Help us continue our journey investigating our experiences of racial identity and belonging as we travel to Sri Lanka in January!
Please support this project! Toasted Marshmallows continues their filming for a documentary by, for, about mixed raced women in North America. It’s going to be amazing, but need some open hearts and pockets along the way!
I was asked to reflect on December 6th 1989 and the aftermath of such violence in relation to contemporary forms of violence we face as Indigenous women in Canada. I am tremendously humbled by this task. While my words today focus on Indigenous families and communities, in no way, do I wish to distract from the ways in which violence affects us all, wherever we are from or from the specific grief families have for the loss of their loved one on this tragic day. I dedicate these words to my students. Your ethics, ideals, friendship and actions inspire me on a daily basis.
Violence takes many forms.
It is imperative as a society that we are vigilant and understand the many forms that violence takes. For Indigenous women and girls, violence has many faces and it takes us away from our families, our lands and our own selves. As Indigenous women, we do not need statistics to point out how physical and sexual violence becomes a prominent experience in our lives. Whether perpetrated by men who are supposed to love us or by men we know to hate us, we learn at a very young age that resistance means to survive, to learn how to hide the scars and bury the emotional pain of this kind of violence.
But, as I have said, violence takes many forms. Two stories were prominent in the media this week that underscore this point. The first story reported the unbelievable increase in Aboriginal inmates in our federal prisons, despite a decline in crime statistics. In Canada, Aboriginal prisoners make up 20% of the federal prison population despite being only 4% of the general population. According to the same report, Aboriginal women make up 34% of the federal prison population and 75% of reported incidents of self-injury. This last statistic stings more than anything I could ever write, speak or convey. It is a pain that is too familiar and a form of violence that cuts to the core of colonial harm.
The second story, featured in a series in the Edmonton Journal, revealed the underreported and staggering number of Aboriginal children who have died in foster homes in a single province. That report found that while only nine percent of Alberta children are Aboriginal, they account for a staggering 78% of children who have died in foster care since 1999. There are more Indigenous children in state care now then there ever were in residential schools. And this report tells us that they are not safe.
In this so-called year of reconciliation, how is that Indigenous men, women and youth are 10 times more likely than other Canadians to be incarcerated in their lifetimes? In the year of reconciliation, how is that our children apprehended by the state into foster care make up 78% of all deaths in one province? In a year of reconciliation, how is it that women must still place their own bodies between gas companies’ thumper trucks and the land to prevent further destruction of the earth, our mother? In a year of reconciliation, how is it that Canada continues to ignore calls for a national inquiry into the murdered and missing Native women, our sisters, mothers, daughters and friends? These questions anger me. Indeed, they often paralyze me but they also inspire me to keep questioning, seeking answers and challenging people to never forget how violence operates in the daily lives of Indigenous peoples. These are questions I see my students carry as burdens, and the ones I see them struggle to find answers to when confronted with such brutality. Their dedication to finding answers makes me proud and sad for them all at once. But this thought brings me back to December 6th, and those beautiful young women who died that day. When I think of December 6th, 1989, I think that 14 lives stopped so short is a tremendous and irrecoverable loss to all of us in shaping a better future. I cannot imagine a more bitter loss than that of one’s child to such brutality on school grounds. When I think of those young women, I think of my own beautiful students. But most of all, I think of their mothers and sisters and their loved ones.
I think those young women are our loved ones.
I think too of course of the children, men, women and girls that Indigenous peoples have lost to colonialism and gendered violence in schools, in the prisons, and in their own homes.
I think that colonialism is gendered violence.
Yet given the overwhelming sadness I feel about the pervasiveness of violence in our society, I refuse to believe that violence in all these forms is a given.
Gendered violence is not a given.
In fact, colonialism is not a given. We have the tools: our minds and our hearts, our ability to love, and our commitment as people here today who can remember and envision something better. A better relationship built in the wake of violence but not beholden to it. Understanding how we came to be here in this place as settler, ally, immigrant or Indigenous, we can begin to travel down a path together towards truer forms of reconciliation. We can move towards that future together that will see an end to violence in all its forms, against women, against the land, against our own selves. Before we can do that however, we have to look back and remember, take account of our past as we walk together towards that decolonized future.
