The Ongoing Dialogue of Drone Art. Alia Chughtai interviewed prominent Pakistani artists who address the daily violence of drone strike deaths head on in their work — Naiza H. Khan, Imran Qureshi, Abdullah M.I. Syed, and Aamir Habib. Qureshi’s work appeared on the roof of The Met in New York. Habib, whose installation is called Flying Rug of Drones, worked in a gun factory as a child. Read the article for more on the artists and their work. [Al Jazeera]
Millions of Asian Americans Lack Health Coverage. According to 2012 Census data, 15 percent of Asian Americans — that’s about 2.5 million people — lack health insurance coverage, 2 percentage points higher than the national average. Ankita Rao reports on the efforts to reach and inform this population about health coverage options under the Affordable Care Act. [USA Today]
A South Asian Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs. Last Thursday, Nisha Desai Biswal was sworn in by John Kerry as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, the first Indian American to hold the position. Previously she was assistant administrator for Asia at USAID, which is headed by fellow South Asian Raj Shah. In a Reuters op-ed titled “Fighting for Democracy in South Asia” she wrote “What happens in South Asia matters to the United States. Much of the story of the 21st century will be written in this region.” [State.gov, Reuters]
Carrying the Baggage of Colonialism. This week on “Word Watch” The Aerogram’s Lakshmi Gandhi wrote about the word “coolie,” a term with a racially charged history. The word is getting attention following the recent release of Gaiutra Bahadar’s Coolie Woman, a book tracing the life story of her great-grandmother, who boarded an indenture ship in 1900s Calcutta to go work in the Caribbean. [Code Switch]
Ender’s Game Star Suraj Partha. Thanks to his role as Alai in the new movie version of Orson Scott Card’s book Ender’s Game, actor Suraj Partha, 16, appears on the big screen in theaters across America. But film isn’t his only passion. His singing talent got him chosen to sing “America the Beautiful” at the U.S. Open four years ago, and his YouTube covers of songs like Phillip Phillips’ “Gone Gone Gone” are not too hard on the ears either.