Arts-based activism in downtown Toronto's Chinatown

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On this week's episode of Talking Radical Radio, artist and activist Alvis Choi talks about two recent projects and about the relationship between art and social change.

Choi is an artist committed to working at the intersection of those two things -- art and social change. A recent immigrant from Hong Kong, Choi's activities in the last little while have focused on working in and with the community in downtown Toronto's Chinatown. In this episode, we talk about two projects. The Chinatown Community Think Tank has involved community engagement from a storefront gallery in the neighbourhood. Choi has been talking with residents, particularly Chinese-speaking residents, about their everyday lives and about their understanding of and relationship to art, with the idea of overcoming barriers that have often disconnected both this specific gallery and Anglo-centric arts spaces more generally from the Chinese-speaking community. Love Behind the Bargain is a performative walking tour in which Choi takes mainly non-residents through Chinatown and uses stories from their own experience as a recent and temporary resident and as a queer person of colour to shed light on issues such as labour exploitation, racism, sexuality, and cultural stereotype as faced by residents. Choi talks with me about these projects and about the role of art in social change.

To learn more about Choi and their work, click here.

Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada through in-depth interviews that concentrate not on current events or the crisis of the moment, but on giving people involved in a broad range of social change work a chance to take a longer view as they talk about what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. To learn more about the show in general, click here.

You can also learn more about ways to listen or go to the show's page on To learn more about suggesting grassroots groups and organizations for future shows, click here. For details on the show's theme music, click here.

August 30, 2013, 1pm -- Uploaded a slightly modified version of the audio file to correct two small errors in the intro and extro, respectively. Sorry if doing this interrupted your listening or download!

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