1 Episode results for "Jason Oliver Chang"

Pain, Power, Poets

On The Media

52:02 min | 4 months ago

Pain, Power, Poets

"The suspect accused in a deadly shooting. Spree at spas in the atlanta area is telling police. It was not racially motivated. Putting police in the immediate aftermath of an event without qualification is a given but it is and always has been bad practice from. Wnyc in new york. This is on the media. I'm brooke gladstone. garfield shootings in atlanta exposed. What for many americans was hiding in plain sight. There is an eraser of the history of anti-asian discrimination and violence in the us. I cannot tell you how many times. I've heard the phrase. I never knew that this happened. Also a romeo and juliet that crosses the barrier of language. Discourses answer it not me. She speaks talk coming up after this. Wnyc studios is supported by. Do you own or rent your home. Sure you do. Fortunately gyco makes it easy to bundle your home and car insurance. It's a good thing too because having a home as hard work go to geico dot com. Get a quote and see how much you could save. Geico dot com easy. The public theater returns to audio drama with a groundbreaking bilingual spanish and english production of rahmael equally etta directed by sahim aline with loopy degnan. Go that and plump gus. Daniel romeo listen wherever you got. Podcasts listener supported w in wiessee studios from wnyc new york. This is on the media. I'm brooklyn and i'm bob garfield by now. The whole world knows that. On tuesday robert long had a day. He was pretty much fed up at the end of his rope and a really bad day for him and this is what he did this. According to cherokee county sheriff's office captain j baker being allegedly gunning down eight people including six asian women in three spas around atlanta in the early days after the murders. We knew the alleged shooter's middle name his church his self-declared reasons for the attack. But as i write this on friday we are only just learning. All the names of the people he killed. Delano ashley yawn. Show jay tyron diageo fund. Paul andre michael's young young grant soon see park sunshine. Kim and young You elsie are end as ortiz was the sole victim to survive the attacks. Was this racially motivated. We believe that he frequented these places in the past and may have been lashing out. The jury is a sexual addiction. Issue rather than a racial profile during our interviews That specific question and and that did not appear to be the motive so much as they say in literature. Classes to unpack there to begin with the bloodbath. Capped a plague of anti asian american incidents from coast to coast nearly thirty eight hundred assaults and other types of harassment in the pandemic year. That's according to a report released the day of the shootings from the organization. Stop asian american pacific. Islander hate the center for the study of hate and extremism found such incidents. Were up one hundred fifty percent last year attributed in part to the rhetoric of certain politicians. But you don't hear the talking about kovac. Komet name gets further and further away from china as opposed to call the chinese virus. And how about a white man arrested for a mass shooting. N being afforded a level of empathy seldom if ever afforded black and brown criminal suspects which empathy came from sheriff's officer who himself had posted a covert related anti-china image on his facebook page. And how about a law enforcement explanation motives that sounded suspiciously like victim blaming these locations. He sees them as an outlet for him that something that he shouldn't be doing and an issue with corn and that he was attending to take out that temptation once again just a guy at the end of his rope doing a little temptation eradication. Go on folks. Nothing racist misogynist. See here and a media pack so hungry for the latest that it barely questioned what it was fed but merely regurgitated the official narrative up next at six thirty was the shooter actually motivated by sex addiction new at noon. The suspect accused in a deadly shooting. Spree at spas in the atlanta area is telling police. It was not racially motivated. Say they interviewed long overnight and that he claims his motivation was sex addiction. The narrative the mainstream press was very late to glum onto though was the local korean language press coverage which spoke to an eyewitness who claimed shooter declared. I'll kill all asians. There was a report. You may have seen it that a witness heard the suspect say that he was there to kill all asians well talked to the sheriff of cherokee county about that repeatedly today and in the end he categorically denied the report says no one reported hearing anything like that and also maybe unreliable but should cnbc's chef smith have given last word to the cops. These cops much as black lives matter pulled the curtain back on daily life while black a series of lawmakers from both parties testified before congress on thursday on what the cherokee sheriff's department seems slow to grasp the hate the bias and the attacks that we've seen against the asian american community are unacceptable and they must stopped anti-asian rhetoric like china virus flu misinformation. Racism have left asian americans traumatize and fearful for their lives. I certainly active duty so he can say whatever you want on the first amendment. You can say racist stupid stuff if you want. But i'm asking you to. Please stop using racist terms. I come flu wuhan virus