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May 26, 2016 @ 5:45 pm

Ep. 244 “Our Pasts Before Us: Militarization in the Marianas”

Ep. 244  “Our Pasts Before Us: Militarization in the Marianas” hosted by Dr. Lisa Linda Natividad and produced by Tom Maxedon with assistance from Alan Grossman) was recorded 5/20/16 and airs 5/27/16. 


This episode features three Chamorro scholars who discuss “Militarization in the Marianas”, a panel presentation at the 22nd Pacific History Conference held May 19-21 at the Hyatt Hotel in Tumon, Guam. This year’s conference theme “Mo’na:  Our Pasts Before Us” calls for an examination of the past to learn how this has shaped the present and may etch the future. This biennial conference brought together about 275 participants representing 21 countries and Guam [for more conference details, go to:]

In the first presentation, “Sindålu Stories;  The Role of US Military Service in Shaping Contemporary Chamorro Identity” Michael Lujan Bevacqua (Ph.D. University of California, San Diego) discusses how the US military presence on Guam has provided a means through which Chamorros have developed a closer, patriotic attachment to their colonizer, but also through various policies helped foment Chamorro desire for  decolonization and greater political autonomy. Dr. Bevacqua is the coordinator of the Chamorro Studies Program at the University of Guam where he teaches the Chamorro language and the History of Guam [for coverage of Dr. Bevacqua’s ‘walking tour’ of the Guam Humanities Council Sindålu exhibit, download Ep. 194 (7/18/14), “Sindålu: Chamorro Journeys in the U.S . Military”]. 


When the U.S. Department of Navy announced in 2009 that the ancient village of Pågat was its preferred alternative in Guam for a Live Fire Training Range Complex, diverse groups came together in unprecedented ways to protect this sacred site.  In the second presentation, “Pågat: How a Community United to Save an Ancient Village”, Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero (MFA, Mills College) discusses the community efforts that went into saving Pågat and what this critical moment in Guam’s history reveals about resistance to  the military buildup.  At the time of this Save Pågat Protest in 2010 (video available on Youtube) referenced in her talk,  Ms. Leon Guerrero was a co-organizer with We Are Guahan.  She is currently the Managing Editor for the University of Guam Press [for related episodes, download Ep. 20 (6/4/10) “Pågat Under Fire:  Resistance through Historic Preservation”, Ep. 48 (12/31/10) ,"The Lawsuit to Save Pågat Village --- And More”, Ep. 160 (8/23/13) “The Marianas Under Siege: Farallon de Medinilla, Pågat, Tinian and Pagan”, Ep. 181 (4/18/14) “Theatre on Sacred Ground”, Ep. 184 (5/9/14), “From Pågat to Ritidian:  The Live-Fire Training Range Complex (LFTRC) Controversy Continues”].   

Tiara R. Naputi (Ph.D. University of Texas-Austin) is a member of the Chamoru   diaspora whose interdisciplinary work focuses on indigenous studies, rhetoric and cultural studies. In her presentation, “Forward from the Marianas: Navigating with Our Ancestors through Waves of Militarization”, she “launches from the Marianas to navigate ancestral and decolonial strategies that challenge colonization and militarization throughout Oceania … to destabilize historical and contemporary U.S. national narratives and colonial forms of representation about the Pacific.”  Formerly a member of the faculty in Diversity and Community Studies at Western Kentucky University,  Dr. Naputi is assuming a new position as an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado-Boulder [for related discussions, download Ep. 95 (12/2/11)   “We Are the Many - Across the Pacific Blue Continent, Part I” and Ep. 97 (12/17/11) “We Are the Many - Across the Pacific Blue Continent, Part II”].

Music selection:  Oceanic Realm by Brandon Fletcher .  

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May 24, 2016 @ 10:02 pm

Ep. 243 “Guahan, Vieques (Puerto Rico), and Hawai’i: Island Relationalities and Feminist Demilitarization Movements”

Ep. 243  “Guahan, Vieques (Puerto Rico), and Hawai’i: Island Relationalities and Feminist Demilitarization Movements”(hosted by Dr. Lisa Linda Natividad and produced by Tom Maxedon with assistance from Alan Grossman and Robert Wang) was recorded 5/16/16 and airs 5/20/16. 


