2020: Orienting Ourselves to Flourish

2020: Orienting Ourselves to Flourish

By Chesiree Moanamaliealoha Katter

Pacific Art Movement’s new video series celebrates 2019 victories, and shines light on future breakthroughs in AAPI representation

Welcome to Orientation

One where you can contribute to the discussion, make yourself heard, and fire up change.

The internship team at Pacific Art Movement is adding their motion to the mix. Last week, Pac Arts premiered our new video series, “Orientation,” which celebrates Asian-American and Pacific Islander representation in media. The series aims to illuminate discussions about the identities we hold in today’s cultural landscape.

Episode one extended the spotlight to 2019’s victories in cinema, shouting out titles like The Farewell, Always Be My Maybe, and of course, the winner of the Golden Globe Award for best foreign film, Parasite, directed by Bong Joon Ho.

From Parasite (2019). Courtesy: IMDB

2020 is the start of a new era.

These films not only provided the globe with beautiful, multicultural perspectives, but made history in the broader landscape of representation. Essentially, they opened the gates to welcome film diversity across cultures, and with this momentum, we aren’t expecting those gates to close ever again.

As Grace Ramos says in the episode’s closing, “This is just the beginning. We finally got our foot in the door. Now let’s show them we are here to stay.”

Behind The Title

The idea behind the series holds just as much passion as the title.

The history of the word “oriental” has been fraught with derogatory meaning. In a sense, by naming the series “Orientation,” we’re reclaiming the term, owning our identities by instilling a new, positive connotation to the word, and inviting everyone to do the same.

“Orientation, watched through the correct lens, is an opportunity to hear about Asian development in a short, two to five minute video,” says Timothy Michael Magsino Galang, who’s on the production team. “It’s a new appreciation for something that’s really familiar, an insight into something we’ve already known was there.”

The series’ purpose is to create space for discussion. It reflects Pac Arts’ purpose to put positive social change into motion. When you have a purpose, you must orient yourself in a direction that pushes forth this change.

“As interns of Pacific Arts Movement, we are doing our part of the work in this grander project,” says Justin Bascos, Content Coordinator at Pac Arts. “Our goal is to have a broader audience, not of academics or theorists, but of folks who don’t necessarily have access to these spaces, but desire to have them.”

The intern team at work on production of Orientation episode one.

The intern team, composed of 11 members, has been working on Orientation for just a little over a month. In such a short amount of time, one thing helped to break the ice and accomplish episode one: their mutual passion.

“I like having my hand in something that has a greater purpose. It’s a special thing to be able to rekindle my pride for Asian culture,” Galang says.

Stay tuned for the next episode of Orientation. As Pac Arts gears up for the 2020 Spring Showcase, you can bet there’s going to be a lot to get excited for.