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D.I.Y vs. Diversity
Barbara Jane Reyes, on her blog, posts her thoughts about the stance of Filipino Americans towards the publishing industry. For some academics and activists, the goal is diversity, but for others, including Reyes, the goal is to create a means of publication and dissemination independent of the dominant industry:
It isn’t enough for “some of us” to find success within the larger publishing industry because this does not change the structure of this industry. To reiterate some of my points from yesterday’s blog post, the mainstream publishing industry isn’t set up with my community’s interests incorporated anywhere in their ideologies, and I believe this even when cries for diversity pop up as trendy bits and fetish objects when they do.
Her model for such activity is the Kearny Street Workshop, a San Francisco-based arts organization that supported and published the work Asian American writers and artists:
And that’s why I have held Kearny Street Workshop in such high regard, because they took publication of our community’s voices into their own hands, given the dearth of voices, narratives, battle cries from the streets and fields. They subsequently gave me Jaime Jacinto’s Heaven is Just Another Country, Jeff Tagami’s October Light, and the Bay Area Pilipino American Writers’ Without Names, collections of words, verses, rants I needed in order to connect me with this place and its people. My ongoing interest in publishing is carrying on this legacy.