10:30AM – 12PM | Plenary Panel
“Re-conceptualizing Filipina Feminism: Decentering North America and Bridging Connections in the Diaspora” | Maria Hwang (Rice University)
This paper expands the current scope of largely U.S.-based feminist scholarship on Filipino women’s migration by comparing research based in Asia, North America, Europe, and Australia. Building upon Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan’s conceptualizations of “scattered hegemonies,” it considers new diasporic and transnational frameworks for theorizing social justice, gender equality, and empowerment based on the lived experiences and struggles of Filipino women in different regions of the world. In doing so, it proposes to decenter North America in our understanding of Filipina feminist practices.
“Breaking Open: A Pinayist Journey Towards Embodying Her Truths” | Melissa-Ann Nievera-Lozano (San Francisco State University)
Dr. Nievera-Lozano’s research excavates the life histories of Pinay scholar-activists, examining how their private formations of race, class, gender and sexuality shape their life’s work. One of those scholar-activists is the incredible Dr. Dawn Mabalon, who unexpectedly passed last summer. Dr. Nievera-Lozano will open up to this grief and discuss how the wounds, traced in her research and experienced through this loss, generate insight into our peminist futurities. May we notice the ways colonization still seeps into our consciousness to disrupt our love and our sisterhood. May we embody the wisdom here to clear the toxicity that has held us down, and held us back, for so long.
“Transformative Pinay Peminist Praxis: Toward Transnational Interdisciplinary Futures” | Conely de Leon (Ryerson University)
This presentation considers the future development of an online platform that will harness the power of community storytelling to connect and amplify the voices of migrant workers and organizers working together to advocate for migrant rights. The goal of developing this platform is to create an inclusive space where the stories of migrant workers can be shared in powerful ways to compel a broader audience to action and therefore, better service the needs of transnational migrant communities in struggle. This platform intentionally places migrant workers’ narratives at the center of its creation and recognizes that digital storytelling advocacy, as a form of Pinay Peminist praxis, opens up possibilities for building and strengthening solidarity work, and thinking “more broadly and aspirationally about emancipatory politics and futures” (Manalansan and Espiritu 2016, 10).
“Re-imagining Peminist Development” | Rose Torres (OISE, University of Toronto)
Our celebration of peminism reminds us of the complicated and multifaceted trajectories of theorizing and conceptualizing Pilipina-Canadian. The queer art of failure intimates the necessity of re-thinking success through failure. The self comes to be imagined as a reconfigured failure in ways that brings new understandings. This presentation focuses on re-imagining peminist development reflexively by drawing from an Indigenous women of colour feminism and queer of colour critique that seeks to ask about peminist futurity and the place of Indigenousness, sexuality and womanhood in transnational movement of bodies. This is a poetic reconstitution of Asian imaginaries beyond provincial conception of a normal pinay. The presentation complicates politics of negotiating boundaries in ways that comes to imagine Asian bodies as capable of circumventing Western conceptualization of broken bodies.
1PM – 2:30PM | Concurrent Events
“Pinay/Pilipinx Poetic Futurisms: Time Disruptions and Renewal” | Rachelle Cruz, Angela Penaredonto, Janice Lobo Sapigao and MT Vallarta.
This multimedia reading represents the need and the celebration for Pinay/Pilipinx and queer Pinay/Pilipinx poetic futurisms and explores these questions through a futurist poetics written by Pinays/Pilipinx who identify as woman, queer and/or gender nonconforming. We choose to unapologetically search for and reclaim a language of reimagination and resistance. These poetics are adaptable, able to maneuver within the hybrid topography of the body, the transcultural landscape, and space itself. This reading aspires to create a multimedia assemblage from what has been ravished, stolen or silenced. Through this subversive process, we continue to fuel a tradition of poetics of disruption and renewal.
“Living Hyphen: Storytelling as an Act of Resistance and Solidarity” | Justine Yu
Interactive Writing Workshop
Living Hyphen asserts that storytelling is a powerful act of resistance and solidarity across diasporic communities. Launched in October 2018, its inaugural issue centres the work of artists and writers from all across Canada hailing from the Filipino diaspora, and 30 other ethnicities, religions, and Indigenous nations. In this writing workshop attendees will examine the complexities of their own diasporic identities in tension and in celebration. It will done under the Amherst Writers & Artists method that emphasizes that every person is a writer. Every writer deserves a safe environment to experiment, learn, and develop their craft. Our goal is to cultivate a culture where Pinays feel compelled and confident to share their stories. Our stories are beautiful, heartbreaking, uplifting, contradictory, and constantly unfolding. They are essential to this country’s arts and literature landscape and we must push to redefine what is considered “Canadian” through this radical act of storytelling.
