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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
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630

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

Descriptive Summary

Title: Asia Pacific Forum Records
Dates [inclusive]: 1997-2010
Abstract: Asia Pacific Forum (APF), founded by a collective of journalists and political activists, is a weekly pan-Asian radio show based in New York City that began in broadcasting 1998 on 99.5 WBAI, a non-commercial and listener-sponsored radio station. The program covers stories from Asia and on Asian American communities and individuals, focusing on culture and politics. Its records document approximately 500 of APF's on-air shows between 1998-2009, in scripts, research notes, electronic records of e-mail messages posted to the APF's internal listserv and public e-mail list, audio cassette tapes, reel-to-reel audio tapes, compact discs, mini-discs, VHS tapes and DVDs. Among the audio recordings are airchecks for some of the shows, as well as full-length unedited recorded interviews with notable Asian Americans. An archived link to APF's website provides a connection to complete APF broadcasts from August 2006 forward.
Quantity: 4 Linear Feet in 4 records boxes
Location: Materials are located at the Tamiment Library.
Language: Materials are in English
Call Phrase: TAM 629

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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.

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Scope and Content Note

The Asia Pacific Forum Records document approximately 500 of APF's on-air shows from 1998-2009, including scripts (some annotated with hand-written notes), preparatory materials, and research notes for shows (including biographies of guests and background articles), along with some documentation of APF's publicity efforts. In addition there are electronic records (mainly stored on compact discs) consisting of e-mail messages posted to the collective's internal listserv and discussion board, as well as its public e-mail list. A significant portion of the records also include audio cassette tapes, compact discs, mini-discs, and reel-to-reel audio tapes. Some of these materials contain airchecks (complete recordings of APF's live broadcasts, recorded in the studio by the host(s) of these shows). Of particular significance among the collection's audio recordings are full-length unedited recorded interviews with notable Asian Americans including activist Yuri Kochiyama, novelist Jessica Hagedorn, and musician and activist Chris Iijima. A small part of the records consist of VHS tapes and DVDs sent to APF by outside producers or distributors for promotional purposes or for consideration for possible inclusion in its programs. In addition, an archived link to APF's website makes it possible to directly listen to APF broadcasts from August 2006 forward. The collection does not contain a complete set of recordings of all of APF's shows, nor does it include a comprehensive list of all of APF's broadcasts (at present no such document exists) or any transcripts for the shows.


Arranged into seven series. In most cases original folder and audio tape titles have been retained. Series I and IV, and are arranged chronologically; Series II and III have been arranged in alphabetical order. Series V and VI are unprocessed and have not been arranged by archivist.

Missing Title

  1. Asia Pacific Forum Scripts and Background and Research Materials
  2. Asia Pacific Forum - Administrative
  3. WBAI - Pacifica
  4. Reel to Reel Audio Tapes
  5. Unprocessed Audio Cassette Tapes, Mini Discs, DIgital Data Tape (DAT), Videotapes and DVDs
  6. Unprocessed Compact Discs
  7. Asia Pacific Forum Archived Website

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Mei, Leyla

Subject Organizations

  • Asia Pacific Forum

Subject Topics

  • Asian Americans and mass media
  • Asian Americans.
  • Asian Americans -- Social conditions.

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Administrative Information

Custodial History

The archived website was migrated from the California Digital Library's Web Archiving Service to the Internet Archive's Archive-It Service in November 2015. The link to California Digital Library was removed in October 2017.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Any rights (including copyright and related rights to publicity and privacy) held by the Asia Pacific Forum were transferred to New York University in 2014 by Leyla Mei. Permission to publish or reproduce materials in this collection must be secured from the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive. Please contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Asia Pacific Forum Records; TAM.629; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Audiovisual Access Policies and Procedures

Access to audiovisual materials in this collection is available through digitized access copies. Researchers may view an item's original container, but the media themselves are not available for playback because of preservation concerns. Materials that have already been digitized are noted in the collection's finding aid and can be requested in our reading room. Materials not yet digitized will need to have access copies made before they can be used. To request an access copy, or if you are unsure if an item has been digitized, please contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A staff member will respond to you with further information.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Due to technical or privacy issues, archived websites may not be exact copies of the original website at the time of the web crawl. Certain file types will not be captured dependent on how they are embedded in the site. Other parts of websites that the crawler has difficulty capturing includes Javascript, streaming content, database-driven content, and highly interactive content. Full-Text searches of archived websites are available at https://archive-it.org/organizations/567.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Leyla Mei on behalf of the Asia Pacific Forum in 2014. The accession number associated with this gift is 2013.001.

