kaya publishes books of the asian pacific diaspora


Here we continue sharing resources and links that are helping us engage with social justice and Black Lives Matter movement issues. Click here to read the previous Black Lives Matter / Social Justice Links and Resources I.

Neelanjana Banerjee, Kaya Press Managing Editor
In general, I have closely been following the work of Patrisse Cullors, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, and a major force here in LA. I read When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Cullors last year and found it to be a really amazing narrative about Los Angeles, activism, this current moment and more. She has been making amazing updates on Instagram, so following here there: @osopepatrisse

Similarly, I began really following Equality Labs last fall when the Hindu Right’s terrorism and take over of Kashmir was being reported on, and it seemed like a moment of reckoning for Indian PM Narenda Modi. They had an amazing transnational conversation a few weeks ago: “Black, Dalit and Sheedi Solidarities with Dr. Cornel West” Here is the link to the FB live video.

I also watched Chris Terry and Seba Sarwar on this Facebook live: Writers of Color Discuss Allyship.

Nikole Hannah Jones’ NY Times Magazine cover story on Reparations and Black Lives Matter was powerful, and in general, I spent some time recently going back and re-listening to the 1619 Project podcast as I continue to think of ways to talk about all of this, and the long-tail of history.

Also, I listened to a podcast episode with Jericho Brown from OnBeing, from the 2019 Geraldine Dodge Poetry Festival, and he referenced this interview he did in the Kenyon Review, where he had to write his poetic credo. Both the credo and the interview were very inspiring.

Teraya Paramehta, USC American Studies and Ethnicity PhD Student and Kaya RA 2018 – 2020
My transnational experience as an Indonesian PhD student in the US provides me with a much-needed lens to think about transnational activism. And while many people in the U.S. do not immediately connect the experiences of the Melanesian ethnic minority in Southeast Asia in relation to BLM, I do notice the increasing visibility of linking the injustice in West Papua to BLM–inevitably the #PapuanLivesMatter appears alongside #BlackLivesMatter in my social media timeline. A recent LA Times article summed up the most recent events in Indonesia. Nonetheless, I find it risky to create a blanket approach to every experience as the same/similar experience–they’re not, and it is important to also identify the differences. This article discusses the differences and similarities of the two geographic and historic experiences. (I do not entirely agree with this article, but it can be a good conversation starter.)

As an Indonesian national, I am actually risking my citizenship to openly talk about #PapuanLivesMatter–let alone to publicly support it. The Indonesian Embassy in Washington DC has made a public notification for Indonesian citizens in the U.S. to not participate in BLM protests of any form–including online protests. Indonesia has a long history of government and self-censorship, but that’s another story. Sadly, the higher education in Indonesia (including the university I worked at prior to coming to the U.S.–Universitas Indonesia) internalizes this and dismisses the student discussion event as “not academic”. There is a strong and ongoing push back against the university’s stance; Indonesian academics argues in favor of academic freedom, and I am proud to be a part of it.

This is still an ongoing conversation which I continue to take part and ponder about (it also shapes my dissertation research project: such as, how does a postcolonial nation like Indonesia becomes a so-called modern colonizer, how do we define and navigate contemporary colonial continuum, and how do we survive this, etc.? I encourage people to continue talking and learning about #PapuanLivesMatter as part of the global conversation of BLM. I believe there is a way to have a conversation about #PapuanLivesMatter globally without taking the attention away from #BLM. To start, I would recommend this great bilingual page. (Hurry, we don’t know how long this page will last before it gets hacked!), and follow Indonesian American instagrammers who actively post about why Indonesians should care about BLM via #indonesiansforblacklives: @duriandad, @buahzine, @nazmajidah, @real_indome.


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