I want to close by reading a few words from Chickasaw feminist and novelist Linda Hogan from the end of her novel Solar Storms — forgive me, I am a literary scholar and my students are reading this treasure as their last text in my Indigenous Feminisms course this term. I chose to close the semester with this story as a gift to my students who I know are weary from reading about and working through the impacts of patriarchal colonialism. Indeed, I often re-read the ending of this novel when I am overwhelmed by the work that faces me, or my own past experiences with violence that make me doubt what I carry inside myself. Importantly, Hogan chooses to end a novel about women’s love and resistance with an affirmation—a ‘yes’ to all of us working towards resurgence that is loving and beautiful.
If you listen at the walls of one human being, even if that one is yourself, you will hear the drumming. Older creatures are remembered in the blood. Inside ourselves we are not yet upright walkers. We are tree. We are frog in amber. Maybe earth itself is just now starting to form. One day when the light was yellow, I turned to [my mother] and I said, “Something wonderful lives inside me.”
She looked at me. Yes, she said. […]
Something beautiful lives inside us. You will see. Just believe it. You will see.
— Dory Nason (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley) is Anishinaabe and an enrolled member of the Leech Lake Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. She currently holds a joint position with the First Nations Studies Program and the Department of English at the University of British Columbia. Her areas of research include contemporary Indigenous Feminisms and related Native women’s intellectual history and literature.
A version of this piece was originally delivered as a speech at the University of British Columbia’s commemoration of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, on November 28, 2013 in Vancouver, BC.
I’ve always gotten in trouble by Filipino elders for not “keeping my Tagalog” but learning to lose my mother tongue and any relics of it in an accent were survival strategies as a kid. Now understanding but not being able to speak back in Tagalog is more than just a metaphor in the relationship I hold with my parents.
"But what I know now is this: there is a story here, about losing that ‘motherland’ language, losing that culture, the language barrier between child and parent, the void of understanding, the want of understanding, the want to be ‘seen,’ and it isn’t just an ‘ethnic’ story, it’s bigger that. And this is what many of my stories hinge on, that back-and-forth pull of not knowing who you are, or where you come from, but wanting to get there anyways." - Melissa R. Sipin
I’ve noticed in several radical, POC spaces I’ve been in over the years, that the words ‘colonized’ and ‘decolonized’ are used frequently, and without necessarily a reference to a specific colonial event or structure. I’ve started to do it too. I’m not sure way this is the case. Perhaps there’s something almost sexy about it–not that colonization is sexy, but that being able to use ‘colonize’ and ‘decolonize’ often becomes part of a particular hip, radical ‘aesthetic’. Perhaps also it’s just more work to dive deeper into the multiple racial/imperialist dynamics at play.
Often, in these spaces, ‘colonized’ is used as a synonym for POC. Using ‘colonized’ as a stand-in for racial domination or, equivalently, ‘decolonized’ as a stand-in for racial liberation is fraught, for many of the same reasons that using person of color without a more specific racial analysis is fraught–that is, it has the possibility of glossing over multiple privileges and dynamics. Colonialism is a rampant phenomenon, but it’s also a specific one: it involves the extension of sovereignty of one people/nation over another. Settler-colonialism (like in the US) further involves settlers occupying colonized peoples’ lands. Colonialism is marked by psychological trauma as well as material domination, but it is not just a general term for racism. Similarly, decolonization is not a general term for anti-racism; it involves the removal of colonizers’ control over land, resources, bodies, and minds.
I want to challenge us (radical, POC communities) to be more critical of when and why we’re using colonialism as our primary lens, and to be more intentional than the colonized=POC=brown paradigm. Here, I point to some of the ways that construction is problematic:
1. Not all POC were/are colonized. Most of our peoples were/are under colonial control, but not all. This is not to say that POC whose peoples were never formally colonized are not affected by colonialism; as a product of trade/labor routes, and the ways that our origins are homogenized, we definitely experience racism that isn’t necessarily specific to our histories. But being POC doesn’t necessarily carry a direct colonial history.