Processing Information

All materials were removed from hanging files in which they were originally received, but remain (with a few exceptions) in their original file folders. These folders were then re-boxed into archival records boxes.


No materials were separated from this collection.


Most of the information for this guide was drawn from an historical sketch written by Andrew Hsiao and Leyla Mei, Asia Pacific Forum Collective members, that was cited in the description of the records on the webpage for the Asian/Pacific American Documentary Heritage Archives Survey. The Asian/Pacific American Documentary Heritage Archives Survey was a joint project of the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute, both of New York University, carried out in 2011.

"Asia Pacific Forum Records." Accessed October 10, 2014. http://dev-dl-pa.home.nyu.edu/tamimentapa/?q=node/209

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Container List

Series I: Asia Pacific Forum Scripts and Background and Research Materials

Scope and Content Note

Includes folders for specific shows and topics as well as folders that contain materials for several different shows and topics.

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 1 APF Scripts Etc.
Box: 1 APF Human Rights Watch: "We Are Not the Enemy"
ca 2000
Box: 1 SAMAR/WBAI Radio Scripts
Box: 1 Dams
ca April-November 2000
Box: 1 APF Scripts Etc.
Box: 1 APF Aceh; No to Cogentrix; Tong Zhi Comrade - Out in Asian America
April 2001
Box: 1 Hindu Right/Jewish Right
ca August 2001
Box: 1 APF [Program]
March 27, 2002
Box: 1 APF: Bhopal, New Developments; Barbara Tran
September 17, 2002
Box: 1 APF Pakistan Elections/Patsy Mink's Progressive Legacy/Anand Patwardhan Films
November 5, 2002
Box: 1 IDRF: Foreign Funding of Hate
November 2002
Box: 1 APF Bd Journalists Arrested/U.S.-South Korea Relations/NY Freedom Conference
December 3, 2002
Box: 1 APF Meema Seshu/Riverside Church
December 24, 2002
Box: 1 APF Bonded Child Labor in Silk Industry/U.N. Inspector/Brecht Panel
January 28, 2003
Box: 1 Arundhati Roy & Enron
ca January-March 2003
Box: 1 Iraq War
March-April 2003
Box: 1 APF [Programs]
June-August 2003
Box: 1 APF [Programs]
September, November 2003
Box: 1 APF Food
December 3, 2003
Box: 1 APF 2003
Box: 1 APF [Programs]
Box: 1 APF Congressman Mike Honda; World Social Forum
January 13, 2004
Box: 1 APF Hindu Right/UK; Asian American Writers Workshop; Queer Asian Pacific Conference
March 2, 2004
Box: 1 APF James Yee [Guantanamo]; South Korea [President's Impeachment]; Exhibit "Paradise Now"
March 30, 2004
Box: 1 APF Charlie Chan
April 13, 2004
Box: 1 APF Reagan, G8, Human Rights Film Festival
