© 2020 Sue Jeong Ka
Round Robin | 循環請願書 Trilingual Community Newspaper, 2017–2019
Support organizations: The Laundromat Project, Hamilton Madison House, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Immigrant Social Services, Inc, New York Public Library (Seward Park), Seward Park Conservancy, Queens Museum/ArtBuilt
Round Robin is NYC’s first trilingual newspaper and a language justice project that grapples with cross-cultural solidarity, multilingualism, and paradox of urban immigrant spaces in NYC. In mid-2017, in response to the political climate after the 2016 presidential election, Sue Jeong Ka, Co-founder of Art Parley, initiated and launched Round Robin for and with immigrants in Chinatown, LES, and Two Bridges. Its print appears in Chinese, English, and Spanish for native English speakers and the immigrants which compromised access to information and resources due to linguistic barriers. The project’s title “round robin” is based on the protest document in which signatories’ names appear in a non-hierarchical circular shape to protect individuals through their collective participation. By adopting the concept of the document, Round Robin allows all participants to raise their voices freely and honestly with equal rights and responsibilities.
Round Robin first started in mid-2017 as a series of hands-on zine-making workshops for teens living in the Alfred E. Smith Houses, a public housing development built by the New York City Housing Authority in the Two Bridges neighborhood. It culminated in the Round Robin trilingual newspaper, which featured local artists, residents, scholars, and workers connected to the project’s partner organization, Hamilton-Madison House. This newspaper served as a platform for immigrant and local resident experiences alongside facts and histories from the neighborhood. Since 2017, it has become a collective run project by Art Parley with 3 core and 2 guest members; Sue Jeong Ka (Co-founder of Art Parley); Melissa Liu (Co-founder of Art Parley); Andrew Fairweather (Senior Librarian, NYPL Seward Park); Stephanie Park (Community Organizer, Asian American Legal Defence and Education Fund), and Kelly Chan (Independent journalist). We has published three issues of Round Robin newspaper with themes reflecting upon the longstanding cross-racial, public housing, and immigration that the neighborhood’s Black, Chinese, and Latinx communities in lower Manhattan have faced.