for me, is really dense. I had to re-read certain parts of the text in order to grasp the full message and context of what Machida was trying to convey. Overall, I found that this text is very informational and shows the interconnectedness of an array of different topics relating to the arts, being Asian-American, and human.
After going in a more in depth discussion about Machida’s definition and explanation of positionality and the various factors that play into it in discussion, I found that I was able to understand it clearer. Especially of the featured video shown in class about the deportation of Cambodian Americans back to Cambodia in several areas across California. I also like how in depth Machida goes in providing the influences of Identity and different conceptions of Asian Americans through the use of works of art through creative mediums such as symbolism, hystory, or talent/expression, and how they are all in a sense unified. I also became more aware and had a clearer understanding of subjugation and agency through lecture and Machida’s text.
One aspect of class that I enjoyed and found helpful was the diagrams that were presented on the board. I have seen the push and pull factors that cause different people from other countries to come over to the United States and seeing it again was a good refresher. Another aspect of class that I really enjoyed was the different videos and clips that we quickly screened. They added a sense of comic relief to the somber realities that we live in today.
I feel as if the more I am learning another piece of the puzzle is found and as I connect all the pieces I contemplate on the wonders we can do as a collective in organizing and taking action in order to change a system based off power, greed, and blindful ignorance into a system of more integrity, equality, compassion, awareness, and solidarity.
In my interest and pursuit of knowledge I am definitely going to look more in depth of the cap of Asians in different universities during the eighties and nineties, the old boys club, affirmative action, The Village of Versailles, Howard Zinn, and the power structures of Walmart.