June 8, 2004
Box: 1 APF Mark Dow; James Yee's Parents; Teabag Open Mic
June 24, 2004
Box: 1 APF Dick Cheney
August 31, 2004
Box: 1 Hagedorn
October 5, 2004
Box: 1 APF Voting; Asian American Conservatives
October 19, 2004
Box: 1 Miscellaneous Scripts, Background and Research Materials
Box: 2 APF Tsumani Aid Effort; Han Ong
January 5, 2005
Box: 2 Phillippines; Epidemics; Harley Spiller
April 19, 2005
Box: 2 APF Real I.D. Act; Nepal; Taxi!
May 10, 2005
Box: 2 APF Tariq Ali; Tahrir
May 24, 2005
Box: 2 APF Chinese Labor and American Consumerism at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival; Arms Deal Between Israel and China; Anita Dube
June 7, 2005
Box: 2 APF Fletcher/SEIU
June 21, 2005
Box: 2 APF Iraq War Tribunal
July 19, 2005
Box: 2 APF Bangladesh; AAJA
August 23, 2005
Box: 2 APF P. Kwong; Torture
November 15, 2005
Box: 2 APF [Programs]
Box: 2 APF Chris Iijima; Five Streams
January 17, 2006
Box: 2 APF HR 4437; Thailand; Yamanaka
March 28, 2006
Box: 2 APF Golden Venture (Film About); Immigration; Kwong on Hu Jintao
April 25, 2006
Box: 2 APF Affirmative Action; "Return to Sender'; Mike Kang's [Film] "Motel"
June 27, 2006
Box: 2 APF Domestic Workers; Red Doors (Film)
September 5, 2006
Box: 2 APF Aziz Huq (Military Commission Act); Thailand (Voice Against Coup); Literature from the "Axis of Evil"
October 3, 2006
Box: 2 APF Moazzam Begg (Former Guantanamo Detainee)
October 17, 2006
Box: 2 APF Korea; Pakistan; Bangladesh; "One Way or Another"
November 21, 2006
Box: 2 APF KAPOW! ABC's Gene Yang; Ellen Young
January 2, 2007
Box: 2 APF U.S.-India Nuclear Deal; Immigration; Oshiro on Dorothea Lange Internment Images
January 9, 2007
Box: 2 APF Deepa Frenandes; Migrants in Korea; Kenneth Lee
March 6, 2007
Box: 2 APF Vijay Prasad; Ahish Nandi; Saigon Grill
March 27, 2007
Box: 2 APF South Asian Art; Sukhder Sandhu; Mohammed Ali; SAWCC
April 17, 2007
Box: 2 APF Pakistan; NAAATF; Stone Forest Ensemble
June 12, 2007
Box: 2 APF U.S. Social Forum; Race and Schools; Challenging China (Opposition Voices)
July 3, 2007
Box: 2 APF Okazaki; Hiroshima; Race and Restaurants (Saru Jayaraman)
August 7, 2007
Box: 2 APF Pakistan; Japan; "Intifada New York City"
August 14, 2007
Box: 2 APF U.S.-India Nuclear Deal; Queer Korea
September 4, 2007
Box: 2 APF LSFH; Klare; Nina Revoger
April 8, 2008
Box: 2 APF Global Food Crisis; China's Outcasts; Hollywood Chinese (documentary film)
April 29, 2008
Box: 2 APF Obama/McCain on Immigration; Renku Sen
October 14, 2008
Box: 2 APF Chalmers Johnson; Ed Park
October 21, 2008
Box: 2 APF Queer China; Karan Mahajan
November 25, 2008
Box: 2 Miscellaneous Research Materials
Box: 2 APF Scripts - Undated

