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Showing posts from April, 2008

Zizek on Tibet

Gof apmam desde mampost yu' guini ginnen Si Zizek.

Gaige yu' pa'go gi i Airport Honolulu, ya taya' tiempo-ku para bei fangge' nuebu.

Pues bai hu "fa'maolek" i halacha na tinaya' Zizek, taiguini:

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No Shangri-La
From Slavoj Žižek

The media imposes certain stories on us, and the one about Tibet goes like this. The People's Republic of China, which, back in 1949, illegally occupied Tibet, has for decades engaged in the brutal and systematic destruction not only of the Tibetan religion, but of the Tibetans themselves. Recently, the Tibetans' protests against Chinese occupation were again crushed by military force. Since China is hosting the 2008 Olympics, it is the duty of all of us who love democracy and freedom to put pressure on China to give back to the Tibetans what it stole from them. A country with such a dismal human rights record cannot be allowed to use the noble Olympic spectacle to whitewash its image. What will o…

Hillary's Guam Childhood

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The Guam caucus is almost here. Inarajan had there's yesterday, the rest of the villages are having theirs' next Saturday. Thought I'd paste this comic below to help set the mood, but I'll have more on this soon.


Guma'Famoksaiyan Schedule

We're about a month away from the very exciting Guma'Famoksaiyan gathering to take place May 23-25, 2008 in San Diego, California. For those who don't know what this gathering will entail, let me post a description below:

In times past, knowledge, skills, family and village histories were passed down to the younger generations through different guma’ or houses, such as the guma’saga’ or the family home, or the guma’ulitao, the bachelor’s house. In these spaces young Chamorros, would be given the crucial knowledge of their family, clan and village genealogy, and also be imparted the necessary skills for tasks such as planting, fishing, navigation, debate and weaving. Through this inter-generational sharing, young Chamorros would be prepared to be productive, respectful and active members of both their clan and their village.

As Chamorros and their islands face uncertain futures due to various economic, health, environmental, military and social concerns, it is crucial that we…

Guam's Intervention

I Nasion Chamoru (The Chamoru Nation)
Julian Aguon, Chamoru Rights Advocate
PO Box 8725
Tamuning, Guam 96931

Seventh Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on
Indigenous Issues – April 2008 – New York, NY

Item # 6
Topic: Pacific
Presenter: Julian Aguon

Collective Intervention of the Chamoru Nation and Affiliated Indigenous Chamoru Organizations; Society for Threatened Peoples International (ECOSOC); CORE (ECOSOC); Western Shoshone Defense Project; Flying Eagle Woman Fund (ECOSOC); Mohawk Nation at Kahmawake; Cultural Development and Research Institute; Famoksaiyan; Organization of People for Indigenous Rights; Colonized Chamoru Coalition; Chamoru Landowners Association; Chamoru Language Teachers Association; Guahan Indigenous Collective; Hurao, Inc.; Landowners United; Chamoru Veterans Association; Fuetsan Famaloan

Ati addeng-miyo your Excellencies. My name is Julian Aguon and I appear before you with the full support and blessings of my elders. I address you on behalf of the indigenous …

Money for Reparations Not War

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I saw this a few months ago at an annual activism and social justice conference in San Diego, held each year in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

I'm posting it now because for those keeping tabs on the issue of Chamorro war reparations. After being passed by the House last year, there wasn't much movement on the issue until a few days ago, when it was "stalled" in the Senate.

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The issue of war reparations has always been an interesting one for me, because it is another one of those things which can really put super patriotic Americans from Guam at odds with super patriotic Americans from America. For so many Chamorros who feel that they are very patriotic and love America, and have probably given up a lot of their life to serve in its military, the war reparations issues is nonetheless something very near and dear to them. Something very personal because of its role in describing and making clear why they are Americans, why they chose to serve, why th…

Mud and Maga'haga'

If this video can get 25,000 hits in the next five days, then it'll have a shot at being on MTV. Click on it to support yet another band with Guam roots and pride. The director of the video is Alex Munoz who has a couple of different projects going on right now. In May, he'll be giving an update on his latest documentary and feature films at the Guma'Famoksaiyan: Gathering Strength for the Journey Aheadconference in San Diego.