the identifiers this virus. I am not a virus and when you say things like that and hurts. Asian american community and it isn't just in recent weeks as long as we're unpacking. Let's look beyond the headlines to the past one hundred and forty years american history of committing violence against asians almost as soon as they emigrated to these shores. This is one of the ways in which american racism works. Asian americans have been identified as foreigners rather than citizens erica. Lee is director of the immigration. History research center at the university of minnesota. It's the history of the expulsion of all of seattle's chinese chinese american residents in one thousand nine hundred six. It's the story of how hundreds of people were intimidated and then forced under armed guard to leave their homes and businesses herded together and forced to board a steamship out of town in eighteen. Eighty six this episode is hardly ever taught in our history books. It's almost impossible to find any monument or recognition or plaque or any historical marker related to this brutal history in seattle city known first progressiveness a city that in the early twentieth century marketed itself as a gateway to the orient this has nothing to bash on seattle. It's just a reflection of the violence and then eraser that exists than that continues to endure in relationship to asian american history the address this she says particularly marginalized women the stereotypes in the media images that permeate american popular culture from the nineteenth century up through the present. Either focus on the asian dragon. Lady the madam who runs the whorehouse or the degraded asian female prostitute. Or the submissive geisha who finds fulfillment in serving typically a white male partner or customer or the well-meaning vietnamese prostitute from the vietnam war era films. Stereotypes firmly cemented. Lee says with the expansion of the american empire. We have had such a long term heavy presence of us military in okinawa and south korea the philippines and the resulting sets trade and sex work that has exploited asian women. It's part of that culture of that military experience. The culture of us empire not only did american culture fetishizes asian women here and abroad. Us policy's meted out collective punishment based on ethnic stereotypes and nothing more. We have not just excluded asian immigrants but the very first group that we actually barred from the united states were asian immigrant women because of this idea that they were either prostitutes or potential prostitutes. This is the eighteen. Seventy five page. Act which is our first federal immigration. Law passed in the us. But if we're discussing the paradox of exploiting and punishing asian americans for the same supposed sins. Wrap your head around this. The same immigrant group excoriated by society was later embraced as a shining example for all ethnic groups of how to successfully integrate into the dominant white economy and culture. Jason oliver. Chang is associated professor of history as well as asian asian american studies at the university of connecticut. He says that a half century ago. Asian americans were dubiously characterized as model immigrants. When the nine hundred sixty five hart celler act was signed into law by lyndon b johnson. Hart celler act established a new system of governing. Us immigration by establishing a merit based approach that gave preferences to certain categories of people and eliminating the country quota numbers and this dramatically opened up immigration to new flows of immigrants from latin america and asia and then became the preferred mode of immigration for a number of companies from business to high tech companies. These flows of highly skilled emigrants fueled dominant image of who asian americans were in this period of rapid growth for asian migration. There's this immigrant cohort that on. One hand is welcomed with open arms and yet simultaneously subject to discrimination and violence violence which didn't even register in the national psyche. One of the challenging things among many with the idea of the model minority. Is that by recognizing discrimination being targeted for violence. It disrupts a national narrative about success about civil rights progress and it disrupts a convenient story about how asian-americans fit into a liberal progressive society and so in some ways erasure of their experiences is required to maintain that image of asian americans as the diligent worker as the person who won't rock the boat is it ratio is more like the failure to connect dots. Erica lee spoke to us about the expulsion of seattle's chinese residents in eighteen eighty six. There was another Sort of progress in the eighteen seventies in la. Can you tell me about that in eighteen. Seventy one. october twenty four. There was a conflict between chinese people that led to the killing of a cop and another way resident and that led to a majority of the residents around five hundred people to descend onto the chinatown where they killed between seventeen and twenty people. I was able to read some first person. Testimony and just the gruesome details behind. It just demonstrated a wholesale cleansing of a neighborhood grabbing anyone at their disposal and lynching them in the streets on the premise that were clearing out. The impurities and making los angeles a safe place. This gets back to that notion of erasure or at least of malignant intent prince. This is a country that kind of savers