Program guest is Ms. Rebekah Garrison, a PhD candidate in American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California (USC). Her dissertation research in progress is  a comparative examination of how female Indigenous activists on Guahan, Vieques (Puerto Rico) and Hawaiʻi, link the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea through demilitarization, as the core of their social movements.  

Vieques is an island in Puerto Rico that the U.S. Department of Defense used as a site for bomb testing and training between 1941 and 2003.  Kaho’olawe in the Hawaiian Island chain was also used for similar purposes from 1941 thru 1990, which ended as a result of actions and litigation brought by the Protect Kaho’olawe‘ Ohana (PKO). Through a decolonial framework, Rebekah examines community mobilizations that resulted in the expulsion of the US military and its allies from Kahoʻolawe, Hawaii in 1990 and Vieques, Puerto Rico in 2003.  She is on Guahan for extended fieldwork to explore demilitarization tactics within the contemporary Mariana Islands.

Using a combination of archival research, interviews, and participant observation, she attempts to write a history of “island relationality”, wherein she uses an alternative approach to the singular study of islands and instead, demilitarizes colonial cartographies for comparative analysis.  Rebekah focuses on the International Women’s Network Against Militarism (IWNAM), and examines how members of this organization construct their own decolonial theorizations of geography.  By creating a network of relations, participants redefine the parameters of thinking through islands as comparative units.  In her research, she articulates how the histories of Kahoʻolawe and Vieques circulate within Guahan and cognitively map decolonial forms of island relational experiences between Pacific and Caribbean islands.  The IWNAM provides a new discourse regarding the ways in which female indigenous activists across multiple islands mobilize solidarity, disrupting histories of colonialism while also imagining a future free of US military imposition.

Music selection: Canción para Vieques (Song for Vieques) performed by various artists.  

Dr. Lisa Linda Natividad is an associate professor of social work at the University of Guam. She is also the organizer and chair of the Guahan Coalition of Peace and Justice, a member organization of  IWNAM.  She is serving as interim coordinator for Beyond the Fence.     

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May 24, 2016 @ 9:49 pm

Ep. 242 “Motherhood and Activism through Publication”

Ep. 242 “Motherhood and Activism through Publication” (hosted by Desiree Taimanglo Ventura and produced by Tom Maxedon with assistance from Alan Grossman) was recorded 4/29/16 and airs 5/6/16. 

In celebration of Mother’s Day (May 8), this episode features conversations with three creative Chamoru mothers who seek to preserve their indigenous language and culture through education, community action, and publication. They discuss the challenges of balancing motherhood and activism, their efforts in the classroom to promote awareness of local issues, and the inspiration behind their creative and published works.  

Our first guest is Moñeka De Oro, mother of 7 year old Ma’ase and a Master’s student in the Micronesian Studies Program at the University of Guam (UOG). Her academic and community work focuses on the traditional healing arts, cultural preservation and environmental protection of the Marianas Islands.  She is an educator who has been involved with Our Islands Are Sacred, the Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice,  and We are Guahan. She is also an occasional guest host for Beyond the Fence.  

She authored Amot Famalao’an: Traditional Healing and Holistic Living for Women of the Marianas in March 2014, a publication made possible with a grant from the Guam Preservation Trust. She talks about the creation of this unique work, as well as the 2011 publication of  her poem Para I Lahi-hu (For My Son) in UOG’s Storyboard 11: Navigating Our Future

This is followed by a conversation with sisters-in-law, Dana Bollinger and Simone Eugenia Perez Bollinger, both language teachers who co-authored a new Chamoru children’s book, Ma Guaiya Yu’ si Nåna yan si Tåta (Grandma and Grandpa Love Me) published by Taiguini Books, a division of the University of Guam Press.  This book is  beautifully illustrated by Cielo de los Reyes, artist, educator and mother of three. 


Dana has been teaching Spanish at John F. Kennedy High School for over ten years and has two children, Amaya and Andrew.  Simone is an English instructor at the Guam Community College who has published numerous creative works dealing with local issues, cultural identity and teaching. She is a member of the Festival of Pacific Arts Literary Arts Committee and will be representing Guam as a delegate. She received the 2015 MagPro Award for Excellence in Higher Education and was listed in the AGA Who’s Who in the Government of Guam, 40 and Under. She has also been working to develop post-secondary Chamoru language curriculum for institutions of higher education in Hawaii, Guam, and the CNMI through an ANA grant. She has a two year old daughter, Ena Ramone. 