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2. Decolonization is not a metaphor. I’ve witnessed multiple non-Indigenous POC talk about creating ‘decolonized spaces’ or ‘decolonizing our minds’. Decolonization is not a just a set of processes to create more just racial relations. In the US, it literally involves unsettling non-Indigenous people. From Tuck and Wang’s article ‘Decolonization is not a metaphor’: ‘Decolonization brings about the repatriation of Indigenous land and life; it is not a metaphor for other things we want to do to improve our societies and schools.’
3. Along the same lines, colonization and decolonization are not individual practices. They are structures. We do not decolonize ourselves; we participate and/or work in solidarity with the decolonization of peoples and communities. That distinction is important.
4. In the US, we are in the belly of the imperialist beast. When US people talk about decolonizing ourselves or our societies, we need to consider the privileges we gain by being in the heart of modern empire. Decolonization is not something that happens divorced of the US removing itself from its colonies and imperialist control of other nations’ resources.
5. We need a more careful analysis of what diaspora is and isn’t. Recently, I read a piece calling for decolonizing yoga by returning its control to South Asian-Americans. That proposal is an oversimplification. Material and political gains for diaspora does not necessarily translate to reparations for folks in places of origin. Diaspora aren’t total stewards of cultures, histories, and resources: that kind of stewardship and decolonization practice needs to center folks operating within the Third World.
6. Not all racism comes about through colonialism. Race is brought into being also by labor relations, migration patterns, war, enslavement, etc. None of these processes is totally separate from colonialism, but it’s important to hold their specificity. In a recent piece critiquing Vijay Prashad’s writing on South Asians in the US, Tamara Nopper argues that ‘colonized’ becomes a way of ignoring the ‘singularity of racial slavery’. She traces the history of the colonial analogy:
Popularized in the 1960s and 1970s by scholars and radical activists and artists, the colonial analogy posits that non-whites in the United States constitute a “third world within.” This colonial analogy is a version of the white/non-white model of race relations, which has been called into question by Afro-pessimists as well as other scholars who conclude that the U.S. racial hierarchy is structured by a Black/non-Black divide.
7. Colonized peoples can also colonize. India, for example, is a formerly colonized nation currently occupying Kashmir, and trading billions in weapons with Israel. We can’t use India’s colonial history to mask its current violences. We can’t use ‘colonized’ as some special category that can’t also be violent.
This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t be using decolonization as a paradigm. I’m arguing instead that treating decolonization (and unsettlement) seriously means understanding what it is (and isn’t). Colonization and decolonization are processes with material consequences, not words to throw around whenever we want to talk about oppression.
By now you have likely seen the photos of the devastation currently unfolding in the Philippines. I was born in Bato, Leyte, the island featured in most of these photos. Although it was a kakha tukÈ (scratch-and-eat) existence, my childhood years were absolutely carefree. Nanay (grandmother) made sure of it. Many times she could not earn enough to prepare a meal, she would simply add water and salt to gabi (taro) uprooted in the backyard, boil it and we had soup! Or my sister and I would meet her at the beach after school where weâd pluck oysters off the rocks and eat them with boiled corn grits. It was actually fun and yes, raw seafood was still safe.
Nanay also made sure we were safe during disasters. The last typhoon I remember with her was taking shelter under a table singing out `Santa Maria, Inahan ka sa Dios…` at the top of our lungs. A coconut tree had fallen, splitting the house into two and there was water everywhere. The flood waters kept on rising so I was put on my tiyoâs back and he swam us to safety in a neighbour’s two-story house.
As I see the images on television I imagine how many nanays, mamas, tatays and tiyos there must have been trying and failing, to save their children and grandchildren. My heart breaks trying to imagine their pain. Estimates are that over 10,000 people have been killed and millions have been left homeless by what is being called the strongest storm ever recorded.
 48 hours ago, Filipino diplomat and scientist Yeb Sano was in tears as he announced he would go on a hunger strike at the UN Negotiations on climate change. “We must stop calling events like these natural disasters,” he told the UN. “It is not natural when science already tells us that global warming will induce more intense storms. It is not natural when the human species has already profoundly changed the climate.” Sano is refusing to eat until world leaders at these negotiations make meaningful progress towards an agreement.  Unfortunately, Canada’s government is an obstacle to this demand.
