Letter to supporters 3/28/21 :
Reckoning with recent Anti-Asian violence
Dear Friends and Supporters of my documentary film,
First of all, a long overdue thank you from the bottom of my heart for those who have supported my documentary film both spiritually and financially. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you where Iʻm at with the film right now and address how incredibly relevant my subject has become in light of the escalated racial tension and violence onto both African American and Asian American communities in America.
Last year, George Floydʻs death rocked the country and ignited a fiery unleash of discontent over the unjust system built to keep black people down. We knew racism was prevalent but this case was the straw that broke the camelʻs back. Then on March 16th of this year after a devastating impact of COVID onto the world, a brutal act of violence took place in Atlanta, killing 6 Asian women. I cannot express how deeply troubling this is to me as an Asian woman. It exposes the dark underbelly of racism and sexism this country sits on and reveals the deeper systemic problem rooted in white supremacy. These racial tensions and violences are not disconnected.
My film speaks to the historical Asian/Black relationship. By exploring the Chinese experience in the Black community of Augusta, Georgia during segregation, my documentary offers a nuanced look into how these two marginal groups lived together. Their shared memories offer both warm and troubling memories. Bringing visibility and voice to this interwoven history, my film serves to open up a deeper understanding into the racial tensions we are dealing with today.
The recent attack against Asian women has also brought attention to the distorted representation of Asian women in American media as sexualized objects. Not only are we misrepresented, we are critically under-represented in the film and media industry. As author and activist Helen Zia says, Asian Americans are not “missing in action”, they are missing in history”. My film then serves not only as a vital tool in discussing racism from a Chinese American perspective, but also as a project that celebrates womenʻs voices and histories. I can’t emphasize enough the significance of this moment in addressing racism and the rhetoric around the Asian woman.
I am now in the process of finalizing my edit. Then I will begin post-production, hoping to secure enough funds to cover expenses. I need to raise another US $50,000 to complete the film. My film is largely supported by CAAM (Center of Asian American Media). Asian American actor/activist Daniel Wu is attached to my project as producer and I hope to gather more support in light of the growing recognition of Asian American voices and how things need to change.
We all condemn acts of violence. But words donʻt mean anything unless there is concrete change. We learn from the past. And with my film, the untold stories and under-represented voices become important ways to create change in these transformative times.
“Blurring the Color Line: Chinese in the Segregated South”(new title) is a feature length documentary film that will be aired on public television throughout America, enter film festivals around the world, and be a part of the education and community spaces in order to create impact and much needed discussions. Here is a trailer for a glimpse into my progress. The password is “BCL”. Newly formed Asian American activist organization LAAUNCH also has a write up on my film.
There is an urgency with this film now. If you know anyone who might be interested in supporting this film, please share this letter. Donations can be made through my fiscal sponsor, Women Make Movies at https://www.wmm.com/sponsored-project/unruly-chinese-womendisrupting-racial-narratives/ or you can contact me for direct support.
For more information on my film, you can visit my Facebook page at https:// www.facebook.com/Chinesesouthernbelles and my website www.crystalkwok.com.
Thank you again for your support and belief in this project. I look forward our continual journey and path to creating impact, disrupting existing binary views, and dismantling dominant structures that keep us down.