The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Arts-based activism in downtown Toronto's Chinatown

On this week's episode of Talking Radical Radio, artist and activist Alvis Choi talks about two recent projects and about the relationship between art and social change.

Choi is an artist committed to working at the intersection of those two things -- art and social change. A recent immigrant from Hong Kong, Choi's activities in the last little while have focused on working in and with the community in downtown Toronto's Chinatown. In this episode, we talk about two projects. The Chinatown Community Think Tank has involved community engagement from a storefront gallery in the neighbourhood. Choi has been talking with residents, particularly Chinese-speaking residents, about their everyday lives and about their understanding of and relationship to art, with the idea of overcoming barriers that have often disconnected both this specific gallery and Anglo-centric arts spaces more generally from the Chinese-speaking community. Love Behind the Bargain is a performative walking tour in which Choi takes mainly non-residents through Chinatown and uses stories from their own experience as a recent and temporary resident and as a queer person of colour to shed light on issues such as labour exploitation, racism, sexuality, and cultural stereotype as faced by residents. Choi talks with me about these projects and about the role of art in social change.

To learn more about Choi and their work, click here.

Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada through in-depth interviews that concentrate not on current events or the crisis of the moment, but on giving people involved in a broad range of social change work a chance to take a longer view as they talk about what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. To learn more about the show in general, click here.

You can also learn more about ways to listen or go to the show's page on To learn more about suggesting grassroots groups and organizations for future shows, click here. For details on the show's theme music, click here.

August 30, 2013, 1pm -- Uploaded a slightly modified version of the audio file to correct two small errors in the intro and extro, respectively. Sorry if doing this interrupted your listening or download!

Thank you for reading this story...

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all. But media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our only supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help.

If everyone who visits rabble and likes it chipped in a couple of dollars per month, our future would be much more secure and we could do much more: like the things our readers tell us they want to see more of: more staff reporters and more work to complete the upgrade of our website.

We’re asking if you could make a donation, right now, to set rabble on solid footing.

Make a donation.Become a monthly supporter.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.