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Guide to the Asia Pacific Forum Records TAM 629

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
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10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630
tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Erika Gottfried

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 28, 2018
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Historical/Biographical Note

Asia Pacific Forum (APF) is a weekly pan-Asian radio show based in New York City that broadcasts on WBAI 99.5 and streams live on the Internet. Focusing on culture and politics, APF's broadcasts cover underreported stories from Asia and on Asian American communities and individuals, exploring topics including social and political movements, civil and human rights, foreign policy, immigration, history, labor, literature, pop culture, and the performing arts. WBAI is part of the Pacifica Foundation, a non-commercial and listener-sponsored national radio network.

APF was founded in 1998, when Samori Marksman, program director of WBAI, and Sybil Wong, former business director of WBAI, brought together a group of journalists and progressive political activists to organize a weekly program focused on New York's Asian communities. Founding members included Kil Huh, John Kim, Jungwon Kim, Suen-yi Meng, and Doualy Xaykaotao. APF was organized as a collective and has continued to operate as one. A formal application process to join the collective was instituted in 2005. As of 2011, core collective members included Amna Akbar, Vivek Bharathan, Michelle Chen, Andrew Hsiao, Hyun Lee, Leyla Mei, Dorian Merina, Silky Shah, Naureen Shah, and Irene Tung.

Soon after the founding of APF, the show began a partnership with SAMAR magazine, the  South Asian Magazine for Action and Reflection, a New York-based publication that explores the politics and culture of South Asia and the South Asian diaspora. During this time, members of the SAMAR collective, including Ananya Bhattacharjee, Aniruddha Das, Satinder Jawanda, Chandana Mathur, S. Shankar, and others, produced and hosted one show per month. The arrangement ended in 2001, when several SAMAR members joined the APF collective. APF quickly expanded its coverage to encompass East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the Pacific as well as Asian America.

The show's content is local, national, and international in scope. Among the Asian and Asian American newsmakers that have been featured on APF are Arundhati Roy, Tariq Ali, David Henry Hwang, Monique Truong, Edward Said, Maxine Hong Kingston, Vijay Prashad, Cathi Tactaquin, Grace Lee Boggs, Bhairavi Desai, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Margaret Fung, Mike Honda, John Liu, Stacey Ann Chin, Jeff Chang, and DJ Rekha. In 2006, APF began podcasting and making its weekly broadcasts available as downloads on the Web, allowing the show to reach a broader audience both nationally and globally.