Music selection:  “Nanan Mami” by J.D. Crutch 

Guest host, Desiree Taimanglo Ventura, recorded the conversation with Dana and Simone in her Yigo home, where she and her guests could comfortably include their young children. Desiree is currently on leave from the Guam Community College. where she teaches English, to care for her son, Vincent, and new born daughter, Lilia Grace.

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May 24, 2016 @ 9:37 pm

Ep. 241 “Environmental Leadership and Island Sustainability in Micronesia”

Ep. 241 “Environmental Leadership and Island Sustainability in Micronesia” (hosted by Dr.  Vivian Dames and produced by Tom Maxedon  with assistance from Alan Grossman) airs 4/22/16. 

In recognition of Earth Day (April 22), this episode features three leaders in Micronesia who are widely recognized for their commitment to protection of the environment which is essential to the sustainability of our islands and of the cultural identities of our diverse indigenous peoples.   

Program guest in the first half of this episode is Tommy Remengesau Jr., President of the Republic of Palau, who was interviewed March 4 while in Guam to present the keynote address at the 6th Micronesian Non-Profit Congress hosted by Payu’ta, Inc. (“Our Umbrella”, in Chamorro).  

Remengesau is the eighth president of the Republic of Palau and the first Palauan to be elected president three times. He is running for re-election in November 2016.  In 2007, Time magazine named him one of the heroes of the environment for initiatives such as the Micronesian Challenge. In 2014, the United Nations Environmental Programme, awarded him with its top accolade -- The Champion of the Earth award for his leadership in strengthening Palau’s economic resilience through national initiatives to protect its biodiversity.  Also in 2014, the environmental organization, Rare, presented Remengesau with its first Inspiring Conservation Award. President Remengesau is now spearheading an historic effort to establish a marine sanctuary covering 80% of Palau’s territorial waters, providing even greater protection for Palau’s environment while further enhancing Palau’s tourism revenues. 

This first segment concludes with the audio track of a video entitled “Modern Day Uab” (GEF /Pacific IWRM Project/Roll’em Productions, Palau/Secretariat of the Pacific Community) which is about a Palauan legend that mirrors what is happening today globally and in the Pacific Island region and the steps that Palau is taking to conserve natural resources for future generations. 

In the second half we feature the welcome address of Dr. Robert Underwood followed by the keynote speech of Tony deBrum at the seventh regional conference on island sustainability co-hosted by the University of Guam (UOG) and the University of Alaska- Fairbanks that was held April 11-15 on Guam.  

Dr. Underwood, UOG President and former Guam Delegate, established the Center for Island Sustainability (CIS) in 2009 which is becoming a focal institute for adapting and modeling sustainable technologies that meet the needs of island communities.  Dr. Underwood also seeks to promote change by “leading change” through an array of Go Green initiatives on the UOG campus.  

Tony de Brum  has dedicated a lifetime of public service in pursuit of an independent, secure and sustainable Marshall Islands and has courageously advanced his people’s vision of a world free of nuclear weapons.  As the former Foreign Minister, he and his legal team took the unprecedented step of filing lawsuits against all nine nuclear weapons states in the International Court of Justice in 2014, seeking to hold them to account for their failure to abide by the provisions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law.  For this work, they have been nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. Also, as architect of the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership, adopted in September 2013, de Brum has also been instrumental in securing the commitment of Pacific Island States to adopt concrete measures to combat climate change.

This episode concludes with the poem “Tell Them” composed and performed by Marshall Islander Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner at the opening ceremony of the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City in 2014 and at the Paris Climate Change Summit in 2015. 

[For related episodes, see Ep. 203 (10/10/14) “Marshallese Poet Speaks To World Leaders at U.N. Climate Summit” and Ep. 233 (1/5/16)  “From the Front Line on Climate Change - Micronesia”.]  

Special thanks to Jonas Macapinlac and Michelle Conerly, UOG Office of Integrated Marketing and Communication, for providing these selected audio recordings from the 2016 Island Sustainability Conference .    

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