Grassroots Activism and Documentary of Asian Immigrant Workers

Grassroots Activism and documentary of asian immigrant workers flyer

We are delighted to invite you to a screening featuring two documentaries shedding light on the protests and progress of Asian immigrant workers living in New York City. The documentaries navigate how grassroots activism provides alternative support networks for the rights of immigrant workers and Asian women.

Organized by Tong Xie, Cinema Studies

This program was made possible by generous funding from Dean Allyson Green and the Tisch Coalition.

Screening Schedule:

Fly in Power
A film by Red Canary Song
Directed by Yin Q & Yoon Grace Ra
5:30 PM – 6:50 PM

Fly in Power follows Charlotte, a Korean massage worker and core organizer of Red Canary Song (RCS): an abolitionist collective of Asian diasporic massage workers, sex workers, and allies, who base-build through mutual aid. Through her story, we learn how the incarceration system is pitted against Asian migrant women and their survival. Other RCS members, including Khokhoi, a young body worker, and Prof Elena Shih, Brown University, share powerful insights to the myths of trafficking.

Fly in Power is a glimpse into the intimate spaces that connect workers for survival–a testament to global advocacy of Women’s rights to work and thrive. This is the first film to center the narrative of an Asian massage worker in her own words, with her own agency of storytelling and editing.

This film has been produced entirely by women, non-binary, trans, and queers of the Asian diaspora. More than half of the production team are former/current sex and massage workers.


Ride with Delivery Workers
(Work-in-progress screening)
Directed by Jing Wang
7:20 PM – 8:50 PM

Post-film Q+A with Jing Wang
Moderated by Zoe Meng Jiang (PhD Candidate, Tisch Cinema Studies)

For over a decade, New York City’s delivery workers have been facing criminalization for using their electric bicycles to do their jobs. They are primarily non-English speaking immigrants with few other options. It is a high-risk, low-paid job with demanding and isolating working conditions.

After a four-year battle, these 50,000 workers win the right to ride the bikes that make their demanding jobs possible. Only now, they find themselves on the frontlines of the pandemic fighting to survive.

Filmmaker Jing Wang rides alongside this vulnerable yet essential community with her unflinching, intimate camera through a tumultuous period of hyper-policing, anti-Asian hate crimes, and grassroots activism.