Canada’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions are among the world’s highest. At the last climate negotiations, Canada was pinpointed as the worst country at the negotiations, showing no shame or regret for undermining the Kyoto Agreement,” the one pact between the world’s nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
 In recent years the Philippines has become the largest source of new migrants to Canada (many on various temporary visas).  The voices of Filipino Canadians have never been as powerful or important as they are in this very moment. If enough of us pressure the Canadian Government to do what is morally responsible, this country could become a world leader in forging global climate solutions.
In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, which killed an untold number of people, displaced 630,000 and devastated central Philippines, the country’s indigenous peoples—most of whom are located in isolated, forested communities, far away from cities and supplies—are emerging as among the worst hit.
The author of this piece, Ninotchka Rosca, works as a literary writer and a journalist. She is also an activist, advocating for women’s rights. She resides in New York City but lives in the world.
It was difficult to see and hear those words repeated, in media reports, articles, military and even White House briefings: “The Filipino people are resilient.” A characterization which should raise anyone’s hackles, with its image of a jelly blob, quivering when punched, then quieting back to what it was before the rain of blows: sans sharpness, inert and passive, non-evaluating of what happens to its self.
No, we are not resilient.
We break, when the world is just too much, and in the process of breaking, are transformed into something difficult to understand. Or we take full measure of misfortune, wrestle with it and emerge transformed into something equally terrifying.
It is what is…and what isn’t
This is in sync with our indigenous worldview, expressed by our riddles, the talinhaga, on which every Filipino child used to be raised: an understanding of reality, including ourselves, as metamorphic (or, capable of transformation).
A leaf by night; a bamboo by day – is how we look at our buri mat. It is both what it is and isn’t.
And because this is a worldview which has to be lived in situ, it is unfathomable to the outsider, despite scholarship and analyses, which come up with nothing but the label “resilient.”
We don’t spring back, we transform
Across oceans and throughout the five continents of this Earth, we carry the tales of our old heroes and muses, our elementals, who confront, in each re-telling, tests of strength and spirit.
Some break, like Mariang Makiling who hides in a thousand-year hibernation; others metamorphose, like Bernardo Carpio who becomes a pillar of stone stopping cliffs from caving in on his village.
We may not remember their old names – names being the first to be erased under colonialism – but we remember how they were and how we are supposed to be: metamorphic.
What have we become after Yolanda?
These two legends represent the twin possibilities for the Filipinos’ metamorphosis. Both are inexplicable outside of the local paradigm. Just as what we’re watching now in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda seems inexplicable.
Who can fathom what drives a woman to open body bags of putrefying corpses in search of a husband, a son, a daughter? At the end of a gaze that has lingered over a hundred dead faces, what is she now?
Who can measure the rage of the peaceable man breaking through the walls of groceries, warehouses, shopping malls? And having pierced both law and walls of Authority, what is he now?
The absence of thousands
To say that Filipinos are resilient is an assurance for those who have imposed upon them – much and repeatedly.
It is to say to themselves that we shake off tragedy much like ducks shaking off water.
It is to ignore the monuments to what has been suffered: matchstick debris of houses, muck and mud of vanished cities, stench of the dead and – oh! – the absence, thousands of absence, of those who used to be in our midst. Who could be so resilient as not to be transformed by that?
[Shout-out to my kasama Theresa for writing this…]
The images of the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan are heart wrenching. They are the gaping wounds of a Philippines that has been beaten again and again by natural and not-so-natural disasters. This time the world cannot turn away. It cannot deny the suffering of the Filipino people. We are moved and compelled to open our hearts and give, but time and time again we are faced with the dilemma of which organizations or groups to support.
For me, the answer to that question is clear. I will not give my money to giant NGOs with huge overhead costs, other foreign organizations, or militaries that swoop in on these communities for a week or a month or two and then leave. When I look at images on my computer screen or my television, my eyes focus and linger on the faces of people who are hungry, homeless, and hurt because of these calamities. I do not see the faces of transnational organizations or their CEOs.
