Showing posts from August, 2010

From the Guam Blog: Jurassic Guam

Gof ya-hu este na tinige' ginnen i Guam Blog. Gof ya-hu i lepblo yan mubi Jurassic Park ya annai hu taitai este (ni' muna'yalaka i dos), chumalek yu', lao nina'hasso yu' lokkue'. I hinasson i DOD gi este na tiempo yan i hinasson i duenon Jurassic Park, kalang chumilong. Puru ha' somnak gi me'nan-niha. Taya' prublema yan taya' chathinasso. Achokka' ti matai Si Hammond gi i mubi, matai gui' gi i lepblo. Ya ayu i mita'-na para i binanidosu-na, i bachet-na.
Hafa na parehu na pinadesi gaige gi me'na'-ta put i bachet yan binanidosun i DOD yan i manakhilo' guini?I’m still not clear on chaos? – Dr. Ellie Sattler. (Laura Dern), in the movie Jurassic Park.

It simply deals with unpredictability in complex systems. Its only principle is the Butterfly Effect. A butterfly can flap its wings in Peking and in Central Park you get rain instead of sunshine. – Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). The U.S. planners running the Guam buildup ha…

Buildup News from Okinawa and Japan

Daily Yomiuri Shimbun
Decision on Futenma Relocation Unlikely Until at Least 2011
Satoshi Ogawa / Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondent
Aug. 22, 2010

WASHINGTON--It has become almost certain that essential details of the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture will remain unresolved until at least 2011, as the Japanese and U.S. governments have basically agreed to abandon the Aug. 31 deadline they set earlier.

The two governments agreed Thursday on the outline of a report--to be released by working-level experts from both countries by the end of this month--regarding an exact location for the Futenma replacement facility and the design of its runway, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The outline calls for the forthcoming report to incorporate two plans as "feasible options" for the relocation facility: two runways in a V-shaped formation or a single runway, with the understanding that the facility will be located on the shore of the …

Help Fund This Project!!!!

Hermon and Jeannae made the following short piece about the recent protest at the Pagat trailhead, while they were recently here on Guam filming for their project "Weaving Solidarity." If you actually watch it, you can see my dongkalo yan chatpa'go na face, and Sumahi's sleeping form on my shoulder within the first few seconds. Hermon and Jeannae interviewed me while at the protest and I guess what I had to say resonated with them. I'm not the only person that they interviewed while they were here, they also talked to people from the National Trust, Joe Quinata, John Benavente, members of We Are Guahan and even Carl Peterson from the Chamber of Commerce.

Pagat Rough cut from Hermon Farahi on Vimeo.Later on we had more conversations about Guam's past and present and about what directions they can take with their documentary project, and so I think I'll be signing on to help as a producer. There are so many angles from which you can cover Guam right now, fro…

Nagasaki Trip, Post # 6: So Our Children May Live in Peace

“So Our Children May Live in Peace”
by Michael Lujan Bevacqua
The Marianas Variety
August 18, 2010

We on Guam should all know about the US testing of nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands and its deadly and tragic legacy. It is something that this entire region should take seriously, and teach to students of all levels, alongside Columbus sailing blue oceans, Americans and their independence or Chamorros suffering in Manengon waiting for liberation. It is critical because that history of nuclear testing speaks volumes to the relationship Micronesia has to the United States, by making clear this region’s strategic value.

But, one thing that we should always keep in mind is that the Marshall Island weren’t the only place where nuclear weapons were tested in the Pacific. There were US tests in the Aleutians, French tests in French Polynesia and British tests in Kiribati and Australia.

At the 2010 World Conference Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs that I attended last week in Japan, I got the…

Nagasaki Trip, Post #5: A $15 Billion Smokescreen

I was asked by a reporter in Nagasaki, Japan about what my thoughts were on the transfer of US Marines from Okinawa to Guam. This came after we had spoken for more than half an hour already on the issue, with me updating him on the latest protests from activists and responses from the Department of Defense. I think that in my statements I had been to rooted in the events I was describing and didn’t say anything which was useful in terms of summing it all up or being a good quote to use in trying to represent the feelings or the mindset of the people on Guam. So he asked a question which I had already spent quite a while answering again in a more direct way in hopes of getting me to give it that less academic, but more human touch.