it's massacres. We all know about the saint. Valentine's day massacre in chicago. We know about custer's last stand and the lynchings. In jim crow south the chinese massacre of eighteen seventy one. I'm embarrassed to say it's news to me. How does it come to pass that an entire society. If i'm speaking for it fails to notice a crime so grave i think part of that comes from a deeply ingrained sense. That asians don't belong and that their history and wetter how consequential important or their contributions however great they may have been are irrelevant to the understanding of the development of the united states. That massacre was one hundred fifty years ago in the eighties. However there were two other ghastly crimes. One the murder of vincent chin in one thousand nine hundred eighty two two white men beach into death a few days before his wedding chin was chinese but he was blamed for the rise of japan's auto industry at a time when america was losing manufacturing jobs his killers essentially got away with it they received probation and a three thousand dollar fine and a school shooting in stockton. California we're all victims were southeast asian refugees in one thousand nine hundred eighty nine. A mass shooting at an elementary school in stockton was the worst. The nation had ever seen five. Children were killed. Thirty students and teachers wounded these two events together. Demonstrate that there is a sense of no consequence for practicing violence against asians. It's really difficult to paint. A detailed image of who asian americans are in a society which knows very little about why they're here and so in that absence atrocities and the attacks on asian americans appear random chaotic and episodic. If part of the problem is in visibility you have a plan at least for your home state. What is it that's right. We need to make our community safe now but we also need to educate our children and create a new narrative about who belongs here. The thing that made me a historian was an experience. I had with my grandmother where i was asking her about when she moved from maui to honolulu during the depression and she stopped in the mid sentence in explaining it and asked me. Why did i care about her story. And she said no one cares about what happened to me and it broke my heart because i cared about her. I think that students shouldn't have to wait until college if they make it to college to find asian american studies. And so i've been advocating for proposed senate bill six seven eight is a bill to include. Asian-american am pacific islander studies in the connecticut state curriculum. This is building off a recent successes to include african american and puerto rican latino studies in our schools when we do that. We eliminate the space for those stereotypes to grab hold of people Make sense of their world based on a deeper historical appreciation. But i really want to shift the political stakes from a my history their history to a broader sense of our history in order to create an equitable and just society. We have to do that together. And i think the schools are way for us to practice that jason. Thank you very much. This is Really challenging conversation. And i really appreciate the attention to jason oliver. Chang is director of the asian and asian american studies institute at the university of connecticut. So what is happening when we look but cannot see when we see but cannot remember professor. Eric lee i cannot tell you how many times when i start lecturing to a class or give public. Talk or speak to the media. How many times. I've heard the phrase. I've never heard that before. I never knew that this happened. And i've been teaching a long time at the beginning. I thought you're right. I had never heard this until recently. Either until i had started setting it but now i'm angry frustrated. There are so many books so many documentaries so many scholars and writers who write about and center the history of asian pacific americans including these horrific histories of violence and discrimination. And so i'm left to wonder why this history of violence is not being paid attention to is not being taught and why we have to re educate over and over again time and time again every time something like this happens because it does happen it has happened and it's going to continue to happen. Unfortunately coming up the green lantern theory of the american presidency. This is on the media. I'm alex you'll host of the read back from barons. It's been an extraordinary year for stock markets particularly for companies going public. Ipo sword and they show no sign of slowing down but the boom didn't come out of the blue and there was plenty of pain on the road to ipo success. So how do you put a price on innovation. This season on the reebok. We'll find out we're winding back. The clock on a decade of ipo's from dern and facebook to uber and airbnb. The read back is available. Wherever you get podcasts This is on the media. I'm bob garfield and i'm birth gladstone. Last weekend the biden administration began distributing the fruits of the american rescue plan. Its first major win in congress. Let me tell you what. We're talking about for a typical family of four with two young children. each family member. They're going to get one of those fourteen hundred dollar stimulus checks gonna total do about fifty six hundred dollars then on top of that. They're getting the an additional child tax credit for twenty six hundred dollars for two of those kids and for a