In May 2021, IAS faculty member Masahiro Sugano and his media lab Studio Revolt responded to a rise in anti-Asian violence with a short film titled “Listen Asshole” based on a poem by the spoken word duo Yellow Rage. The poem, originally written 20 years ago by Michelle Myers and Catzie Vilayphonh, sought to defy stereotypes that many people perpetuate about Asian Americans and called out the systematic erasure of Asian American history and experiences.
The collaborators included producing partner and IAS faculty member Anida Yoeu Ali who felt an expression of rage by and for Asian American women was urgently needed because quiet vigils, private grief, and "nice" celebrity PSAs were not enough and continued to shroud their communities with a dangerous silencing.
The resulting short film was produced, filmed and edited in less than a month on a shoestring budget. In this short film, the Philadelphia-based poetry duo Yellow Rage perform their poem “Listen Asshole” against a backdrop of people who represent the APIA community’s most vulnerable populations and to whom the words are ultimately meant to protect and serve.
Sugano's short film "Listen Asshole" was awarded a first place prize in “Best Enhanced Performance” for the 2021 Artist Forum’s Spoken Word Video Competition.
Watch the film here: