Hello. This is your radio DJ, Snack Witch, sending out sound waves from Tiohtià:ke/Montréal.
Before starting today’s programming, I’d like to begin by acknowledging that I live on unceded Indigenous lands. The Kanien’kehá:ka Nation is recognized as the custodians of these lands and waters. I’m very grateful to have a warm and safe place, to be able to rest my tired head and body here every night. I hope this encourages you to look into where you lay to rest at night. Who continues to take care of the lands and waters you are visiting or that you call home?
Welcome and thanks for tuning in to the first and last episode of Songs to my Ancestors, a show where radio and sound waves can carry your voice and thoughts to the ancestors you never met in person.
Forget about the limitations that held you back from asking the questions and saying the things you’ve been ruminating on for minutes,
Here, you can speak to your ancestors (and even your living relatives, immediate family members, friends, neighbours, strangers, lovers, partners…) without worrying about
how many long distance minutes you have left or how expensive your phone bill will be this month,
how fucking shotty your internet plan is and how you really should have upgraded that shit last month,
how do I say this in [insert language that isn’t the one that you primarily use to speak, think, move through or orient yourself in the world] ?
And whatever else holds you back from being able to say what you really want to or mean.
In this air space - everything / just / clicks.
And yes, I know the title of this show is a bit misleading,
but bare with me,
this is the first and last episode after all.
I’m recording this a few weeks before this meandering of vocal noises will be officially released into the world. So maybe this is more of a podcast. But then again, I’m pretty sure radio shows can be pre-recorded… Who knows - this is it anyways so you can’t come for me.
To open our first and last episode, our first song request, 風的季節 by Paula Tsui, is from Cathleen Chow. Cathleen would like to dedicate this song “to the transition of summer to autumn”.
Play 風的季節 by Paula Tsui
So, I spent my first Thanksgiving without my family this year. I mean, we don’t really celebrate this supposed holiday since we have 中秋節 Mid-Autumn Festival. Oh and yenno, Thanksgiving glossing over violent settler colonialism histories is a thing.
It’s the second time I’ve celebrated 中秋節 without my family now. And during a global pandemic too. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that bad - I bought 月餅 mooncakes from a small chinese bakery in Chinatown - shout out to Chow Pastry!! Make sure you go support them and buy all their delicious goodies now cause they’re retiring at the end of this month (Oct 2020)! It’s very bittersweet for me, cause I’ve passed by the shop many times during my first year living here and never stopped in because I’m terrible and don’t carry cash ever unless I need to do laundry. Anyways… I also bought 菜心 choy sum, 燒肉 Chinese roast pork, 燒鴨 BBQ Duck and made a fish version of 咕嚕肉 sweet and sour pork with tilapia (the saucey and badass sweet and sour pork recipe courtesy of @thegodofcookery) and garlic fried rice for dinner to celebrate.
I know what you’re thinking right now - why the fuck did she buy and make a shit ton of food when she’s just one person???
Well… don’t worry - I ate all of it. Not in one evening but over a few days. I also shared some with my lovely neighbours and friends (following social distancing protocols of course). It felt weird to not make a feast even if it was just me and Soba, my cat. Having more than one bowl of food on the table (which is what living alone meals generally looks like right now when I’m busy as fuck) and having them spread out on my small IKEA kitchen island was comforting, even if it was just for me. I guess it was like pretending that all my friends and family were also here - eating mooncakes, drinking tea, and admiring the moon from my balcony together.
Up next, Back to Black by Amy Winehouse, requested by Nicky Montparnasse. Nicky would like to dedicate this song “to all the ones that they’ve loved and lost. To friends, to lover’s, and, well, fuck all the others”. They’d like to add this shout out to all of you: “Being a human is hard and that’s okay, but we have to remember that we are exceptional beings. Go where you are valued and not just tolerated”.
Play Back to Black by Amy Winehouse
Thank you for listening to Songs to my Ancestors. We’re going to take a quick break and continue with our regular programming in just a few moments… Sit back, relax and I’ll meet you back here with a cup of tea.
About Joni Cheung:
Joni Cheung is a grateful, uninvited guest on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, Stó:lō, Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh, and Kanien’kehá:ka peoples. She is currently working towards her Masters of Fine Arts in Sculpture and Ceramics at Concordia University and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction in Visual Art (2018) from the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. She has exhibited and curated shows at Centre A: the Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Vancouver; the Capture Photography Festival in both 2017 and 2018; the Audain Gallery, Vancouver; and has been featured in CBC Arts; LotusLand; Canada Line Transit BC Public Art Program; and the Vancouver Art Book Fair, among other spaces and platform.