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Showing posts from July, 2019

The Private War of Pito Santos

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This month I reread Island in Agony by Tony Palomo. I have actually read it many times, but decided to take a look at it again as I was writing my weekly columns for the Pacific Daily News about World War II in Guam, and that book had been my first, comprehensive and in-depth look at it when I was a graduate student. In contrast to books by Don Farrell or Robert Rogers which also cover to varying extends the Japanese occupation of Guam, Island in Agony, feels very Chamoru and is in most ways written for Chamorus. When you read the book, you can see Tony Palomo's voice clearly trying to sound like an average American newspaperman. But in how he frames the story and what he chooses to include, you can tell he is trying to write something that will tell the Chamoru side of the story, that will stand as a testament to the Chamoru experience.

Most chronicles of the war focus, as you might expect on the militaries involved. The great titans that clash over Guam. Not much attention is g…

Litråton Na'lå'la' Vol. 3 Siha

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Kuentusi i Hanom

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One of my jobs this summer is to run community conversations with Nedine Songeni for Humanities Guåhan at the Department of Corrections. I first started doing these types of conversations or civic reflections many years ago, when the Humanities Council introduced them as a means for talking about the military buildup. I along with several others underwent a training period and held these conversations with diverse groups across the island. Since then I've also helped them a few more times on organizing civic reflections. It is an interesting model, and what I've always found nice about it, is that it requires the use of humanities text, whether it be an article, a text, an essay or a short film, as a means to stimulate conversation. Rather than a debate or a lecture, you build from a text which can be interpreted in many ways to sort of try to unpack many of the things members of the community may be feeling and may or may not be talking about.

A few years ago Humanities Guåha…