total. Listen to this. Eighty two hundred dollars for that family news. The most significant piece of legislation passed four working families in many many decades. It isn't historic bill. Six billion dollars for the restaurant industry airlines get another fifteen billion dollars. They're seven point two five billion to expand the payroll protection program. One point seven billion for amtrak easier rules for the live entertainment venues to access their eight but amidst this c- of stimulus was one glaring absence one of biden's core campaign promises one thing. Progressives are deeply disappointed by the absence of the fifteen dollar minimum wage from the american rescue plan it was taken out by the senate parliamentarian and the white house didn't fight that after a handful of moderate democrats shut down the minimum wage hike some progressive journalists blamed biden for not fighting tooth. And now i mean really really trying to get it in the bill. This belief that a president's legislative shortcomings so the product of a lack of will is what some media critics. Call the green lantern theory of the presidency the green lantern corps for those unfamiliar with the dc comics. Canon are a class of superheroes who can conjure supernatural weapons using sheer willpower as in that ryan reynolds movie from two thousand eleven. Anything i see a my mind. I can create. It was up to focus anything. But according to brendan shanahan professor of government at dartmouth college and the man who coined the term the green lantern theory of the presidency. The idea overstates the power of the executive. He says that even when there's a will there may not be away. My understanding is the green lantern corps. Have a ring whose powers are limited. Only by the wearer's willpower matt. Iglesias is a blogger. Applied that idea to geopolitics. He was criticizing conservatives. Who said the failures of us foreign policy in the post. Nine eleven era were attributable to will. And i saw that same idea as being applicable to domestic politics to where the president's powers are actually quite limited and so all of this brings us to the criticism currently directed joe biden. Many progressives are upset by the failure to include the fifteen dollars minimum wage and argued. That biden could've done more to convince. Democratic senators. Like joe manchin of west virginia and kirsten cinema of arizona. Who voted against it. David sirotta wrote in the guardian. He's a former speechwriter for bernie sanders the famous example from lyndon b. Johnson's fight for medicare as proof that a tough president can strong arm members of congress into adopting his goals. Yeah i think that lbj arm. Twisting myth has been a major contributor to green lantern style discourse around the president that the president can through the kind of cajoling described in these famous accounts bring numerous votes to his side and congress. It's very difficult for the president to move votes in congress. Ask barack obama for most of his time in office asked. Donald trump asked any occupant of the white house. Lbj came into office with huge democratic. Majorities joe biden has a margin of zero votes in the senate. Joe manchin represents a state. Where almost seventy percent of people voted for donald trump. I'm not sure what arm twisting could cause him to vote against his political interest. The democrats are anchor around his neck. Politically withdrawing their support from him is not some kind of it probably helps them getting back to lbj. You say that he is one of two main illustrations. That would seem to support the green lantern theory. The other president is ronald reagan rather than lbj style. Arm twisting activists say that the president could marshal public opinion. If they only made the case publicly. They could win over the public to their side and therefore rally congress to support their priorities. This was a recurring theme in the obama years because he was quite skilled order. The evidence however suggests that presidential speechmaking often ineffective from reagan wrote in his own diaries when he was president that his case for aid to the contras in latin america failed to rally support and reportedly he was even told by his own pollster that the public comments he was offering a behalf of a cause. We're actually making it harder for him by rallying opposition and that's dilemma. That presidents face david from the conservative commentator argued that one of the most effective communication strategies at the early biden administration has been how little he has talked precisely because it avoids making him. The focal point of conversation given the president's are so polarizing in our current era. So again the idea here is it's not a case of the president failing to deploy their public communication powers. It's the public. Communication powers are highly overrated. Once the president gets issues where they don't have the votes sometimes they will try barack obama campaign quite extensively on behalf of gun control and renewed those efforts after high profile mass shootings but it was fruitless. He would campaign on behalf of it. Because maybe you could help move the needle but it never was enough to successfully enacted legislation. The administration was proposing. You've suggested that it's worth paying attention to what biden doesn't say as much as he does say like. He didn't talk publicly about the impeachment vote. That's right he's stayed away from. So many controversies like vaccines where it's