Showing posts from October, 2017

Oh Catalonia!

It is common in Guam to feel very alone in terms of decolonization.

History books and political commentators tend to argue that the age of decolonization is over.

It happened in the 1960s or 1970s, and that those who remain colonized missed the boat.

They missed the decolonial sakman and are therefore stuck, in whatever political status they have.

It is an intriguing way of justifying the status quo.

A way of arguing that the current world order or framework isn't simply something that has happened.

But rather the end.

Teleological or evolutionary, but ultimately that an apex is reached and there can't be any further reconfiguration of power or reality. 

In the 1980s this notion was called "The End of History" after Francis Fukuyama.

It wasn't real or true, but it felt authentic, in the same way each epoch achieves a certain character or feeling of self-realization.

We have seen History continue marching on.

And those who still have claims from the most recent p…

UN Report Back

Independent Guåhan to host United Nations Report Back Event, Provide Updates on Recent Historic Trip
For Immediate Release, October 23, 2017 — Independent Guåhan is hosting a Report Back on October 26 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the University of Guam School of Business and Public Administration Room 131. At the forum, a group of delegates, who recently traveled to the United Nations in New York, will provide updates on their testimonies and meetings concerning Guam’s decolonization.
Independent Guåhan organized a group of twelve members and volunteers, who petitioned the UN Special Political and Decolonization Committee (4th Committee) at their annual meeting to discuss the situation in Guam. This trip was especially historic, because the Commission on Decolonization also sent a strong delegation — Governor Eddie Baza Calvo, Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje, Senator Telena Nelson and Dr. LisaLinda Natividad all testified before the 4th Committee. Senator Fernando Esteves a…

My Testimony Before the UN Fourth Committee

Testimony to the Fourth Committee of the United Nations From Michael Lujan Bevacqua, Ph.D. Co-Chairperson, Independence for Guam Task Force October 3, 2017
Buenas yan håfa adai todus hamyo ko’lo’ña si Maga’taotao Rafael Ramirez Carreño i gehilo’ para i kumuiten Mina’Kuåtro, gi este na gefpå’go na ha’åni. Magof hu na gaige yu’ guini på’go para bai hu kuentusi hamyo yan kuentusiyi i taotao Guåhan put i halacha na sinisedi gi islan-måmi. (Hello to all of you on this beautiful day. I am grateful to be here now so that I can speak to you, in particular H.E. Rafael Ramirez Carreño, Chair of the C24, and speak on behalf of the people of Guam about recent events that transpired in our island home.)
My name is Michael Lujan Bevacqua and I am a professor of Chamorro Studies at the University of Guam. I am also the co-chair for the Independence for Guam Task Force, a community outreach organization tasked with educating our island about the possibilities should we at last achieve self-determination…

Adventures in Chamorro #3

Through my Facebook page and this blog,  I often share what I refer to as “Adventures in Chamorro.” Gof takhilo’ i lenguahi-ta gi lina’la’-hu. Much of my work is dedicated to the revitalization of the Chamorro language and for my two children, Sumåhi and Akli’e’, from the days they were born I have only spoken to them in Chamorro. As such, in both work and the home, my life is filed with lots of interesting and hysterical Chamorro language moments. These are what I refer to as our “Adventures in Chamorro,” named for the adventure we take every day trying to talk about the world around us in the Chamorro language. Every couple of months, I would also share some of them in my Guam Daily Post columns. Here are some that I shared in my column published on August 17, 2016.

Adventures in Chamorro #266: The other day Isa (i nobia-hu), the kids and I were walking along the beach and looking up at the moon. It was a crescent moon, which many people translate to "sinahi" t…

Takae Village Residents Visit Guam to Share Their Story of Struggle

Okinawa Activists on Guam to Share Struggles and Support Community’s Request to Halt Construction of Marines’ Range at Northwest Field
FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE (October 23,2017 – Hagåtña)  A community collective comprised of members of Independent Guåhan, Prutehi Litekyan: Save Ritidian, the Guåhan Coalition for Peace and Justice, Fuetsan Famalao’an and the University of Guam’s Women and Gender Studies Program are collaborating to host a week-long visit with a group of grassroots activists from Okinawa called No Helipad Takae Resident Society.  

The No Helipad Takae Resident Society is committed to protecting their village, which is the location of the Yanbaru Rainforest, the main source for fresh drinking water in Okinawa and home to thousands of endemic species, many of which are listed as critical or endangered.  In 1957, the U.S. military began using the Northern Training Area in the Yanbaru rainforest as a jungle warfare-training site for U.S. troops.  For two gene…

History within the Chamorro Context

Rlene Santos Steffy published the article below during the summer as part of her iTintaotao Marianas feature series in The Guam Daily Post. I was honored to be included amongst so many other older and more esteemed activist and scholars. I conducted several long interviews with Rlene, some focusing on history and others on political status. I was surprised by her chosen route for this article, focusing on my learning the Chamorro language and my relationship to my grandparents. I was surprised, but not disappointed. The quote that she used at the start of the article is very much what I continue to feel about my Chamorro identity. Namely that if not for my grandparents, I wouldn't have much of a Chamorro identity and probably wouldn't speak Chamorro or care as much about the fate of the Chamorro people.

Reading this article made me sen mahålang for my grandparents. I miss them every day, everytime I use the Chamorro language. Kada fumino' Chamorro nina'siente yu' …

Statues Along the Slippery Slope

The Department of the Interior is the closest thing the US has to an explicitly colonial office. It is an office that overseas Native American tribes, the insular territories and also has obligations to deal with the freely associated states in Micronesia. It is for this reason probably the most interesting and exceptional place within the entirety of the US federal government. But this mandate is its least important function and one that matters very little in terms of general US interests or imagining. Overall its role in terms of managing national parks and providing oversight to resource extraction is far more visible. It is for this reason that in the general debate that is taking place within the US over Confederate monuments and attempts to whitewash and minimize racist and immoral parts of America's past, the Department of Interior enters the debate, not in terms of the Confederacy itself, but the way that certain heroes of American history, also participated in projects …