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July 17, 2016 @ 4:13 am

Ep. 248 “Decolonizing Oceania and the Festival of the Pacific Arts”

Ep. 248  “Decolonizing Oceania and the Festival of the Pacific Arts” (hosted by Dr. Tiara Naputi and produced by Tom Maxedon with assistance from Alan Grossman) airs 7/15/16. 

This episode is dedicated to the late  Eddie “Uncle Ed” Leon Guerrero Benavente, a Chamoru rights activist and longtime supporter for the decolonization of Guåhan, who passed away on July 6, 2016.

This episode features commentary from Chamorus who discuss the issue of decolonization at the 12th Festival of the Pacific Arts, hosted by Guåhan from May 22-June 4, 2016. The festival’s theme, "Håfa Iyo-ta, Håfa Guinahå-ta, Håfa Ta Påtte, Dinanña' Sunidu Siha Giya Pasifiku" or "What We Own, What We Have, What We Share, United Voices of the Pacific" provided an opportunity to consider the shared histories and contemporary realities throughout Oceania. 

Commentary is provided by six of the twelve Guåhan delegates who staged a strategic action during the Festival’s closing ceremony on Saturday, June 4th  calling for unity across Oceania. Standing in solidarity with the decolonization struggle of other indigenous communities throughout Oceania (especially the Kanak, Kanaka Maoli, West Papuans, and Rapa Nui), these delegates unfurled their wraps as banners that carried the message “Decolonize Oceania” and “Free Guåhan.”  They share their stories, describe their roles in this political action, and discuss how decolonization was woven throughout FestPac in various ways: 

Desiree Taimanglo Ventura

Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero

Kisha Borja-Quichocho-Calvo

Kenneth Gofigan Kuper

Monaeka Flores

Joseph Certeza

This episode also includes an interview with Monica Guzman, the Programming Chair for the 2016 Festival of the Pacific Arts,  who shares her response to this strategic action at the closing ceremony, and broader political issues addressed at the festival.

For related commentary published in the Pacific Daily News written by Kisha Borja-Quichocho- Calvo, “Political Statement at FestPac Necessary” (June 9, 2016) and by Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero and Michael Lujan Bevacqua, “We Deserve to be Free” (June 19, 2016),  go to: https://www.facebook.com/beyondthefencekprg/ . 

Additionally, a short film is being produced by the Independence for Guam Task Force to share the story behind the strategic action that took place at the closing ceremony.  To view some information about this film (anticipated for release in September 2016),  go to: https://www.facebook.com/1768523633376324/videos/1798543663707654/

Guest host Tiara Naputi (Ph.D. The University of Texas-Austin) is a member of the Chamoru   diaspora whose interdisciplinary work focuses on indigenous studies, rhetoric and cultural studies. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado-Boulder

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