very important for everyone in this country to get vaccinated and for that not to be seen as a partner. Polarizing issue and so the administration's communication strategy very much emphasizes local and community leaders and trusted sources rather than national political. Figures could be more polarizing. That may be a smart kind of communication strategy. In twenty first century america liberals in particular one to believe in a west wing version of the world where or tori wins people over. And that's just not the way. Politics works and presidents. Learn that over and over again. Of course the biden style is the exact opposite of trump. Who you called in two thousand fifteen. The purest green lantern candidate. We've seen in recent years what you mean. Donald trump again and again claimed that he would make things happen through sheer force of will he would cut the best deal. This was most often expressed when it came to trade change the balance of trade with china reversed the decline of american manufacturing. Politicians are all talk no action. Nothing's gonna get done. They will not bring us believe me to the promised land. He promised everything to and we saw. How limited his powers of persuasion were even in a party. That was enthralled to him. Republicans are terrified of being on the wrong side of trump politically. They're extremely unwilling to support his impeachment to call out his attacks on the integrity of the election or to denounce scandals but when it came to legislation. The republican party did what the republican party wanted to do for the most part donald trump's signature legislative achievement was a conventional republican tax cut. His healthcare policy was a conventional healthcare policy proposal from the republican side which ultimately failed the only areas where he was able to really change. The direction of the party on policy were those that didn't require votes in congress. He faced all the same legislative constraints that of frustrated past presidents and was not able to bless pass them however we discovered during the trump presidency that we depended on the president respecting the democratic norms of our system. Such is not calling for the imprisonment of your political opponents or attacking the integrity of an election. In which you were defeated those norms can be overridden through sheer force of will. Don trump was willing to cross those lines in a way that past presidents worked. We should not only recognize how frequently overstate their ability to get what they want. But be wary of what happens when they actually succeed. Let me return to david. Sarah's guardian piece from earlier this month for a minute he actually responded to your green lantern theory formulation by saying hey if we adopted your position. We'd be succumbing to what he calls quote powerless president narrative. Is it possible. That by invoking the green lantern theory you're basically dismissing criticism of biden's it's and letting him or any other president off the hook. I can't say that term fury is always applied. In a way. I would agree with and i certainly am not saying that. The vitamin stations legislative strategy is perfect. I do question though the assumption that people who are the absolute top of national politics don't know how to get votes and are unable to see how easily could win members of congress or the public to their side that seems like a strange preconception to have and when it's offered by activists with idiological axes to grind. I'm suspicious. i certainly can't rule it out but historical records suggest more often. These claims are at least unsupported unproven again. It doesn't mean the president should try but these constraints are real and brooklyn just had one more thing when people call for the president to try. They often fail to take into account the cost of trying every issue that has prioritized by president. Means that other issues. Don't get prioritized every legislative push. Congress means another priority. Doesn't get attention so it's not just simply a matter of trying and if you don't try you don't care. It's a matter of prioritizing among many issues and policies that our president cares about in some cases the people at the top they're making a calculation about where to allocate their effort and attention and rather than throw a hail mary on some issue where the chances of success are slim. They'd rather focus our attention where they think they have a better chance You believe that it's still early days for the green lantern theory under biden and that we'll be hearing this narrative over and over again in the news in the coming weeks and months very much. We should put a marker down now. The president just a a major policy success. Maybe one of the most important pieces of social policy legislation in recent decades. But this was the low hanging fruit the legislation where the political opportunity was greatest from here on out the president's going to face failure and compromise failure uncompromised away every president does and so we're going to hear this story again and again this very president centric way of thinking about why congress hasn't taken some particular action and i just hope going forward journalists in reporting about these events. Don't fall victim to these simplistic stories. About why biden failed. I'm sure there will be many failures in many mistakes. But it's not simply a matter of filling to try hard no talking about the filibuster. Some people see the democrats failure