Volume 4 Issue 5 - December 18, 2006 http://www.geocities.com/freeguahan email@example.com
Hafa Adai, yan welcome to i bente nuebi na Minagahet.
For the past few years I have been consumed with questions of decolonization on Guam. My master's thesis in Micronesian Studies at the University of Guam began with the Americanization of recent Guam history, and researching the ways that our past has been twisted to make us feel more American and want to be more American. These issues however inevitably led me to the question of decolonization, and how the skewing of our history makes Chamorros and others on Guam incredibly resistant to even the simple discussing of it. In my master's thesis that I'm just finishing up in Ethnic Studies at University of California, San Diego, I called this resistance the decolonial deadlock, and traced it the idea of the Chamorro as impossible, or always dependent, and only capable of survival and existence through the United States. For Chamorros who accept this premise for life, then there is nothing more horrifying, to be forcefully resisted than decolonization, because of the threat it poses in weakening the influence and interests of the United States in Guam.
Now, when I say decolonization, I don't simply mean the formal process of political status change (achokka' gof impottante ayu), but I mean acts of decolonization as well, which don't need UN sanction but rather take place all the time, at any moment, because they affect more than just legal structures, but the very ways we relate to the world around us.
It is for this reason that I have been posting for the past few months on my blog, Acts of Decolonization, or things, some large, some small, which can play a huge role in reshaping the way we imagine the future and what is or is not possible. Acts of decolonization can be simple things such as voting for a grassroots candidate, using Chamorro language to speak about things you wouldn't normally do so about, or replacing the historical heroes that we import from the United States with local ones. But this can be a tricky game and not everything which celebrates Chamorro culture or Chamorro history can be considered decolonization. In the case of Chamorro heroes, we need to elevate and celebrate the figures in our history who embody a clear or passionate anti-colonial spirit, who actively contested or worked against those who, I refer to in my poem I am Chamorro, have for centuries controlled our fate for "Gold, galleons, coal, tourists, economic prosperity spheres and strategic military domination." Decolonization is about forcing a clear-headed confrontation with our political existence and the ways our histories have been twisted, it can come about through the way we create art, the way we remember a fallen soldier, to even what we name streets after.
Ultimately the focus here though is the act, namely that it takes some conscious effort on your part to effect change, to move from you struggling against the norms with your crazy, radical beliefs, to making those beliefs commonsense or the new norm. Decolonization is not the ahistorical acting out of maladjusted activists, despite what so many American apologists, Chamorro or otherwise will tell you. It is acting on behalf of the underside of Guam's colonial history, the silences, the injustices, the scars both mental and physical which we all feel and are forced to work overtime to either forget, or to fix. For those who want to forget these things, they are fortunate to have most public and private institutions and spaces to help facilitate their amnesia. For those who want to fight this amnesia, there is the gof makkat yan mappot na che'cho' ni' decolonization.
Against my better judgment I have three blogs now, one of which is thankfully shared.
Decolonize Guam is meant to provide information about militarization and other issues in Guam and the surrounding region.
No Rest for the Awake - Minagahet Chamorro i fine'nina na blog-hu, nai hu sessuyi pumost.
Voicing Indigeneity is the blog I share with my friends Madel and Angie. Taitai lapappa' para un tungo' mas.
Para FANAHGUE'YAN, ai na'ma'ase, mamatai ha', ya taiesperansa.
Sahuma Minagahet yan Na'suha Dinagi
PEACE AND JUSTICE FOR GUAM PETITION
Ginnen I Nasion Chamoru yan The Guahan Indigenous Collective
Military Increase Fact Sheet
Fina'tinas Famoksaiyan yan I Guahan Indigenous Collective
Over the next few years, as many as 40,000 soldiers, dependents and military support personnel, accompanied by an armada of planes, bombs and other weapons of war will be brought into Guam. Despite the fact that these increases have the potential to negatively impact Guam economically, environmentally and socially in ways never seen before, discussions from the Government of Guam and Guam's media are largely silent on these dangers. The following factsheet developed by Famoksaiyan and the Guahan Indigenous Collective is meant to provide information on what these potential impacts might be.
Hita Guahan! Chamorro Testimonies At the United Nations
"This booklet is a compilation of the testimonies presented at the United Nations Special Political and Decolonization Committee on October 4, 2006. These testimonies carry on the legacy of more than 20 years of Chamorus who've appealed to the United Nations on behalf of Guam and Chamoru human rights."
Famoksaiyan on the Radio
A list of interviews done by members of Famoksaiyan for the San Francisco based radio station KPFA.
Survival Amongst Rogues and Empires
Statement on the North Korean Nuclear Threat
Tinige' I Chamorro Information Activists
"The convenient and risky mistake that the media and governments in Guam and the United States make is the assumption that the only danger here comes from North Korea. The truth of this situation lies in interpreting or reading the dangers of North Korea's aggressive posturing alongside and in relation to the United State's only reckless and dangerous posturing in defense of its own ambiguous "survival," which has brought terrible tragedies to Guam in the past and continues to do so in the present."
Releasing Pale' Duenas From the Chains of History
Tinige' Si Michael Lujan Bevacqua
No Rest for the Awake - Minagahet Chamorro
"For some the heroism of Pale' Dueñas should be attributed to his patriotism, his "love" of the United States. For others it belongs to i hinengge-ña, his faith. For some, but unfortunately less than the others, it is his sense of national pride and his commitment to his people, un espiritun Chamoru."
Towards a Pro-Indigenous Anti-Racism
By May Chaun Fu
"In spite of the spectacular and important changes that have emerged from the racial justice movements in the US, and in spite of the sort of distanced respect settlers have of Native American and Pacific Islander sovereignty issues, many of us fail to face the legacy of US empire here against indigenous peoples."
Voicing Indigeneity Podcast
Angela Morrill, Madelsar Tmetuchl Ngiraingas, Michael Lujan Bevacqua
University of California, San Diego, Ethnic Studies
"Struggles for sovereignty and acts of decolonization are taking place all the time, at multiple levels attached to different dreams and nightmares. Both with these conversations and within these conversations you will find a number of ours."
Ghosts, Monsters and The Dead
Call for Papers from the 2007 Crossing Borders Conference at University of California, San Diego
To continue the discussion please link here to our forum board
MINAGAHET is published by the Chamorro Information Activists, a non-profit, poorly funded, poorly staffed yan machalapon activist organization, created for the benefit of the people and the futures of Guam. Non-profit doesn't imply "non-profit status or anything" just that taya' suetdon-mami nu este. Pues an kala'u este, ti isao n-mami. Mismo i isaon i tinaigefsagan-mami. Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 MINAGAHET. All rights reserved. We aren't sure what that means, but we see it put at the bottom of other things, and the last thing we want to do is get in trouble for not telling people that all our rights are reserved as well. http://www.geocities.com/freeguahan firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com