I always have problems with media and these sorts of questions. Most reporters already have the story written before they speak to a single person, in their head or in their notebooks, and so your purpose is to confirm, deny or provide some details or soundby…

Nagasaki Trip, Post #4: Postcards from Okinawa

I've gotten so many cool gifts in Japan, small little presents which often times a Japanese activist would hand to me, respectfully bow, say their name and where they were from and then be gone. In both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I received several thousand paper cranes, sometimes tied together in huge bundles. I also got cards, letters, pictures, posters, buttons, stickers, bookmarks and plenty of other wonderful little gifts.

Some of the nicest gifts I received were from activists from Okinawa. I got a number of small, multi-colored, stuffed animal dugongs, which is an animal of national importance in Japan and whose habitat will be threatened if the US goes through with its plans to build new military facilities in Henoko Bay. I also received from an Okinawan delegate a set of three postcards, each of which was meant to provide a different perspective or piece of information on the struggle there against US bases. The first postcard was a picture of Henoko Bay, which when I first s…

Hiroshima Trip, Post #9: Picturing the Multitude

During the Hiroshima Rally for the 2010 World Conference Against Atomic and Hydrogen bombs, as an overseas delegate I got to sit in the very front row, with a great view of every speaker who stood at the podium or almost everyone who got on stage. This meant that even with my cheap K-Mart digital camera I could still take “cool” looking shots, which would have been mediocre or impossible to discern if I had been a hundred feet or so back into the crowd.

As I saw dozens of speakers cycle across the podium and dozens of activist groups from around Japan come up to present their efforts, I didn’t only take pictures of them, but also found myself taking pictures of the people who were taking pictures. For different speakers, a different, always evolving and morphing throng of people with cell phones, digital cameras and yes even disposable camera would be surging forward to get a better shot at what or who was on stage. For some there would be just a handful of picture-takers, who would la…

Hiroshima Trip, Post # 8: 5,501 Names

I am not a journalist, and for anyone who has read this blog before, that should be obvious. Even though I do try to capture as many details as I can when I attend an event, or analyze something, too often the analysis is far more important to me than the communication of the basic facts of something. So for example, the majority of the blog posts which I've written for this trip to Japan thus far, weren't written in such a way that you would know the ins and outs of what's being going on here, or understand all the issues that have been brought up, or what the conversations are like. Instead, I often focus on a single thing or set of things and then interrogate them in such a way, that its easy to think that I'm talking about massive huge things, when in truth from the event itself I'm drawing evidence or inspiration from, I was only analyzing a single thing said, or a single exchange.

Most of the time I'm perfectly fine with this. I had once wanted to be a jo…

Nagasaki Trip, Post #3: Peace, Love and Reality

Conferences exists to bring together a large group of people who think and live on the same page, or who would at least like to try and do so. The conference is like a warm, safe blanket around which they can hopefully surround their thoughts, their identities, or at minimum at least something where they can trust the space as safe and will not threaten or antagonize them in certain expected, but unwanted ways.

You could all have the same job, be of the same ethnicity or race, or have shared research, political or professional interests, but every conference tends to be a great big bubble. And in that bubble you can hang out, speak jargon, share the feeling of being in your own imagined community and feel safe and secure in the fact that this bubble exists to limit certain potential challenges or critiques. If you are at an Ethnic Studies conference, then it is unlikely that in the middle of your presentation, someone will stand up and defiantly call Ethnic Studies a useless pointless …

