AAPIRC's Community Submission Based Blog

About the Blog: The Visibility Blog features writings, reviews, artwork, news, and other contributions by and/or about AAPI students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members at UNM and beyond. The aim of this blog is to provide visibility to our often invisibilized experiences. It also provides an opportunity for our community to publish their work, be seen, and be heard.

We invite contributions! Email aapirc@unm.edu for more information.

The Best Therapy for a Grieving Immigrant

By Paniz AghaPour Maleki | March 21, 2024

         As an immigrant, I often find myself in a nostalgic depression. I left at a young age and I am only left with glimpses of the past, the joys, the people, and myself. I yearn to experience these glimpses beyond my fuzzy, fading memory. The collection of songs in the Mr. Violet album by the Pallett Band allows me to relive those times I spent in Iran and to experience a part of myself that was only present in its absence, that grew as a metaphorical pit, that was deteriorating the self. The songs from the band are a remedy for the homesick Iranian, who feel as though they left something behind, an experience, a person, or themselves. I would describe their music as a mixture of the East and the West. The three songs in the album that perfectly exemplify these traits are “From Eastern Lands”, “Waltz No.1”, and “Half of Us”.


        In the song, “From Eastern Lands”, the piece begins with an instrument traditionally associated with the West, the piano. It is then accompanied by a flute, which is often utilized in Persian classics. This union encapsulates my experience of Iran as a developing nation. I grew up around people who reminisced about the Westernized Shah era of the nation, yet their pride in their culture maintained their traditions. People who would enjoy their chai nabat after their pizza, admire the Persian rugs under their feet as they sit on a 17th-century French-style sofa. The East and the West exist simultaneously in every home in Iran and this song expresses that.

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Christ is Born in Bethlehem

By John San Nicolas  | March 21, 2024

nativityAs Israel’s injustices against the Palestinian people increase, as entire families are wiped off the face of the earth, and as the world looks on in horror at Israel’s impending invasion on Rafah, a minority of a minority continually takes a stand: Palestinian Christians.

No doubt many of us have heard of the deep faith and work that the Christians of Gaza, the West Bank, and occupied territories have been engaged in for decades. As of recently, they have received much attention. As a matter of fact, I remember the Party for Socialism and Liberation posting about these Christians on Instagram during Christmas time. (This is unusual, because in America, Christians and socialists rarely get along!) During the Christmas season, many churches in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Gaza made the decision to forgo the usual holiday celebrations as an act of mourning. This lack of Christmas celebrations in Palestine garnered attention around the world. Some months before then, Palestinian Christians resurfaced in the world’s consciousness when Israel bombed the Church of St. Porphyrius, the third oldest church in the world. 

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A Space for all parts of my Identity

By Sunandita Santhanan | October 11, 2023

A space for all parts of my identity


On October 6th, 2023, I had the honor of attending the first QTPOC (Queer and Transgender People of Color) Slumber Party at the LGBTQIA Resource Center at the University of New Mexico. it was also hosted by the four ethnic centers at UNM. Not only was I beyond honored to be involved and a part of something so special, but I was profoundly impacted to know that there are queer and trans spaces for people of color. as a queer, Asian woman of color, I’ve always felt excluded and under-presented in white heterosexual spaces and worked very hard to conceal and erase parts of my Asian and queer identity, as well as my identity being a woman in a world built on racist, patriarchal, misogynistic, white supremacist, homophobic and transphobic sentiments. it is incredibly difficult to come to terms with and accept all the nuance and facets of who you are when the world does not model that acceptance, and in fact, villainies diversion from the “norm.” .... Continue Reading


The "Tragedy" of Gaza

By Anonymous| October 23, 2023




We are grateful for this submission to AAPIRC’s Visibility Blog. The submission is a letter from a Gazan and UNM community member. They have asked to remain anonymous. There is intentionally no image included with this submission in order to emphasize their words.

To my UNM and New Mexican community,

The word “tragedy” is not enough. Indeed, no words can even begin to relay the amalgamation of vehement rage and devastation that has swirled within me for the past week. I cannot hope to convey the feeling of watching your family murdered as retribution, and it being hailed as “self-defense.” I cannot share with you what it is like to witness your friends turn a blind eye to your suffering, or worse, promote it. To attempt to describe the genocide of my people is like trying to touch the sky; impossibly far, yet everywhere I look.


image-for-sunandita-blog.jpgI Love You Even When It’s Not AAPINH Month

By Sunandita Santhanam    | May 25th, 2023




Usually, I would start with a picture of myself that captures how deeply I love my South Asian culture - but nothing I’ve taken this year encompasses how I feel or what I want to say - so here is a photograph that I love.





KOAT Featured Intro to Asian American Studies Class at UNM 

By Breana Albizu Reporter | May 16th, 2023

It allows Asian American students to have a systemic, historical, cultural, interdisciplinary, [and] critical understanding of their own identity," Farah Nousheen, senior student success specialist at the university's Asian American and Pacific Islander Resource Center (AAPIRC), said.






Future View

By John San Nicolas | July 20th, 2022

Hi All! My name is John San Nicolas. (Fun fact: “Santa Claus” is an anglicization of my last name!) I am a second-year undergrad at UNM, majoring in Religious Studies and Philosophy. I enjoy thinking about life and what it means to live well.






John San Nicolas | Photo Credit - Tyler Esping, 2021 




The Murder of Vincent Chin


By Charlotte Auh | July 6th, 2022 

It is no secret that Asian American/Pacific Islander history is often overlooked, improperly told, or villainized in American history books. Even though the topic of today’s blog was monumental and crucial for Asian Americans at the time, many of us are probably asking, “Vincent Who?”. The 35th episode of the Asian American History 101 podcast hosted by Gen and Ted Lai covers The Murder of Vincent Chin.  



Vincent Chin, killed at age 27 





A Word from Dr. Hooi-Ling Lee







By Dr. Hooi-Ling Lee | June 28th, 2022

Hello! I am Hooi-Ling Lee, a Fulbright Visiting Scholar from Malaysia. Malaysia is a multiracial country consisting of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and other native ethnicities. As such, speaking different languages and dialects is very common in Malaysia. Though I often travel to foreign countries, I never feel lonely as I will always meet Asians through my daily life activities or interactions. Hence, I have an impression that Asians are everywhere in the world.

 Fulbright Scholar Dr. Hooi-Ling Lee 




Joji Returns with "A Glimpse of Us"

By Jacob Olaguir | June 28th, 2022

Hello everyone, my name is Jacob Olaguir and I recently started working for AAPIRC this summer. For this week's Visibility Blog, I wanted to talk about the newest song by Japanese singer Joji. This is one of my favorite Asian artists and I have followed his career since I was in high school. It is amazing to see a Japanese artist make it into the mainstream of western culture. If you visit AAPIRC this week you might see a vinyl hanging on the wall of Joji's freshman album “BALLADS 1” which was released October 26, 2018.


Cover Art of Joji's "A Glimpse of Us"



What is America's Perception of Korea?    

By Charlotte Auh | June 15th, 2022

Hello everyone! My name is Charlotte Auh. I have been a student employee with AAPIRC for about 8 months (I’m also the creator of these newsletters, so I hope you’ve been enjoying them!). My portion will cover episodes of the podcast: Asian American History 101 created as a response to pandemic-related Anti-Asian racism and hosted by daughter-father team Gen and Ted. Listen to the podcast here!






 Charlotte in traditional Korean hanbok