New York City is about to host an immigrant-focused punk fest March 3 which we certainly back HARD. Why? As much as we want our site to be focused strictly on Asian happenings within our continent, only a complete idiot would deny the impact of US specific events on the rest of the planet. As unfortunate as that is, as much as we want to ignore the social and political impact of the USA on countries all over the planet, the reality is that American happenings influence a lot of conversations and debates in communities well outside of their borders. We don’t know of any other country’s political climate that gets discussed as much USA’s.
With them wrapping their first month of probably the most disastrous beginnings of a presidential term where the most backwards things were signed into “executive order” (and then later blocked), we know some of the people that have been the hardest are immigrants and people of color who call USA home. So when we found out there was a show taking place in New York City whose goal is to empower immigrant musicians and punks, we jumped all over it.
The show is called NYC Migra Punk Fest and will be taking place March 3 at Silent Barn in Brooklyn. We got in touch with AJ the main man behind the event to give us some background.
As you will be able to tell from his answers, the whole inspiration for this requires a more in depth analysis and understanding so watch out for a far more extensive interview discussing issues that immigrants within the American punk/hardcore community are facing in the near future.
For now take the next few minutes to get your head wrapped around this particular event itself. Here’s the event page as well: https://www.facebook.com/events/664079650433584/?ti=icl
Give us a background for this particular show.
The idea started when Aninoko, a Filipino hardcore punk band from the Bay Area told us that they wanted to play some shows here in NYC. Some of the members of AninoKo were also members of Eskapo, who are pioneers of Pinoy Punk here in the states. I was a big fan of Eskapo when I was still living in the Philippines and also organized a show for them when they toured there. So me and my friends decided it’s best to invite some of the best NYC punk bands who are also immigrants and just start this fest for us, same stories, same struggle.
Eskapo live in Laguna, Philippines
Who are the main organisers of this? Is their an organized group that is doing something for immigrant punks in NYC?
We haven’t talked about creating an official committee yet but the organizers of this fest are also members of the bands taking part. To make it easy, this fest is organized by the same people from ABC NO RIO collective, AKLASAN FEST and the NYC LATINO PUNK FEST.
What are your main hopes for this fest?
Migrants have been in the headlines recently but the sad truth is that we have been targets and are at risk every single day of our lives. Some of us are afraid of getting deported, separated from our families. Some of us are afraid of racist attacks. We have been exploited by our employers. We have been trafficked and abused by ruthless people who only think about making money regardless of how many people they hurt. We are fucking tired. We make your coffee. We clean your dishes. We wash your cars. We deliver your pizza. We collect your garbage. We cook your food. And we’re not going anywhere. We will stand up because we are proud. We are proud because we are doing this to feed our families. We have a voice and now you will hear it.
The artwork is sick for the flyer – who did them?
The flyers for the show were created by punk artists England Hidalgo and Nico. The flyer above was done by England who is also a member of Eskapo and a powerviolence band from the Philippines called TINIMBANG KA NGUNIT KULANG.
Who are the bands taking part?
NAMATAY SA INGAY
OLOR A MUERTE