Hapa-Palooza 2013: Photos from Mixed Voices Raised and Mixed Flicks

Yasuko Thanh, Fred Wah, David Chariady, and Glen Deer: Mixed Voices Raised at Hapa-Palooza 2013

Kindred spirits

I attended Hapa-Palooza's Mixed Voices Raised literary event on Wednesday evening, MCed by Glen Deer. I got to hear some spectacular readings from Canadian Poet Laureate Fred Wah, short-story master Yasuko Thanh, and novelist David Chariandy.

I think writing about small moments in fiction is much more difficult than writing big set-pieces, so Mixed Voices Raised was right up my alley.

The following evening was Mixed Flicks. The evening was hosted by Tetsuro Shigematsu, who really needs his own talk show.  We watched "Neither Here nor There", a series of interviews exploring the notion of Third Culture Kids, and the question of whether or not defining an identity also defines others as strangers.

 Filmmaker Ema Ryan Yamazaki found some compelling interview subjects.

We also watched "Kimchi Fried Dumplings", from Vancouver filmmaker Jason Karman. I liked how the mixed-ethnicity family was not commented upon within the film, it just was, rather than being "a thing". That sort of casting is fairly rare unless it's the point of the story.

We also got a sneak peek at the trailer for Michelle Kim's "The Tree Inside".

With both evenings, the discussions sparked by what we saw and heard were easily as interesting as the works of art themselves. It's sort of like TED in that regard: It's not just about the presentations, but about the people who come to experience them.

As someone who has spent so much of his adult life outside his home country, I felt quite at home amongst the nomads; even in a city like Vancouver, which nobody you meet seems to truly call home.

You haven't missed out on Hapa-Palooza just yet. Hapa Family Day takes place Saturday, September 21 at the Granville Island picnic area from 1-4pm. Bring something to eat and a desire to meet strangers from all over the planet.

More info:

Anna Ling Kaye, Jason Karman, Brent Hirose, a cool guy called Jim, Kyle Toy, Michelle Kim, Tetsuro Shigematsu, a nice lady and her cute-as-hell kid

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