My heart is with the people. I would like my money to go there aswell. This is why I will give my time, energy, and financial support to organizations like NAFCON (National Alliance for Filipino Concerns) in the US that donates to BALSA (Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan- Peoples Cooperation for the People) in the Philippines. These relief efforts are led and conducted by all volunteer grass roots and community organizations–organizations that are committed not only to the immediate needsof the people for relief, but the much more difficult task of rebuilding,rehabilitating, and restoring these communities with dignity and compassion. These are peoples organizations thatare built by the people in the communities in which they live. They know the conditions, the struggles, and the aspirations of people in these communities because they are therewith them.
Participating in the International Solidarity Mission in Mindanao this summer, I was surprised to see so many people in communities devastated by Typhoon Pablo still living in tents or crumblingstructures with only a piece of tarpaulin to protect them from the elementseight months after the typhoon. It was shocking to see these tents and piecesof tarp emblazoned with the names of international relief organizations likethe Red Cross and UNICEF. It washard to accept that with the millions of dollars donated by people all over theworld, that these organizations along with many other transnational NGOs wereonly able to erect tent cities and distribute plastic coverings for homes andcalled it “relief.” They are no longer there in these communities. They have wiped their hands clean. They believe they have done their jobs. Hand in hand with the broken-ness of the Philippine government’s ability to respond to the needs of the people, these organizations failed to serve the people ofthe Philippines.
Thankfully, I was able to witness peoples organizations in action. I saw their rebuilding efforts in parts of Mindanao devastated by Typhoon Pablo.Their efforts were conducted quietly and humbly; they were ongoing eight months after the disaster. They were there for the long haul. One afternoon I was able to visit an evacuation center where people sought shelter because of militarization of their villages. The center was buzzing with activity as volunteers from peoples organizations were hard at work. I did not have to stay long to see the comprehensiveness of their work–from the cooking crew to the medical team to the psychosocial team for the children. The volunteers were tireless in their efforts to not only meet the immediate needs of the people,but to also find a way for them to return to their homes and live their lives peacefully once again.
These peoples organizations know that every child, woman, and man deserves to be fed, housed, and given medical care as soon as possible. But the difference is that they also know that the relief work only feeds, houses, and treats a person for that day or a few weeks. Their work cannot and will not stop there. They work for rehabilitation and rebuilding of communities. They will take a hammer and nails and wood to create new homes, hospitals, and schools, but they will also work at building a better system–one that responds to the needs of the people, one that fights for environmental justice, one that brings hope and courage for people to fight for what they need and deserve in the face of injustice.
Our people deserve more than pieces of tarp emblazoned with the names of international relief organizations or tent cities that are supposed to replace sturdy, livable homes. They deserve more than spoiled rice after it was withheld from them by the Philippine military. They deserve more than empty promises and poor governance.
And you–people from all over the globe with big hearts who donated for a whatever reason–maybe you have family members in Tacloban or you simply turned on the television and were moved by the images you saw, you deserve more than that, too. You deserve to know that the support you offer will be delivered to the people you so care for. You deserve to know that you have not only given someone a chance to fill their bellies with a healthy meal and sleep under a roof, but in supporting peoples organizations, you have also given people a chance to participate in the (re)building of a better, brighter community and world and the hope that they may thrive again.
Donate to support Typhoon Haiyan victims at http://nafconusa.org and support peoples organizations working for typhoon relief!
so much YES! tomboys and any type of sexuality or gender identity that goes beyond the machismo and patriarchal framework has been invisibilized in pinas. i’m gonna go ahead say that charice’s coming out had a little push in this, too.
"That’s My Tomboy isn’t just about tapping the boundaries of traditional femininity; it’s normalizing lesbian experiences through visibility, allowing millions of Filipino audiences to see that being a dyke doesn’t make you an alien, or ugly or undesirable.”
The Philippines faces constant and consistent natural disasters from earthquakes to tsunamis to typhoons. This website will show you why these natural disasters occur and how the Philippine government contributes to worsening the immense damage the Philippines has to endure.
