“What’s being Blasian anyway?” asks one cast member in Blasian Narratives, a documentary-theater project staged at Stanford University earlier this year.
The answer lies in the production's participants -- students and alumni of Stanford, as well as those of Spelman College and Morehouse Colleges in Atlanta, GA -- as they tell stories about navigating their identity as both black and Asian (colloquially, “Blasian").
“The participants’ stories provide humorous, serious, and poetic looks into how these two worlds intersect,” says the show's creator and director Jivan Atman, who is Cambodian.
Atman was inspired to create Blasian Narratives in 2014 as a college student connecting with Blasian peers at Morehouse, which staged a work-in-progress performance from the project. The following year, while on a semester exchange at Stanford University, Atman discovered students organizing around Black Lives Matter and Asian Pacific Islanders for Black Lives, and felt he was in a supportive environment for continuing the work he started at Morehouse.
Since then, some of the original cast's members have toured the country, making appearances at San Francisco’s CAAMFest and Oregon’s DisOrient Asian American Film Festival to present an hour-long film about the project.