Fly in Power spotlights the work of Asian migrant massage and sex workers of Red Canary Song (RCS), a mutual aid, abolitionist collective based in Flushing, NYC. FIP centers the narratives of Charlotte (a Korean massage worker/poet), Khokhoi (body/sexworker/healer), and Prof. Elena Shih (Brown University, global human trafficking researcher). The intention of the film is to honor their practices of care, autonomy, and survival and to raise awareness of the oppressive systems that face them.
Along with Yoon Grace Ra, I have been filming and organizing with RCS after the vigil that honored Yang Song, a Chinese migrant massage worker who fell to her death during a police raid in 2017; our documentation continued through the pandemic and the fatal shootings targeting Asian massage workers in Atlanta 2022, to the present.
We have been filming and producing on a budget afforded by generous grants from the Asian Womens Giving Circle and NYWFT, but FIP is now in need of more funds to finish post production (sound, language translations, fine tuned picture lock, graphics) and to launch a February screening for our communities in Flushing, Queens.
*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 sex workers.
DECRIM MASSAGE BILL CAMPAIGN:
Red Canary Song (RCS) is continuing its advocacy campaign on the Massage License Decriminalization Act (A8281 Gonzalez-Rojas), urging the state to swiftly pass A8281 to eliminate the criminalization of workers who are simply trying to make ends meet.
Red Canary Song and coalition partners urge the state legislature to pass the Massage License Decriminalization Act. Unlicensed massage is one of the few professions in New York where workers are arrested for trying to make a living. Attaining a license in the U.S. is impossible for many workers due to high expenses, education, language access, and needing the money immediately rather than waiting to meet the numerous requirements for licensure.
In the U.S., Asian American and Asian migrants make up a large part of the workforce in the beauty industry and care work, from nail salons, spas, massage treatments, and homecare. Massage workers often choose this job over nail salon work or restaurant work because it is the better financial option. The specific targeting of massage licenses and massage workers is part of the historic, systemic racism that Asian Americans and Asian migrants experience.
Along with legal aid organizations, civil rights groups, elected officials and directly impacted workers, Red Canary Song will call for the swift passage of A8281 and implementation of these necessary reforms to create a more equitable and humane justice system for workers.
More than 90 percent of those arrested under these statutes are Asian women. The majority of those arrested are noncitizens.
**It is VITAL to give MASSAGE WORKERS a platform to SPEAK THEIR TRUTH**