As the Philippines reels from one of the worst storms in history, the annual U.N. climate summit is opening today in Warsaw, Poland. Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground, says rising sea levels caused by global warming increased the size of the stormâs surge, while the heating of the oceans threatens more extreme storms that could form into typhoons. We also air the emotional plea of Yeb SaÃ±o, a member of the Philippines Climate Change Commission, urging action on global warming at last yearâs climate summit in Doha. SaÃ±o spoke just as Typhoon Bopha hit his country, killing hundreds and leaving 250,000 homeless. “Heartbreaking tragedies like this are not unique to the Philippines, because the whole world â especially developing countries, struggling to address poverty and achieve social and human development â confront these same realities,” SaÃ±o said. “I ask of all of us here: If not us, then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where?”
More than 10,000 people are feared dead in the central Philippines following one of the most powerful storms ever recorded. Nearly 1,000 people are confirmed dead so far, but the toll is expected to rise. Typhoon Haiyan sent huge waves that inundated towns, washed ships ashore and swept away coastal villages. More than 600,000 people have been displaced, and many still have no access to food, water or medicine. The city of Tacloban was described as a scene of massive devastation, with bodies scattered in the streets and buried under flattened buildings. We are joined by Al Jazeera correspondent Jamela Alindogan, who reported from Tacloban after Typhoon Haiyan struck, herself struggling to survive the storm.
Also known as Haiyan, Typhoon Yolanda has devastated the Philippines, especially the Southern region of the nation. Below are two organizations that were recommended by a Cornell Filipino Association alumni, Theo Figurasin. Please keep these in mind when deciding how to help:
National Alliance of Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) at http://nafconusa.org/: Their efforts are focused on assisting many grassroots organizations in the parts of the Philippines most impacted. Donations will be sent directly to the poor and underserved who need our donations the most through NAFCON’s partner organizations such as Visayas Primary Health Care Services (VPHCS). VPHCS is a non-profit established in 1985 aiming to promote primary health care programs in the Visayas, assisting marginalized sectors of society: urban poor dwellers, farmers, fisherfolks, women and children in building and strengthening community-based health programs. You can donate at nafconusa.org via PayPal or credit card.
Through messages scrawled on cardboard and torn-up paper plates, some written in crayon, and given to GMA’s Jiggy Manicad, people in Leyte cut off from the rest of the Philippines by Super Typhoon Yolanda hope to let their loved ones know that they are safe. Not all of the messages bring good news: “Kuya, patay na si daddy at mommy. Pakisabi sa lahat,” was one heart-breaking note in neat block letters.” A few just had one word, alive, followed by their names. Click the headline for photos of the messages we received.
The ‘Sagip Migrante Fund Drive’ is a fund-raising effort of Migrante to gather financial support for typhoon victims in the Philippines.
Currently, our fund drive is to raise money for the victims of the super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). According to documented reports, at least 300 people have been confirmed killed and 2,000 people are reported missing from typhoon-battered Samar province. In Leyte, authorities estimates that more than 10,000 were killed by the storm and the death toll in other typhoon-hit areas is rising as well.
Donations collected will go directly to support rescue missions, distribution and delivery of essential goods such as rice, canned goods and bottled water, setting up of soup kitchens and other relief missions in affected areas.
In the spirit of bayanihan, Migrante BC joins Migrante International, and Migrante chapters and members overseas to raise funds in aid of the typhoon-devastated communities.
Sagip Migrante is now open for local monetary donations. Support in kind is also welcome; however, goods from overseas may not arrive on time.
All donations may be deposited to Migrante BC’s bank account at VanCity, account number 631770, Branch 3 under Relief Fund. Tax receipts for charitable donations of $20 and more are available.
For details please email email@example.com or call 604.961.7794
For those who have families in the Philippines and want to donate goods or volunteer, please contact Migrante International’s Home Office: #45 Cambridge St, Cubao, Quezon City or text or call in the Philippines - 911-4910 (landline), 0932-7043274 (mobile).
“What transpired in Tacloban is not looting. What we saw was a clear demonstration of the peoples struggle for survival in the face of the Aquino government’s failure to respond and provide immediate relief to the victims and survivors… Martial law will never address the immediate needs of the victims and survivors of super typhoon Yolanda. It is only aimed to cover up the Aquino government’s lack of preparedness and ineptitude to address the humanitarian crisis in Tacloban City and in all areas devastated by the super typhoon.”
