My Story is Golden
My Story is Golden is a community-based storytelling initiative that began as a year long residency with Artists at Work in the Borderlands Region. Working with the New Mexico Asian Family Center and the City of Albuquerque Department of Arts & Culture, the first phase of the project has been a series of story sharing circles with APIDA community held primarily at the International District Library. By sharing and witnessing one another, the community maps new cultural knowledge and collective imagination in a space that centers our stories and voices. By sharing story, we are creating our own lore: a self-determined body of knowledge about ourselves. My Story is Golden is a response to prevailing cultural exclusion and the reduction of Asian Americans to ornament or threat. It is also a reflection of my own urge to root and belong, which is a longing shared by many of the Asian diaspora.
The name of the My Story is Golden initiative is a response to a pervasive erasure of Asian people. We do not claim ourselves as a color in the way Black, brown, or white people do. “Yellow” has been reduced to a slur. The intent is to transform yellow into gold: gold is of value, it is the color of the sun, it is of the earth. Being of the earth means that we inherently belong. Diasporic people - whether immigrants, refugees, or born outside of their homeland of origin - grapple in a collective experience of wondering where we belong. Many of us speak of being perceived as foreign, being in-between, floating in space, feeling voiceless, invisible, and ghostlike. I am advocating for my community to become visible by claiming a golden identity.
My Story is Golden connects the larger community body through rituals of storytelling as social sculpture. The next phase is to extend the sculpture as installation and honor the community in a submersive, multi-media, acoustically layered soundscape featuring their voices. I intend to build an installation that integrates sound, video, rope, remnants, tree, body, community, personhood, spirit, and ancestors that is anchored by the layered voices of APIDA community of Albuquerque telling a collective story of rooting and belonging.
Check back for updates and developments!
The video was filmed by Christopher Walsh, edited by Joe Aidonidggis, and produced by Artists at Work.