“Healing through Dialogue: Pinays and Consent” | UNIPRO (Pilipino American Unity for Progress)
In the current sociopolitical climate of the United States, discussions regarding consent, toxic masculinity, and gender identities are coming to light despite efforts to disregard their importance. Hosting safe spaces to have such dialogue are pillars of Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc. (UniPro). Our interactive workshop aims to create a safe space for unpacking what consent means to us through reflecting, creative writing, and small-group discussions. We intend to address the following questions: What is consent? What does consent mean to Pinays? How can we talk about consent within our community to address toxic masculinity? We challenge delegates to revolutionize what it means to collaborate and organize in our community through an intersectional, Pinayist lens(Tintiangco-Cubales, 2005).
2:30PM – 3:45PM | Concurrent Events
panel: Trans- Peminisms in the Diaspora
“Trans- Peminisms in the Diaspora” | Fritz Pino
Composed of trans-Filipino women scholars, artists, and activists from the Philippines and Canada, this panel offers crucial conversations on the topic of peminisms, trans-peminisms, trans-womanhood, decolonialization, body politics, spirituality, and intimacies in relation to trans-Filipino women’s experiences. Presenters of this panel will bring their personal and professional experiences to lay bear the issues of trans- Filipino women within the context of the transnational feminist movement . Ultimately, this panel aims to begin the conversation on how both trans-Filipino women and cis-Filipino women could work together to advance peminisms, social justice, and anti-oppressive practices.
“Transpinays at home, in their bodies, societies and peminisms” | Brenda Rodriguez Alegre (University of Hong Kong)
Transpinays are peminists in their own right. We see transpinays integrate themselves in their native Philippines but more recently a few of them found new places outside of their home country where they may have integrated better. This paper compiles narratives of transpinays who navigate this world where their identities are usually in question and their success and happiness depend on their courage, education and resilience. In the Philippines, mistakenly conflated as ‘bakla’, their gender identities, expressions and roles as well as their sexualities evolve in a society that is very tolerant of LGBTQs but not as accepting. We discover how religion and traditions affect their sense of self and how these affect the discourse of identity and peminism for them. To the migrated transpinays, a more discursive society offers brighter futures yet there remains a longing to reconnect to a home they wish is as open.
PANEL: Pinays in Higher Education
“Between My Dreams and My Family:’ Pinay college students navigating college and career aspirations” | Ariana Guillermo Dimagiba (PhD Candidate, UCLA)
Expanding on Dina Maramba’s (2008) study, this paper examines the ways Pinay college students negotiate between their college and career aspirations and their family’s expectations. Moreover, this study explores the role of family and cultural values on Pinay college students’ decisions on college choice and occupational pathways. A Peminist theoretical framework is used to contextualize Pinay college students’ perspective of higher education’s purpose and decisions regarding college choice, major choice and career pathways. While Pinays honor their family’s sacrifices for their opportunity to pursue higher education, their sense of self is shaped by their families’ perspective of their academic performance and the occupational trajectory.
“The Academic Ate Podcast” | Kristen Surla (PhD candidate, Michigan State University)
The concept of the “Academic Ate” refers to Pinay and first-generation graduate students who leave home to pursue their research interests and navigate between academic, community, and familial spaces. As a first-generation graduate student, the Academic Ate occupies the role of an older sister because of their commitment as an educator that creates future pathways for Pinays. While there is a growing amount of work created by Pinays, there are few public spaces to engage with each other about the meaning, value, and labor of academic work. Centering the Academic Ate gives them the chance to build community and tsismis about highlights and challenges in academia. This session will be a live podcast that will be recorded and transcribed as a resource. This creates the ability to interactively engage a broad Pilipinx audience beyond the traditional conference space.