BAYAN USA urgently appeals to you and our communities to help the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), a typhoon that has been described as perhaps the strongest storm ever to make landfall in recorded history. We ask all BAYAN USA members, allies, friends, and family to donate online today to National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) Bayanihan Relief of which 100% of your donations will be given to BALSA (Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan), which translates to RAFT (People’s Cooperation for the People). For more information on how to donate visit NAFCON website. Read more about NAFCON’s relief efforts on NBC NEWS Blog here.
Super Typhoon Haiyan first roared onto the Philippine’s eastern island of Samar at 4:30 a.m. Friday delivering 195 mph winds with gusts reaching even 235 mph. Thousands of the victims come from peasant, fisherfolk, and indigenous peoples in the Visayas, some parts of Mindanao, including Southern Luzon. “The destruction is massive – beyond our collective imagination,” stated Rita Baua, BALSA National representative.
140 deaths have been confirmed so far, but unconfirmed estimates have reached at least 1,200 dead. The Social Welfare and Development Department reported that the storm affected 4.28 million people in 270 towns and cities spread across 36 provinces in Central Philippines. Super Typhoon Haiyan packed a blow on Philippine structures 3.5 times more forceful than Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
BALSA is a grassroots relief and rehabilitation organization of BAYAN for more than a decade. It is run by people for the people, eliminating gross administrative costs and ensures your donation contributes directly to the communities that need immediate assistance. Furthermore, BAYAN advocates have and continue to expose the Aquino Administration and Philippine Congress’ Priority Development Assistance Fund, which contain $141 Million (1.3 trillion to 1.5 trillion in Philippine pesos) for misusing government funds.
Just last August 26, tens of thousands of Filipinos in Manila participated in a “Million People March.” The protesters at the march, organized by BAYAN, pressured government officials to stop corruption, and instead, allocate misused funds towards social services and natural disaster preparedness.
Watch this video of BALSA at work during previous relief efforts.
“'We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.'”—
Kwentong Bayan: Labour of Love is a community based comic book project, created by Toronto-based artists Althea Balmes (Illustrator) and Jo SiMalaya Alcampo (Writer) in close collaboration with caregivers and supporters, about the real life stories of Filipina migrant workers in the Live-in Caregiver Program.
The comic book is meant to be an accessible resource to highlight the realities caregivers experience. These are stories of community and friendship, love and struggle, and women’s empowerment. These are the stories that rarely make mainstream media or academic research.
Kwentong Bayan: Labour of Love is a community-based comic book project by Toronto-based artists Althea Balmes and Jo SiMalaya Alcampo. They work in close collaboration with caregivers and supporters to explore real-life stories of Filipina migrant workers in the live-in caregiver program.
In the Filipino language, Kwentong Bayan is the literal translation of “community stories;” and Labour of Love reflects the artists’ understanding that caregiving work – like community-based art work – is rooted in love, is valuable, and deserves respect. The full-length comic book will be launched in 2014.
Althea Balmes is a visual storyteller and community organizer with Filipino youth. She combines art, culture, and world politics to present stories of her birthplace, the Philippines, and the issues faced by the global Filipino diaspora.
Jo SiMalaya Alcampo was born in Maynila, the capital of the Philippines, and raised in Scarborough. She currently volunteers with Caregiver Connections, Education and Support Organization (CCESO), a group for Filipina live-in caregivers, and is a member of the Kapwa Collective, a mutual support group of Filipino Canadian artists, critical thinkers, and healers.
How does one embody the spirit of the Babaylan? How do we heal from colonial and sexual trauma by invoking the healing spirit of the Babaylan? Can the Babaylan narrative be a powerful critique and salve for the psychic split of modernity? This collection of scholarly essays and personal narratives by decolonizing scholars, poets/writers, artists, culture-bearers, and activities, offer the wisdom and insights gleaned from their engagement with the Babaylan tradition and practice. The writers all share this belief: If we can articulate the Babaylan healing practice and Kapwa psychology as our intellectual, emotional, cultural, and spiritual capital — then we have much to offer to each other, to our communities and to the world. We offer these gifts to everyone ready to receive the call of the Indigenous.
