Charlie Ahearn, Yasmin Ramirez, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, Humera Afridi, Tanwi Nandini Islam

People of color make up almost 70% of New York, but ethnic neighborhoods, like Manhattan’s Chinatown, are sometimes seen as exotic, abject spaces. What if we thought of them instead as alternative publics—spaces that disrupt the territorial edges of the rest of the city? For the Asian American Writers’ Workshop‘s final 2014 installation of The Counterculturalists, we focus on the urban spaces of color from Chinatown and the Lower East Side to Harlem and Queens.

Film director Charlie Ahearn—the director of the legendary hip-hop/graffiti film Wild Style—will introduce and screen his short film about seminal Asian American queer painter Martin Wong. Influenced by both the 1980s East Village art scene and graffiti, spanning Nuyorican LES and Manhattan Chinatown and the Haight-Ashbury, Wong was “a painter whose meticulous visionary realism… was as culturally complex as his appearance, which was usually distinguished by a Fu Manchu mustache and a cowboy hat” (New York Times).

Yasmin Ramirez—a research associate at the Centro de Estudios Puertorriquenos, Hunter College—discusses the Nuyorican movement and the Young Lords.

Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts—the author of Harlem Is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America—will set up a pop-up version of BLACKNUSS, her Harlem-based mobile bookstore.

Open City Fellows Humera Afridi and Tanwi Nandini Islam discuss their work writing about communities of color for AAWW’s Open City magazine.

Co-sponsored by The Loisaida Center and University Settlement.


Charlie Ahearn, Yasmin Ramirez, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, Humera Afridi, Tanwi Nandini Islam
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
7:00 PM
University Settlement
184 Eldridge (at Rivington)
New York New York
Upcoming Events
March 22 7:30 PM
AAWW, Graywolf, and Greenlight Bookstore present: Monica Youn & Claudia Rankine
Where are you from . . . ? No—where are you from from?” It’s a question every Asian American gets asked, the refrain of an incessant chorus saying you’ll never belong here, you’re a perpetual foreigner, you’ll always be seen as an alien, an object, or a threat. Monica Youn’s...
March 23 7:00 PM
AAWW & The Strand Present: Jinwoo Chong + Alexander Chee - Flux
Join us for an in-person event with debut author Jinwoo Chong for a discussion of his debut novel Flux. Joining Jinwoo in conversation is New York Times best-selling author Alexander Chee. This event will be hosted in the Strand Book Store's 3rd floor Rare Book Room at 828 Broadway on 12th Street.
April 5 7:00 PM
In Celebration of DUST CHILD: Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai and Vanessa Chan
Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai and Vanessa Chan
RSVP HERE! On April 5th at 7 PM ET, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop presents a celebration of best-selling author Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s latest novel, DUST CHILD, a convergence of lineage and memory borne from decisions made in time of war. Chanel Miller says, “In DUST CHILD, rupture leads...