About Anaka Kaundinya

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NADA to See Here: Best of the New Art Dealers Alliance Fair

The annual NADA New York art fair kicked off yesterday in Soho. With a new space (Skylight Clarkson North) and a new time of year (Armory Week), NADA remains a cacophony of serious art enthusiasts and neophytes. Among the 100 exhibitors are a host of downtown galleries like Jack Hanley Gallery, Regina Rex, Rawson Projects, Alden Projects, and Brennan & Griffin. In classic style, nearly everyone was dressed in an all-consuming black. Here’s a look at what was on display this year.

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Designers Search For a Way to Confront the Immigration Crisis

L-R: Ezio Manzini, Rachel Lehrer and Ker Thao (Photo: Mashal Khan)

Design is something that most of us have a vague interest in, if only while furniture shopping. But what does a plebeian like me, to whom design still relates to physical products, make of the changing definition of the word? What do all the thousands of students entering design school every year really do? Surely they can’t all be trained to design pretty wall hangings? Sometimes the words “social impact” creeps into my mind and I think of things like this utilitarian tent-cum-jacket meant to shelter refugees fleeing war, but that’s as far as my imagination stretches.

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Sanctuary Restaurant Movement Takes Root on Lower East Side

(Photos: COLORS on Facebook)

News of President Trump’s tightened deportation plan together with the forty ICE arrests made in NYC last week and the earlier executive order restricting the entry of immigrants into the country has created an atmosphere of fear across the service industry. According to a national study by the Pew Research Center in 2009, 12% of the restaurant industry’s workforce are undocumented. The industry is notorious for paying near-poverty wages. And the increasingly hateful rhetoric surrounding immigrants, legal or not, is likely to restrict restaurant workers from fighting for better conditions.

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What A Day Without Immigrants Looks Like in NYC

Uniting under #adaywithoutimmigrants, businesses across the nation remained closed today in powerful defiance of Trump’s crackdown on immigration. The protesters, enraged that Immigration and Customs officials reportedly arrested 680 immigrants last week, have been urging immigrant workers to stay home from work and school, and refrain from buying anything. The idea is to highlight how integral immigrants are to the backbone of the country by stalling economic contribution for one day. Close on the heels of Washington D.C., which became the epicenter of the strike/boycott, dozens of businesses across NYC will remain closed today. Most are, fittingly, restaurants– an industry largely dependent on immigrant employees.

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Ralliers Try to Seduce Mayor Into Blocking East Village Dorm

Residents, activists, community groups and their elected representatives gathered at the steps of City Hall yesterday afternoon with a Valentine’s Day message for Mayor de Blasio. Their request – to convert the long vacant P.S. 64 building in the East Village into a community center and disallow owner Gregg Singer from developing it into a college dorm.

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City Doesn’t Have Greenbacks For Rehab of Sara D. Roosevelt Park

(Photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

(Photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

“It’s not so good, huh?” laughs Kathleen Webster, president of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition as she refers to the D- grade that the park received from New Yorkers for Parks. The near-failing grade was issued last year by the nonprofit whose research and policy recommendations help in advocating for more equitably distributed, sustainable and well-maintained parks in the city.

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What Happens When You Stop and Talk to a Clipboard Person

Kasigo Tshwene of Amnesty International appeals to a passerby at Astor Place (Photo: Anaka Kaundinya)

Kasigo Tshwene of Amnesty International appeals to a passerby at Astor Place (Photo: Anaka Kaundinya)

I can come up with a handful of half-decent excuses to not talk to a canvasser on the street, ranging from the whiny to the legit– I really am too broke to help. But to tell the truth, I also don’t want to get into a difficult conversation about the dismal state of the world. Don’t we have enough of that shoved down our social media feeds everyday? So yes, turns out I am that person that we wrote about in October, the one who brushes past Amnesty International canvassers. There’s an art to it, too: first I let my gaze turn steely, then I tighten the grip on my bag and put on an air of a person with a purpose. It works like a charm and at worst, I’m left with a slight twinge of guilt.

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