Who Profits is dedicated to exposing the commercial involvement of companies in the continuing Israeli control over Palestinian and Syrian land. The project publishes information about these companies, produces in-depth reports and serves as an information center.
“Someone asked me what home was and all I could think of were the stars on the tip of your tongue, the flowers sprouting from your mouth, the roots entwined in the gaps between your fingers, the ocean echoing inside of your ribcage.”—E.E. Cummings (via wethinkwedream)
“For women who are tied to the moon, love alone is not enough. We insist each day wrap it’s knuckles through our heart strings and pull. The lows. The joy. The poetry. We dance at the edge of a cliff, you have fallen off. So it goes. You will climb up again. You rare girl, once again, you have a body that belongs to no lover, to no father, belongs to no one but you. Wear your sorrow like the lines on your palm. Like a shawl to keep you warm at night. Don’t mourn the love that is lost to you now. It is a book of poems whose meters worked their way into your pulse. Even if it has slipped from your hands, it will stay in your body. You loved a man who treated you like absinthe, half poison and half god. He tried to sweeten you, to water you down. So you left. And now you have your heart all to yourself again. A heart like a stone cottage. Heart like a lover’s diary. Hope like an ocean.”—
I know many of you may roll your eyes at another go fund me campaign, but I think that it is actually a very powerful way for us to help out community members and put money into people and projects that we believe in! It is also cool to see how possible it is to do things like this with the help of community! So like, take yr eye rolls and class shame elsewhere, we have things to get done!
Here is the deal!
The Luxery-Legay’s are working-class lovers, performers and artists who are passionate about blush, body politics, social transformation and loving communication. They met on Tumblr in 2010 and in 2011, Jessica moved to Victoria B.C. so that they could make their hot n heavy internet romance a reality. They are currently still waiting for immigration to accept Fleetwood as an acceptable sponsor and therefore Jessica is still unable to work. The past few years have been a lot of hard work for the pair and they are ready for a big move to Calgary, AB — which is a place where they can both make art, be around fatties and family and actualize their dreams while they continue to wait on immigration.
Calgary is going to be a place where we can finally start our production company, and access a lot more funding and grants to do work that we find meaningful and that benefits our community. We are so excited about this big change!
THE BREAK DOWN:
$800 will cover the cost of a UHAUL (and HOPEFULLY 1 tank of gas)! We will be driving on the highway in the brutes “Canadian” winter so send us a lot of love and woo. We promise to be safe! (Precious cargo - AMIRITE?!)
$700 will cover the partial cost of a damage/pet deposit! The Calgary housing market is HORRENDOUS with a less than 1% vacancy rate due to the flooding last year so this will allow us to secure a safe and happy home to land in! We have been SUPER unsuccessful so far.
WHAT YOU GET:
Like the break down says, your donations will get you things like super cute love letters from us (complete with kisses and cute accoutrements!) and also a NEVER BEFORE SEEN slutty FAT WITCH PULP photo (OR) photoset. Also new Heavy Petting episodes! Woo!
We know that an individual $500 donation will allow us to re-release our popular and classic fisting 101 video -with a dedication but we also want to say that IF WE REACH OUR FUNDRAISING GOAL WE WILL RE-RELEASE THE FISTING 101 VIDEO, EVEN IF WE DON’T HAVE AN INDIVIDUAL DONATION OF $500!
All of the love, promotion, good thoughts and dollar bills are so appreciated! Thank you for the love and continued support and encouragement!
big fat hugs and kisses,
Fleetsy (Majestic) and Jessica
Please? It’s my birthday?
Well but also I know I wouldn’t have this life if it weren’t for the support of Tumblr in me following my heart and clit to Canada and if it weren’t for people believing in the things I say and do (for the most part) and if it weren’t for my choice to love harder, fatter, stronger, and always more tender.
It’s shit to try and save money to get out of the town you’re unable to save money in and we just need to get to Calgary where my boo has a couple fancy new jobs waiting for them!
Even reblogs are appreciated <3 xo
open hearts and pockets please to these two wonderful folks. please and salamat!