News & Politics
Ep. 244 “Our Pasts Before Us: Militarization in the Marianas”
Ep. 244 “Our Pasts Before Us: Militarization in the Marianas” hosted by Dr. Lisa Linda Natividad and produced by Tom Maxedon with assistance from Alan Grossman) was recorded 5/20/16 and airs 5/27/16.
This episode features three Chamorro scholars who discuss “Militarization in the Marianas”, a panel presentation at the 22nd Pacific History Conference held May 19-21 at the Hyatt Hotel in Tumon, Guam. This year’s conference theme “Mo’na: Our Pasts Before Us” calls for an examination of the past to learn how this has shaped the present and may etch the future. This biennial conference brought together about 275 participants representing 21 countries and Guam [for more conference details, go to: www.uog.edu/phaconference/sessions-and-abstracts].
In the first presentation, “Sindålu Stories; The Role of US Military Service in Shaping Contemporary Chamorro Identity” Michael Lujan Bevacqua (Ph.D. University of California, San Diego) discusses how the US military presence on Guam has provided a means through which Chamorros have developed a closer, patriotic attachment to their colonizer, but also through various policies helped foment Chamorro desire for decolonization and greater political autonomy. Dr. Bevacqua is the coordinator of the Chamorro Studies Program at the University of Guam where he teaches the Chamorro language and the History of Guam [for coverage of Dr. Bevacqua’s ‘walking tour’ of the Guam Humanities Council Sindålu exhibit, download Ep. 194 (7/18/14), “Sindålu: Chamorro Journeys in the U.S . Military”].
When the U.S. Department of Navy announced in 2009 that the ancient village of Pågat was its preferred alternative in Guam for a Live Fire Training Range Complex, diverse groups came together in unprecedented ways to protect this sacred site. In the second presentation, “Pågat: How a Community United to Save an Ancient Village”, Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero (MFA, Mills College) discusses the community efforts that went into saving Pågat and what this critical moment in Guam’s history reveals about resistance to the military buildup. At the time of this Save Pågat Protest in 2010 (video available on Youtube) referenced in her talk, Ms. Leon Guerrero was a co-organizer with We Are Guahan. She is currently the Managing Editor for the University of Guam Press [for related episodes, download Ep. 20 (6/4/10) “Pågat Under Fire: Resistance through Historic Preservation”, Ep. 48 (12/31/10) ,"The Lawsuit to Save Pågat Village --- And More”, Ep. 160 (8/23/13) “The Marianas Under Siege: Farallon de Medinilla, Pågat, Tinian and Pagan”, Ep. 181 (4/18/14) “Theatre on Sacred Ground”, Ep. 184 (5/9/14), “From Pågat to Ritidian: The Live-Fire Training Range Complex (LFTRC) Controversy Continues”].
Tiara R. Naputi (Ph.D. University of Texas-Austin) is a member of the Chamoru diaspora whose interdisciplinary work focuses on indigenous studies, rhetoric and cultural studies. In her presentation, “Forward from the Marianas: Navigating with Our Ancestors through Waves of Militarization”, she “launches from the Marianas to navigate ancestral and decolonial strategies that challenge colonization and militarization throughout Oceania … to destabilize historical and contemporary U.S. national narratives and colonial forms of representation about the Pacific.” Formerly a member of the faculty in Diversity and Community Studies at Western Kentucky University, Dr. Naputi is assuming a new position as an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado-Boulder [for related discussions, download Ep. 95 (12/2/11) “We Are the Many - Across the Pacific Blue Continent, Part I” and Ep. 97 (12/17/11) “We Are the Many - Across the Pacific Blue Continent, Part II”].
Music selection: Oceanic Realm by Brandon Fletcher .
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