“Confronting Appropriation in Artistic/Creation Work and the Struggle to Re-member Self” | Jana Lynne “JL” Umipig (Center for Babaylan Studies)
In the work of Decolonization, confronting our contradictions and the ways in which we hold Colonial ties is crucial to our true liberation. Jana Lynne “JL” Umipig is an Artist, Activist, Educator whose Sacred Work as Cultural Bearer seeks to heal self and community and holds Decolonial mentality at the forefront of her movements, her relations and all her living. She has worked to create pedagogy and codify process and practices that seek to support future generations in the continued work of Decolonization, with the vision of supporting the creation of a Post Colonial, liberated world. In this interactive, expressive workshop, JL will share core teachings of her Decolonization, Anti-Imperial, and Radical Liberation pedagogies that she has shared in classrooms, community circles and with relations globally. Using the Arts as a central tool to this work, this workshop space will provide foundational tools of creation for individual and communal Decolonization work in the pursuit of healing and liberation.
3:45PM – 5PM | Concurrent Events
PANEL: Interdisciplinary Pedagogies – Modalities of Resistance, Service and Community
“A Filipina-American Feminists’ Adventures in Academia or a Pinay’s Progress” | Rachelle Cruz, Angela Penaredonto, Janice Lobo Sapigao and MT Vallarta
This panel discusses how social transformation and justice apply to interdisciplinary feminist modes of teaching and learning.Rather than organizing movements, classrooms, and spaces where universality is constituted, how can we advocate for futures where difference is not only a marker of diversity, but a critical method for social transformation and justice? We delve into the challenges of building a class culture of critical analysis that values critical race theory, social justice, and queer theory. As such, we will discuss classroom practices that use: “queering’ as a pedagogical mode of inquiry, centering student participation and facilitation, and community building beyond the classroom. This panel highlights experiences and concerns that affect diversity work and academic integrity when navigating white, conservative, and sexist institutions as Pilipinx women and/or queer identified educators.
PANEL: Pinay Methodologies
“In Search of Pilipinx and Pinayist Methodologies: Excavating, Building, Creating” | Annabelle Estera (Michigan State Univrsity)
This paper will tell of my intellectual and emotional journey in searching for Pilipinx (including Pinay) diasporic epistemologies, methodologies, and methods. I engage questions such as: What did I find? What research currently exists, what thinkers do they build upon, and how might I build upon their work? How do such methodologies and methods relate to those of other marginalized communities? As a Pinay, what would it mean to bring a Pinayist lens to research on Pilipinxs broadly? I highlight key works and experiences that have shaped my current thinking. In doing so, I hope to invite more conversation about Pinayist methodologies and methods, and what they can contribute to educational research and our lives.
“Listening for the East Coast Pinay’s Voice: An Application of the Listening Guide Method of Psychological Inquiry” | Emilie Tumale (New York University)
The Listening Guide (Gilligan, 2015) is a feminist analytical framework that helps fulfill this purpose. It involves multiple “listenings” of first-person accounts in order to unpack their narrative plots, sociocultural frameworks, voices of the self, and contrapuntal voices (Brown & Gilligan, 1992). Most importantly, it requires the researcher to be reflexive about their connection to their interviewees. Applying this research method to qualitative interviews with Pinays who have grown up in the US East Coast expands the possibilities of what it means to be Filipina American. It asserts the importance of gender as well as its intersectionality with other identity markers such as religion and geography. Ultimately, listening to Pinays in their own terms reveals the unique nature of Filipinx ethnic identity development in places where Filipinxs are the minority Asian ethnic group.
“Public Storytelling: Ethnographic (Field)Notes on the Political Urgency and Dangers of Storytelling in the Era of Donald Trump” | Jennifer Esperanza and Sydney Mercado (Beloit College)
How has the act of public storytelling become a form of resistance and resilience among Filipinas in times of political crisis? In what ways has storytelling created spaces for the public to engage more intimately with the complexities of our lives, yet also created moments in which our lived experiences may be fetishized, commodified, and oversimplified? This presentation examines storytelling as a form of Peminist political resistance and agency in the era of Donald Trump. Storytelling is part of the Peminist tradition, in the Philippines and the diaspora: at kitchen tables, in church halls, the workplace, family gatherings and friendship circles. What are the consequences when oral traditions are made available for public consumption (e.g. social media, public radio, television, etc.) in higher volumes, in more rapid time frames, and over wider geographic expanses? This paper discusses storytelling as both an old and new practice; and as both a contested space and a space for contestation.