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Series II: Asia Pacific Forum - Administrative

Scope and Content Note

Includes a list of APF's early programs and a small amount of organizational materials for APF.

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 2 APA Collective's Lists of Its Members/APA Contact List
Box: 2 Grants
Box: 2 Lists of Titles and Descriptions For Programs From 1997-2001
Box: 2 Minutes of APA Collective Meeting; Correspondence; Internal Correspondence; Notes; Program Ideas; Promotional Materials
1995-2010; undated

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Series III: WBAI - Pacifica

Historical/Biographical Note

WBAI is part of the Pacifica Foundation, a non-commercial and listener-sponsored national radio network founded in 1946, with circa 50 affiliates including stations in New York, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Washington, D.C., Berkeley and Houston, and other cities across the United States.

Scope and Content Note

Includes documents pertaining to fundraising for WBAI and for Asia Pacific Forum programs and internal turmoil at the radio station and the Pacifica Foundation.

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 2 Pacifica Crisis (2000)
Box: 2 Program Council
Box: 2 Membership Drives/Fundraisers

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Series IV: Reel to Reel Audio Tapes

Scope and Content Note

Eighteen reel to reel tapes (and one empty labeled reel to reel tape box); seven 10" reels; eleven 10" reels

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 4 Five-Hour Special on Asian Americans – Part 1 of 6 (Introduction/Overview)
May 6, 1998
Box: 4 Asian Americans Entering the Challenge of the 21rst Century – Segment 6
May 6, 1998
Box: 4 NAPAWF Interview Backup [empty box]
September 14, 1998
Box: 4
Box: 4 Tibet Arts
October 3, 1998
Box: 4 Tibet International Support
October 3, 1998
Box: 4 APF Labor Program [?] September 1, 1999?
September 1, 1999
Box: 4 Fil-Am Writers
Box: 4 Ron Takaki … (on "Double Victory – A Multicultural History of America in World War II) 23.30 Broadcast June 14, 2000
June 14, 2000
Box: 4 APF – AAIFF 7/28 Head Out
Box: 4 Chaumtoli [?]/Andrew K. Workers Rights Clinic
Box: 4 Clip 1 – Nixon; Clip 2 Ford
Box: 4 [Illegible] 2 of 2
Box: 4 My Tost [?] [TGST?]
Box: 4 Unlabeled
Box: 4 Unlabeled

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Series V: Unprocessed Audio Cassette Tapes, Mini Discs, Digital Data Tape (DAT), Videotapes and DVDs , ca 2000-2007

Scope and Content Note

Mini-discs include Asia Pacific Forum interviews, airchecks, programs and unedited programs dated 03/10/2003; 07/22/2003; 08/12/2003; 11/2003; 12/03/2003;06/08/2004; 06/29/2004 07/27/2004; 09/28/2004; 10/19/2004; 12/07/2004; 01/04/2005; 03/29/2005; 06/20/2005; 07/03/2005; 08/18/2005; 11/11/2005; 12/20/2005; 12/22/2006; 06/11/2007; 12/03/2007; also undated disks.

Audio cassette tapes labeled as follows: APF Asian-American Conservatives August 2, 2000; APF "Chinatown Files" Two Excerpts, April 22, 2001; Flower Drum Song, November Elections November 12, 2002; APF February 4, 2003 Show; APF Aircheck November 11, 2003; APF Hagedorn/Wienfield April 13, 2004; APA Teach-in/North Korea and Beyond April 23, 2003; APF April 29, 2003; APF Singh/Non-Citizens September 2, 2003; APF Healthcare & BCIS/Reparations December 30, 2003; Forbidden City undated; Ron Takaki Interview.

One DAT labeled: APF Spring Marathon [Program], May 17, 2000

Video materials consist of what seem to be review copies submitted to, or acquired by, APF. These include nine VHS, with seven titles distributed by Asian Cinevision ("Septet," "AV," "62 Years and 6,500 Miles Between," "Shape of the Moon,"and "Sleeping Tigers: The Asahi Baseball Story"), and two others "Rewind – By Hak-Soon Kim," and "Pacific Rim News Review – 6/10/04 – S.J. Gluck ; Recession in China?", and three DVDs labeled "White Light/Black Rain Clip Reel (12/26/2006),"Hollywood Chinese," "Killer Coke," "Manufactured Landscapes (2006)."


Series VI: Unprocessed Compact Discs, 2001-2010

Processing Information

Almost all items are labeled in some way, and the labeling for the majority includes a date. About 100 of the items were received loose (although some were sleeved), in no order. These have been placed in a negatives box within Box 3 and arranged in chronological order by archivist. The remainder of the materials were received remainder of the CDs were received in stacks in plastic "tower" containers. These remain in the order in which they were received, although they are not necessarily in discernible order. In addition to dates and some additional labeling, some of the items in these towers are labeled "Data" and some "Audio" (although many have neither written on them), although "Audio" and "data" CDs sampled seem to include both audio and text files. Almost almost all of the "tower CDs" have an numeric code written on them; so far it has not been determined whether this code refers to dates, to a show or shows, to the CD itself, or something else.

Scope and Content Note

There are approximately 400 items. Contents of the files contained in these items include audio (APF programs--some completed, some unedited, music, interviews) and text (notes, research materials, and scripts).

Series VII: Asia Pacific Forum Archived Website, Sep 21, 2014-ongoing

Asia Pacific Forum: Sep 21, 2014-ongoing


Scope and Content Note

In 2006, APF began podcasting and making its weekly broadcasts available as downloads on its website, allowing the show to reach a broader audience both nationally and globally. The APF website also has listings for music played on the program, book recommendations, news, and events.

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