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  • Writer's pictureLauren

The APAHM Project 2021: Here We Go Again!

Due to the overwhelming response to last year's inaugural APAHM Project (I'm of course being sarcastic), I decided it's time to bring it back again, 2021 style.

Last year when I came up The APAHM Project, I was unemployed and at home like most of the country. And I sat around in anxiety and fear about AAPI people around the country being targeted and attacked as they were scapegoated for the cause of Covid-19. In an attempt to find a way to celebrate our heritage while also showing others that the AAPI community belongs, I created The APAHM Project. (Read more about how The APAHM Project came to be here)

Unfortunately, not much has changed. In many ways, it has gotten much worse. According to Stop AAPI Hate, an organization that tracks and records AAPI hate across the country, there were almost 3,800 reported hate incidents from March 2020 (when the world shut down) to February 2021. And if you have been following the news, there have been 2 domestic terrorist events in the last few months, one in Atlanta which killed 8 people (6 of which were Asian women) and the other in Indianapolis which killed 8 people (4 of which were from the Sikh community).

Elderly Asians have been shoved, spat on, sliced, stabbed, and killed. My heart continues to break for these people and my veins boil with rage when I see stories like this. The news of Atlanta sat with me like a brick for weeks as I wondered "What if that was my uncle or cousin who live in Atlanta?" "What if that had been my mother or sister?" "What if that had been me?"

Anyone who knows me in person knows how fiercely proud I am of my heritage. But suddenly I wanted to shrink away. I caught myself being hyper-aware as my mom spoke Cantonese out in public (and I wasn't even embarrassed when she used to scream into the phone in Canto at the grocery store pre-Covid). There was a span of about 2 weeks of mental exhaustion from reading news, educating myself and others, and reliving my own trauma from past racist experiences. I would come back to my hotel room after a 12-14 hour work day, sit on the floor, and endlessly scroll through my Instagram feed to read the latest news and resources. And I would sit alone, in a hotel room, far away from my family and anyone who looked like me, and just cry.

But here's where I see the good, We are making waves. We are being heard. No longer is our community keeping our heads down like the stereotypes suggest. We are telling people we are here. We are hurting. And that we belong.

As much work as The APAHM Project was last year, I thoroughly enjoyed it, even if I was only one of three people who participated. And even though I am emotionally exhausted, just got off the most challenging job in my short career, and started a new job in a new city (ironically Atlanta), I feel too passionate about Asian American rights and positive Asian representation to not do this project.

The events of 2020 and 2021 obviously played a big factor into why I wanted to do The APAHM Project this year. Another reason is that it was a very good year for AAPI Film and Television. We had 2 Asian directors nominated for Best Director and Best Picture this year, as well as the first East Asian American and Pakistani British Male Nominees for Best Actor. And that was just the Oscars.

However, since I am working full time and now battling Atlanta traffic (the rumors are too real), my time is limited and I haven't really watched a movie in quite a while. That's why there are some changes to this year's format for The APAHM Project.

  • Instead of 31 Days of Films, this year will be 31 Days of Film and Television in order to watch shorter content after work hours during the week

  • The lineup will currently include 11 days of Films and 20 days of Television

  • We'll have new friends! Every Saturday will include a guest-selected film and conversation!

  • Blog posts will be limited to Films only. Television shows will get one blog post per series rather than per episode (i.e. there will not be 31 blog posts)

  • Every Blog Post will include a verified donation link to various organizations that help fight AAPI Hate or individuals who have been victims of AAPI hate. If you are so inclined to donate, please do!

  • I will also be matching donations to blog post likes! For example, if Day 4's Blog Post gets 30 likes, I will donate $30 to the link for that day. So please share the blog posts with your friends!

That's all I have to say for now! Be sure to subscribe to my site so you don't miss any blog posts, including the announcement of the 2021 APAHM Project Line Up!


Hashtags to follow along: #TheAPAHMProject2021 #BeJeubilant

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