I like the song, but personally, my favorite song of theirs that I've heard is this their version of the song "Apartment 4," which I saw on KUAM Extra.



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Speaking of videos that need more clicks on Youtube. The Maga'haga' video documentary that me and Famoksaiyan helped film and produce are very much in need of some more attention. At present its at 911 hits, which isn't bad considering that most Guam videos out Youtube have just a handful. Put fabot, ono este na link, ya na'tungo' maisa…

Dialogue in an Occupied Space

If Guam wasn't so adept at being a colony, then this is the sort of dialogue which would be attached to everything. The political status of Guam would not be a distinct, narrow and limited issue (only taken up by "crazy" activists), but something much closer to its real position in daily life on Guam, but something which touches almost every aspect of our lives.

The military often describes itself as "stewards" of land, and their marketing is very invested in the idea that they are "guests." This rhetoric however does not make it very deep into the way soldiers interact with the populations that live outside on their bases, or the way the military as an institution treats the places that both willingly and unwillingly host them. The way the military is currently interacting with Guam right now in preparation for the upcoming buildup is an interesting display of forced partnership, where everything will be great so long as you accept everything we have …

Searching for a Slingstone

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I was searching for a slingstone.

It is an artifact, an ancient weapon that one rarely finds just lying around Guam, however today I am saddened to find a place where I there are plenty of them.

Peering through the gaps in a fence made of orange plastic which guards the multi-million dollar remodel for the Okura Hotel, I see scattered and crushed beneath backhoes and bulldozers fragments of the slingstones I am seeking. These sights of development are becoming more common on Guam, in anticipation of the massive military increases the island is expecting over the next few years. Vague but monstrously huge sums of money are being dangled before the people of Guam by local business leaders as well as Federal and military officials, and people are clamoring both on and off of Guam to get a piece of the action.

Around the island we see the halom tano’ (jungle) being cleared and the tåno’ (land) being hollowed out. In places such as Okura, the excavation is resulting in huge collections of Anc…

Desde Talo'fo'fo' Asta Hagatna

Ti apmam bai hu gaige ta'lo gi i isla-ku. Gi este mamaila na simana, para ta silebra i fine'nina na kumpleanos-na i hagga'-hu, Si Sumahi.

Where is Diego Garcia?

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I gave a presentation last week titled "The Fantasies of Empire: American Liberation and the Case of Guam," and I'm going to make a few small changes to my introduction for that paper, in order to introduce the article below, "Where - and What - in the World is Diego Garcia?"

I have long argued, against various forms of indifference that places such as Guam, Diego Garcia Island or Guantanamo Bay either signal the coming of Empire (as proposed by Hardt and Negri) or already mark quietly it passage and the approaching horizon. But as opposed to Guantanamo Bay where the de- and re-territorialization of Empire can be seen in much clearer and camera ready terms, Guam and Diego Garcia are important precisely because its political existence represents forms of banal colonialism which continue to evade even the sharpest critical eyes. While Guantanamo Bay, and the abuses which have taken place there, have become the object of a multitude of conservative and progressive …

Bollywood Culture Talk

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While on Crooks and Liars today, I came across my dream come true. (or at least one of them)

A website, where you can put your own subtitles over clips from Bollywood movies. I've made a couple and I'm posting them below, but let me give you some background first on why this is a dream for me, other than simply i guinaya-ku nu kachidon Bollywood siha.

For those familiar with those blog, for the past few years I've had a regular feature on it called "Nihi Ta Fanchat Gi Fino' Chamoru put Hindi Movies" or "Let's Chat in Chamorro About Hindi Movies." In these posts, I basically create a dialogue in Chamorro between two people who are talking about a recently released Bollywood movie.

For my first post, I used the film Swades, Ashutosh Gowariker's epic about diaspora, finding one's way back home, and the relationship between progress and culture in the "non-first" world, to create the dialogue. I'm pasting it right here for those i…