Mar 8 • 1HR 32M

‘100% authentic fake:’ Corky Lee’s Asian America, with Ken Chen

On the late photographer’s protest imagery and the meaning and rise of Asian American literature

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Time To Say Goodbye
A podcast about Asia, Asian America, and life during the Coronavirus pandemic, featuring Jay Caspian Kang and Tammy Kim.
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Hello from a D.C. hotel! 

This week, our guest is Ken Chen, writer, professor, and former director of the Asian American Writers' Workshop (AAWW). We discuss [6:45] Ken’s recent piece for n+1, about photojournalist and activist Corky Lee and the deep histories of class, race, and violence woven into his work, centered in Manhattan’s Chinatown. [1:03:20] We also chat about writing, publishing, and Asian American literature as a social-realist project. 

In this episode, we ask: 

When does a photo achieve representation?

What if we thought of Corky not as a photojournalist, but as a durational artist? 

Can an identity be created through accumulation and aspiration, even through economic shifts?

Why are there so many books by Asian Americans coming out now, compared to a few decades ago? 

For more, see: 

And revisit these TTSG episodes: 

Our first-ever TTSG Movie Club is happening THIS FRIDAY, March 10th, at 8pm ET / 5pm PST! We’ll be watching "Better Luck Tomorrow," and you can join our TTSG Discord to attend the viewing by subscribing on Patreon or Substack

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