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Katotohanan Ng Ating Bayan: Identity, Cultural Work, and the National Democratic Struggle of the Filipina/o People in the United States

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Item Summary

Title: Katotohanan Ng Ating Bayan: Identity, Cultural Work, and the National Democratic Struggle of the Filipina/o People in the United States
Authors: Mortel, Darlene Marie
Issue Date: May 2016
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2016]
Abstract: The national democratic struggle of the Filipina/o people in the United States has been steadily growing since the founding of BAYAN-USA in 2005. As activists for social change, one of the many skills national democratic activists must possess is the ability to transmit their messages to everyday, common people. One of the most accessible means of communication is cultural work. Art can encourage and empower the activists and the community; educate on movement values, ideas, and tactics; offer histories of the movement and community; and provide aesthetic pleasure and enjoyment. However, just as important as the cultural work itself and often less studied is the process to create it. Often done collectively in national democratic organizations, the cultural work making processes provides a window into the conversations between identity formation, social movement organizing, and community development. This dissertation argues that the collective art making process is a critical pedagogical site where through cultural production, Filipina/os in the United States formulated a different type of diasporic Filipina/o identity, one based on the social and political conditions of the Philippines. Interviews of current and former members of national democratic organizations and a close textual analysis of cultural works inform my investigation. First I examine flyers in the San Francisco Bay Area to examine how one becomes an activist. Next I look at zines in Seattle to see how identity boundaries were used to distinguish similarities and differences to the various communities my informants belonged to. I then move to murals in the Los Angeles area, where I show how Habi Arts used collective mural making to model the beliefs of the national democratic movement. I conclude in Quezon City, Philippines, where I observed how the effigy making process became a ritual for Filipina/o exposurists to strengthen and solidify their commitment to the national democratic movement.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/51393
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - American Studies


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