Each installation in the DIALOGUES series brings together a selection of artists, writers, and scholars for a sustained, thematically-driven conversation. Taking place over an extended period and moving between email, Facebook messaging, and other electronic forms of communication, the interlocutors bring their academic, artistic, and personal knowledges to bear on questions and dynamics relevant to the Philippines, the Filipino diaspora, the arts and literature, and beyond. 

ISSN 2328-9074

Beyond the Horizon of Death? Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda and Unnatural Disasters

In Beyond the Horizon of Death? Gina Apostol, Joi Barrios, Kale Bantigue Farjardo, Dylan Rodriguez and Teresa Teaiwa reflect on the enabling conditions and aftermath of, as well as the way forward from, Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda's devastating 2013 landfall in the Philippines. Together, their conversation reveals that Haiyan/Yolanda is precisely an unnatural disaster, and they draw on their backgrounds--as novelist, poets and scholars--to connect the ongoing devastation of Yolanda to the US's colonial and military history in the Philippines and to climate change that disproprtionately threatens the Global South. With Sarita See as moderator, they produce a palimsest account of the deeper origins of Haiyan's horrors, and they anticipate the alternative affiliations that could make up what Epeli Hau'ofa calls--as Fajardo and Teaiwa remind us--the Pacific's "sea of islands."

Break, Burn, Hoard: For an Atlas of Lost Afro-Asian Worlds

How do you write the history of a world that never came to be? How do you map it? In Break, Burn, Hoard, Vince Schleitwiler and Tamiko Nimura reflect on the challenges of recording a lost Afro-Asian imagination.  Perhaps what survives in memory--quotations from novels, disappeared neighborhoods, family secrets, the words of a beloved teacher--may be consigned to an archive of flames. In a world on fire, as Walter Benjamin never said, nothing that didn't happen should be regarded as lost to history.

Filipino Workers in the Middle East: Frictive Histories and the Possibilities of Solidarity

The next installation of the DIALOGUES series, Filipino Workers in the Middle East brings together the anthropologist Nadine Naber and literary critic Allan Punzalan Isaac to talk about the many ways in which Filipinos as caregivers have become part of the national family throughout the Middle East. As Naber’s experiences with Filipino nannies on the cusp of the Arab Spring and Isaac’s analysis of the Israeli documentary Paper Dolls reveal, Filipinos’ incorporation into the family is frequently ambivalent and always strategic. Drawing on the work of anthropologist Martin Manalansan, they consider how “frictive histories”—the distinct histories and experiences that trail migratory bodies into sometimes uncomfortable contact—mediate and complicate the possibilities for worker solidarity between Filipinos and Palestinians who are variously and unequally deployed by the Zionist state in its construction of racial and geographic hegemony.


UPDATE: On March 23, 2014, Dr. David Lloyd interviewed Dr. Allan Isaac and Dr. Nadine Naber about the situation of Filipino and Filipina guest workers in the Middle East and Israel. The interview was broadcast by SWANA Region Radio (KPFK 90.7fm in Los Angeles, CA).

You can listen to the interview here

Migrant Musicians: Filipino Entertainers and the Work of Music Making

Migrant Musicians: Filipino Entertainers and the Work of Music Making brings together Theodore S. Gonzalves, R. Zamora Linmark, and Karen Tongson in a conversation moderated by Sarita Echavez See. Informed by their creative and scholarly work and by their own histories and experiences, they reflect on how Filipino musicians have circulated as part of a global entertainment industry. Their discussion ranges from their family memories and mythologies about music’s transportative power to their encounters with the legal realities of Filipino musicians’ experiences as overseas contract workers. As See remarks, the processes of migration and survival transform “living song into living labor” — a process that can disguise and deny the work that undergirds the making and feeling of music.