Nagasaki Trip, Post #2: Yoko Middle School and Guernica

The Museum of Modern Art in Nagasaki is having a peace exhibit as part of the 65th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb there. Although there were many incredibly moving pieces in that exhibit, one massive painting stood out above the rest.
Its title is "The Present, the Past and the Future" and was painted by 22 students from Yoko Middle School and their teacher. Its imagery is inspired by the history the student learned about the terror of nuclear weapons and war, and also their desire for a peaceful world. The clock which brazenly occupies the middle of the composition is familiar to people from Nagasaki, as various clocks which survived the blast in 1945, were all frozen with their hands at 11:02.
There is one more element which I found very interesting about this painting. Its massive size is identical to the well-known anti-war painting "Guernica" by Pablo Picasso. The shades of grey face on the horror and war side of the painting is inspired from t…

Nagasaki Trip, Post 1: The Importance of Small Places

One of the best things about the 2010 Conference Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs is that they take the Pacific very seriously. I attended so many academic conferences at the states and interacted with various antiwar and peace groups, but the Pacific was always something which you had to struggle to incorporate, or struggle to bring into the discussion. Even if it was an Asian American Pacific Islander event, the emphasis was always on Asians or Americans and the Pacific was always sort of brought in as a cute, exotic or ill-fitting footnote. When talking about these fragments from the Pacific, the equality or horizontal nature of the space would quickly be revealed in its dimension of vertical hierarchy, as the Pacific presence would be dealt with through recognition primarily, as something that needs to be seen, and brought into meaning or existence. The way that you can “recognize” this is if your value to the discussion is all cursory, as if what matters is that we have heard or…

Hiroshima Trip, Post #7: Through Luck, Not Wisdom

One of the speakers on the first day, Hiroshi Taka, the Secretary General of the group Gensuikyo, which is the main group who organized this conference, made a remark which has been a running theme throughout this conference, but the way that he said it ended up staying with me. Part of the World Conference Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs is solidarity with hibakusha or those affected by nuclear radiation, primarily in Japan, but also people the Marshall Islands, Tahiti, Christmas Island or even the Western United States.

…with the passing of 65 years since the A-bombings, it is as especially important task for us to share the experiences and struggles of the Hibakusha as a common knowledge of the human race. Here, in Hiroshima, hundreds of young people participating in this conference will visit Hibakusha and listen to their messages, to inherit their struggle for the survival of humanity. Their testimonies of the tragedies are themselves a powerful refutation of the “nuclear deter…

Hiroshima Trip, Post 6: International Incident Win

At the 2010 World Conference Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, everything is conducted in English and Japanese. Since most of the people attending the conference are from Japan and do not speak English, all the overseas delegates have headsets and during the proceedings off to the side there is an interpreter who is telling us what people are saying. While I was in South Korea I had the experience of attending a conference where I did not understand a single word, and while I did get a lot of other work done during that time, it was disappointing to not be able to follow what was being said.

One thing that the organizers of the conference request in order to make their job easier is that we turn in our speeches ahead of time so that it can be translated into Japanese ahead of time, or so the interpreter can have it in front of them while you speak to help guide them. I submitted my speech a week ahead of time, but was told the day I arrived to make some changes and cut its length. Ins…

Hiroshima Trip, Post 5: To My Little Darling

Kana' tumanges annai hu taitai este na betsu. Gi i tiempo-ku guini giya Hapon, meggai na estoria hu hungok put i pinadesin i maninafekta ni' i hinatmen atomic. Siempre bula na aniti gi este na lugat, sa:' siempre Siha chumochonnek i taotao guini mo'na gi i kinalamten kontra atmas nuclear.
Un hibakusha na palao'an tumuge' este gi 1973. Estaba gui giya Hiroshima annai hinatme ni' i atmas atomic, lao ti matai gui'. Lao annai mumapotge gui' duru chathinasso-na na sina nina'dano' i patgon-na ni' i radiation. Ha tuge'i i patgon-na este annai gaigaige ha' gi halom i tiyan-na. Para este na klasin taotao (i mannina'ye radiation), guaha racism kontra siha, sa' nu i otro na taotao Hapon, kalang kalaskas, but manamatatse este siha. Ti debi di un asagua este na klasin taotao siha sa' attelong i haga'-niha, madano' i tahtaotao-niha. Achokka' esta 65 na sakkan desde ayu na baba na ogga'an, sigi ha' ma susedi gui&#…