to get rid of the filibuster as itself reflecting a lack of will but there again. The democrats need fifty votes and if they don't have the votes they can't do it. So how do you get. Joe manchin. And his colleagues to off vote to get rid of the filibuster. That's the question facing democrats right now. Joe biden have the will to get rid of the filibuster but unless he has votes. It doesn't matter. It's not clear that he has the leverage to get rid of it as easily as people have suggested well but to conclude this argument over willpower intent sincerity and how to read their lack in biden's failures to pass things in other words the green lantern theory. We're gonna see that hanging around for a while. The belief that the president could get what the activists want if only they tried hard enough. I'm convinces in evergreen. This idea will never go away. We have a kind of heroic all-powerful conception of the president. And as the president has accumulated more powers in other domains and become such an important figure in popular culture and news coverage the tendency to view politics through this prism has only become stronger would have been better off. Without the west wing. There's a cohort of liberals of a certain age. Who very much have an understanding of the presidency and its powers that seems to have an aaron sorkin inflected tone and i have many friends and family members who loved that show. But i don't think that's the best way to understand american politics and you would not do well in my in my class on the presidency. If you were writing from sorkin scripts brendan. Thank you very much. Thank you brendan is a professor of government at dartmouth college coming up what you can learn from a shakespeare production that asks you to listen even harder to what you may not understand this on the media. This is on the media. I'm bob garfield. And i'm brooke gladstone. New york's public theater and our producing station. Wnyc is doing. Romeo and juliet on the radio and this production aims both to entertain and to show that language need not divide us those formulas those alike in dignity and bidoun a- scenario indeed on the characters shift seamlessly from spanish to english back again. You don't have to understand if he worried to get the message from ancient grudge. Break to new mutiny. Civil blood makes civil hands unclean Stars one costano ago and was co adapted and entirely directed by sahim from four th the fatal owings of these two foes a pair of star crossed lovers take their life who's misadventure piteous overthrows doth with their deaths burying their parents strife. Some of us will take in the unfamiliar words like pure emotion. But we'll all be travelling together. Assuming between decrease in the st new dna this bothers. It's almost sixteen. Your marie lucie. Mr sina in those auras bachan outlays the which if you with patient ears attend us. Somebody who's Poetry is especially kind of music and it was a musical that i brought ali to shakespeare so when i was in kenya i was obsessed with this beautiful greece. No sixteen. i've heard of it. So i got my friends in high school together with a group of girls from another high school and we up a production of grease that. I had kind of cobbled together from my memory of seeing the production. Someone saw me in that and sent me a letter and said would you like to play mccutcheon production of romeo and juliet and i had no idea what that was or who that was or anything that was my shakespeare's be cast makuuchi when i was sixteen in nairobi. I'm so glad you were cast as mc yoshio. Because i was going to bring them up in just a moment. What you've done here. I have never seen before a truly bilingual production. What was her intention. He one of my missions with shakespeare is increase sense of accessibility and the audiences feel invited to the production so typically in the traditional theater that means casting actors of color at the center of production. So that folks who haven't seen themselves reflected in these worlds can see themselves and had these stories. They're relevant to them a few years ago. I did a production of twelfth night. My concept was that violence. Sebastian were immigrants from cuba coming to the. Us and they landed off the coast of florida in south beach. And so i incorporated the language into that working with ricardo perez kansallis who also co adapted rome. You yet with me. I'm bilingual. And so when i speak to my family back in kenya we very automatically switched swahili. And so i wanted to tell the story of the siblings. Who when they saw each other for the first time reverted back to their mother tongue which is spanish. And if you don't understand spanish you didn't need to know what they were saying. It was beautiful private moment but you understood the emotion behind it. Shakespeare's like that. Sometimes it feels like a foreign language as it is. There's the process of translation. That comes along with shakespeare that i just wanted to take to the next level by bringing spanish into it. There were forty one million people who speak spanish in the us. that's their first language. A huge swath of population. And i want to create something for them as well and say there's also something beautiful you shakespeare. You may not have english as your first language. Here is a production of the greatest love story of all time. And there's going to be part of this. That are just for you. I understand that you started preparing the script off of the spanish translation