5PM-9:30PM | Creative Arts Evening
“Representation in healing: creative arts therapies and Filipinx Canadians” | Marbella Carlos (Concordia University)
Filipinxs are the fourth largest minority group in Canada but are severely underrepresented in research and practice in both the arts and in the medical mental health system. Because of inadequate resources available to Filipinx populations, community arts programs have acted as a stand-in for established art therapy interventions in order to address the need for healing through creative expression. Often times, therapeutic treatments and interventions are limited to traditional methods that overlook the needs of populations who do not belong to the dominant culture. This includes patients who are racialized, differently-abled or belong to the LGBTQ+ communities.
In this engaging presentation, participants will receive an in-depth overview of how the Filipinx population has been overlooked by existing treatment and medical systems in Canada. Participants will be introduced to the promise of using the creative arts as a method of treatment and participate in experiential creative arts based therapy work that they may integrate into their own lives.
5PM-7PM: Discussion / Decolonization and the Body
“Sacred Sharing Circle: The Body of the Decolonial Pinay” | Jen Maramba and Jana Lynne “JL” Umipig (Center for Babaylan Studies and Kapwa Collective)
What does Decolonization look like for a migrant, moving, evolving Pinay in the diaspora? What does it look like to reclaim a connection to indigeneity when your body has been disconnected to the body of Motherland where your ancestors were uprooted? What does it mean to live as the result of the resistance and survival of those before you who resisted and survived so you might be born into this existence? Join Jen Maramba and Jana Lynne “JL” Umipig as we circle in collective conversation that invites us in communion to uncover and uphold the pathways and experiences that shape our Decolonizing Journeys. Be in circle with us in the spirit of Kapwa (The Shared Self) and in mutual learning of how to rise as Pinays navigating a Colonial world and seeking liberation for ourselves and the descendants that come after us.
“Spirit Ink and Traumatized Bodies: Toward the Collective Healing of our Colonial Wounds” | Julie Nieto (People’s Ink)
The session will open and close in the ceremonial mode of my tattoo ceremonies in order to welcome our ancestors and guides. As a way of offering context, I will share my experiences as a queer femme tattooist whose journey evolved in relation to the reasons our ancestors began tattooing and the symbols they have given us. Most important for me is to open discussion on our role as a community in the invisibility of queer, femme, trans and non-binary tattooists and artists, and ask how we can support each other in reclaiming our practices for collective healing and transformation.
Keynote Talk @ MAI | 5PM-7PM
“Beyond Visibility Politics: Transmutation in Filipinx Critical Visualities in Canada” | Marissa Largo (OCAD Unversity)
This art/academic event will begin with a guided tour and artist talk by Marigold Santos whose exhibition Malaginto at the Montreal Arts Intercultural centres around the motif of the Asuang, a supernatural creature from Philippine folklore that has been revisioned as a feminist icon. Following a guided tour, Asian Canadian art scholar Dr. Marissa Largo will contextualize the work of Santos in light of Filipinx critical visualities as “unsettling imaginaries” that reimagine Filipinx subjectivity beyond the dominant narrative of the settler colonial state. Santos’ work delves into the supernatural, past the limiting politics of visibility/invisibility and into representations of gender and sexuality that are informed by decolonial recuperations and feminist self-representation. In an effort to mobilize research beyond the limits of a standard scholarly conference, this event will also be open to public, connecting Filipinx contemporary art and Filipinx Studies in Canada with wider audiences in the community.
Reception and Artist Talk @ Drawn & Quarterly | 7PM-9:30PM
Pin@ys in Comics
Trinidad Escobar (California College of Arts, Diversity Studies)
For her Graphic Novel/Comic Community Talk, Trinidad will discuss the genesis of Crushed and how it interweaves her personal story of transnational adoption, mental illness, recovery and decolonization. She will also speak about decolonizing comics and indigenous talk story.
Jo Alcampo and Althea Balmes (KWENTONG BAYAN)
From panel transitions, to character design, and dialoguing, we will cover the basics of comic making to create personal comics inspired and influenced by the issues of the day and the stories that matter to us as a community. The collection made during the workshop will be made into a zine participants can take home.
Community talk: In the Filipino language, “kwentong bayan” is the literal translation of “community stories.” Labour of love reflects our understanding that both community-based artwork and caregiving work is rooted in love, is valuable, and deserves respect. 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.