by alfredo michelle modena's for to work bilingually. I had to find a translation of the play that huge pretty close to shakespeare's original rhythms there others like the new rueda. For example near route has his romeo. And it's very much an adaptation. It is not a translation takes liberties with the text. That's beautiful but it wouldn't work for bilingual production. Because i needed the integration of both languages feel seamless and so that really was how i found and chose afraid of translation. Could you tell me a little bit about. Alfredo michelle. Modena's esi geeze. Mexican scholar at the university of mexico teaches linguistics and he was introduced to me by ianna thompson. Who is the shakespeare scholar in residence at the public. She says you have to be my friend. Freighter and so we had a zoom call with me on and off radio. And then he sent me his techs and the thing about the translation. That is so perfect for creating bilingual adaptation. Is that his words hue very close to shakespeare's rhythms his image series. The meter of the text. I regret to say. I don't know spanish but i do know a little bit about shakespeare from when i was studying an acting school. I know how much the emotional intention of the character hinges on the meter. And how when that meter breaks it. Conveys disordered thinking passion. Did you find as as someone who has directed shakespeare before that. It didn't pose a huge challenge. Most of the time no didn't translation really takes all of those rhythms into account reflected in his text. The blueprint that carlos. Gonzales and i created one that sense to us. It was very subjective. You know we really started from a place. In the media. St- scenes both need to be in spanish the moments of real passion parents. Because that's that's that our story as people who are bilingual. You know those moments where your mother is really upset with you. She switches to your mother tongue. She doesn't do it in english. Did it in swahili. The that is the truth of someone who is bilingual and the next step was to work with the actress. So we said okay here is texas. We have created now. We wanted to actress to give us their input because every actor had a different relationship to spanish. Some were born outside of this country. Some born here in learn spanish after the fact somewhere not lat next at all and they or a different identity. Peter was born in mexico but grew up in kenya and so spanish was her third language. The final step of adaptation was for the actors to say will be more comfortable to me. And i would maybe say this word in spanish or this word in english. They were partners in that because it had to be true to what their own history of spanish was. Could you suggest a snippet we could play. Give our listeners. A sense of that. Yeah i think the balcony because you get a sense of like how languages work back and forth there and what you have is also the final design rights you can hear the footsteps and the foley and everything. Yeah dr peter speaks. She says nothing. What fact discourses i want to answer. It threw not me. She speaks. You said that your introduction to shakespeare back in kenya was being cast as makishi. Oh and it's funny because when you sent me the script. I turned immediately to his queen. Nab speech which is hard enough to follow shakespeare about this malevolent spirit who tempts men into depravity. By tangling what they most desire. It's a series of phantasmagoric images lover's dream of love lawyers dream of lawsuits and making money soldiers. Dream of cutting foreign throats And i noticed that half the image would be in one language and the other half of it in the other like the word wagoner would be english and the description in spanish and vice versa and in this state she gallops night by night through lovers brains guests wayne young ghulam donald that dream on curtsy street davis devil ga those who straight dream on fees lab. You stood on. Meet us straight on kisses dream. Lobbyist cab forty. Asta guvener the gas for israeli and happy struggling seen us Was that like crazy fun or just was crazy it was. That's the kind of work that really gets. Be going because it really depends on what the word is and how it sounds. And then hearing it. In his co. the the actor who plays makuuchi hearing her speak the warden. She's someone who had such great fun with the language because classically trained very very much steeped in how to work with this kind of text and she was born speaking spanish so she brought such a facility and dexterity deputy with the language and became so much fun to create this for her. Were there any speeches that were particularly hard to bilingual allies. I would say the scene that was really pleasantly challenging was the scene where capulet finds out. That juliet does not want to marry paris. And berates her where we lord capulet so. Julia has only one parent into her mother. We had to combine the texts that the mother says when she first enters into the juliet and that the father says when he comes in and finds out creating that amalgamation to find the right tone the right arc because you're taking two catches who appear in one scene and respond to information about their daughter in one and you'll be mine. I'll give you to my friend. Sinoe will say men diga by sombre. What i said for by my soul a narrative knowledge z. Nor what is mine shall never do the good you know florencio son was the actor there and we went back and forth like which lines were in english which lines were in spanish because the seen as such emotional intensity you know we wanted to make it all in spanish but then it lost truly feeling bilingual. Because one of the things that i'm thinking about. I'm making this for bilingual audience. But i would also like an audience. That's english only to be able to follow an audience at spanish. Or follow the ven diagram of where that intersects in that scene in particular and was particularly challenging. And i completely got that and i was also wondering looking at the script whether in some cases you chose lines because the spanish actually sounded a lot yes for sure the same root for the absolutely that was definitely a consideration. Because i love being in spaces where. I don't speak the language and tried to decipher what's being spoken. So one of my ex's japanese is family. Didn't speak any english. So i would love being it like family dinners with them and try and pick up the context of what was being discussed in viking. Pick up like one word there. That sounded the same english. And you know. I this puzzle in my brain of like understanding what was happening. I find that really enjoyable. So this piece. Whenever there was a word in spanish is on the english. I'll be like okay. We can do the spanish for sure because as it enough there for someone who speaks english should be able to understand. I know what you mean about. Struggling i reported from russia for a and especially the first year the russian translators said that i had this expression like a dog that you were listening so still can't understand so i really know how that feels but let's talk about the choice of romeo and juliet itself. We all know the origins of west side story and most of us know that there was a spanish language version of west side story on broadway. And i think it's being made for the movies. Is there something in particular about this tale. That has resonance in spanish well. It's very subjective. Brooks from spanish is very much the language of my first loves the first the first people that i fell in love with when it came to this country and came out as a gay man were latin x. I fell in love with these people and fell in love with their language and their culture and their food and their music. And so i took trips for love often because i fall in love with someone and they lived there so i went to spend some time and that country and south america and central america. But then i also love to go to where i didn't know anyone and just go for two weeks or three weeks or a month sometimes and just like immerse myself from me a sound of spanish the mood or spanish language delamore. It's something that feels like. Love when i hear it. And then lupita a young. And i met doing romeo juliet. She played juliet actually in that production. That i played makuuchi. Oh why how long ago was that. Nine hundred ninety eight. Yes i was eighteen. She was fourteen casts a fourteen year old. Juliet we met there. We became friends and we reconnected in the us around the time we both in graduate school. I was a columbia. She was ale. We've been dreaming up coming back to this production and so when it came to thinking about. Well what i wanted to do next on the radio. I thought well i really want to go back to your romeo and juliet. I wanna do it with lupita. I love to do it. Bilingual and she does speak spanish so all the pieces came together to make something that i could feel. Like was further exploration of shakespeare on radio. Throw me and juliet. It's the shakespeare that everyone knows the best. So with romeo and juliet even the moments when either language might feel a little bit out of reach. You know these by two people who want to be together. This is a story about what happens. When two sides don't reconcile when two sides allow their hate and their enmity to blind them to everything and you have these two people caught in the middle of it and you know who you're always rooting for the always say don't do it. Don't take the potion. don't take the night because you want these two people to survive just thinking about if you had fallen in love with an eskimo with this with this being you right now i just been yeah. It really is. My first. love was a man from ecuador and so he has to say. I love sahim. Thank you so much. thank you brooke. Thank you sahim. Ali is the director of romeo alleata. A world premiere bilingual audio play co produced by the public theater and wnyc studios which also produces us. You can find it at wnyc studios dot org slash podcast slash. Romeo yuli epa a really. Where ever you get your podcasts that's it for this week's show on the media is produced by alana. Casanova burgess lay fetter. John hanrahan louise's blondie. Oh and rebecca clarke calendar with from alex worth zander ellen rights our newsletter and our show was edited by brooke. Our technical director is jennifer munson. Our engineer this week was adrian lily. Catcher rogers is our executive producer on the media is a production of wnyc's studios. I'm brooke gladstone. And i'm bob garfield this week on the experiment a podcast from the atlantic and wnyc studios how. The supreme court stepped into an argument that we still haven't settled this fear. Anger towards vaccination goes way back. The story of a man took a stand for something he believed in and the charge was the crime of refusing vaccination and is remembered today for his biggest mistake. Listen and subscribe to the experiment today.

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