The following workshops have limited capacity. Please register to ensure your spot.
Please be mindful of concurrent workshops – do not register for more than one workshop taking place at any given time.
Living Hyphen: Storytelling as An Act of Resistance and Solidarity | Justine Yu
What is Canadian art and literature?
Visit any major art gallery across the country and you’ll find exhibitions that feature primarily White artists. Browse through the “Canadian literature” aisle of any bookstore and you’ll notice a very specific homogeneity in authors’ names. It seems we truly do live in the (Not So) Great White North.
All this in a country that boasts of multiculturalism, where millions of people claim over 250 distinct ethnic origins, and where “diversity is our strength”.
Living Hyphen was born out of this glaring lack of representation. A publication focused on examining the lived experiences of hyphenated Canadians –individuals who call Canada home but who have roots in often faraway places – Living Hyphen asserts that storytelling is a powerful act of resistance and solidarity across diasporic communities. Launched in October 2018, its inaugural issue featured works by artists and writers from all across Canada hailing not just from the Filipino diaspora, but 30 other ethnicities,
religions, and Indigenous nations.
Through this interactive writing workshop for Pinay Power II, attendees will examine the complexities of their own diasporic identities in tension and in celebration. It will be guided under the Amherst Writers & Artists method that emphasizes that every person is a writer, and every writer deserves a safe environment to experiment, learn, and develop their craft. Our goal in this workshop is to cultivate a culture where Pinays feel compelled and confident to share their stories.
Our stories as Filipina-Canadians are beautiful, heartbreaking, uplifting, contradictory, and constantly unfolding. They are absolutely 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
Much has changed in the worlds of Pinays and feminism since the publication of the first Pinay Power anthology in 2005. 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. As apathetic as some individuals may be when it comes to such charged matters, speaking up for those who do not know how to or those who do not even know that they are allowed to will always be worth advocating for. Embracing the dynamics that are presented and hosting safe spaces to have such dialogue are pillars of Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc. (UniPro), which continues to transform alongside the community.
However, before one can engage in such difficult conversations within our communities and households, taking the time to understand what consent personally means is just as important in speaking up and out. Our interactive workshop aims to create a safe space for unpacking what consent means to us through reflecting, creative writing, and small-group discussions. Specifically, we intend to address the following questions: What is consent? What does consent mean to us as 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).
Representation in Healing: Creative Art Therapies | Marbella Carlos
Art therapy is a healing approach that employs creative, non-verbal methods of communication in order to express emotional difficulties and unpack individual experiences. In this workshop, participants will experience visual imagery, creative expression and art therapeutic interventions. Participants from various backgrounds will experience not only methods for self-exploration and self-care but will also learn tools that can be integrated into their own professional practices.
Turning the Page: What is in Your Peminist Radical Imagination? | Melissa-Ann Nievera-Lozano, Leah K. Sicat, MaryCarl Guiao
This workshop is for those who see writing as a means of survival. Pilipinx Radical Imagination Reader (PRIR) co-editor Melissa-Ann Nievera-Lozano, and contributors Leah K. Sicat and MaryCarl Guiao, invite us to let our writing grapple with questions at the heart of Peminist learning. They will first share insights on promoting Peminist knowledge and equity-building learned from this recent publication. Made for, by, and about diasporic Pinxys based on Turtle Island and beyond, PRIR was birthed to elevate Pinay and non-binary Pinxy voices often muted in our financial, governmental, media,
and educational institutions.
Like the book, this writing workshop will hold non-judgmental, present, consensual, and mutually empathetic space for conversations that recognize how interlocking, colonial, imperialistic, capitalistic systems and dynamics such as racism, classism, and patriarchy
impact our lives. Together, participants will explore how we, at the eye-level of the everyday and at a collective scale, sometimes participate in, perpetuate, and/or protest against interlocking systems of oppression, such as patriarchy, imperialism, white supremacy, and anti-Blackness, to name a few.
With the Pinayist understanding that pain implicates growth (Tintiango-Cubales), this workshop puts into motion the intimate knowing that for peminism to grow, we must face the painful process of naming our realities, checking ourselves, and writing truth to power for our collective healing.
Kali Workshop | Michelle Bautista
This hands-on kali workshop explores the theme of the feminine/masculine spectrum, our perceptions and what we’ve learned about being aggressive and violence, and how allowing oneself to explore the spectrum we walk gives both men and women the freedom to be their true selves and in coordination creates the most powerful synergy of all. It will be a combination of basic kali techniques to explore these ideas in mind and body. Learning objectives include gaining a greater sense of ones body, exploring feminine/masculine spectrum, and having fun.
Memories, Migrations, and Movements: Situating Peminist Voices in Diaspora | Leah Sicat
As a Peminist intervention, this workshop centers around two key questions: When history speaks to us, how do we respond? When Pinays and Peminists speak, who listens? Considering in tandem the backdrop of #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, the re-emergence of fascism across nation-state borders, ongoing struggles to uplift Indigenous voices, and interconnections between family histories, migration stories, and larger historical events, this workshop will grapple with how we, as Pinays and Peminists in diaspora, can engage in writing – as an individual exercise and as a collective activity – that is not only healing but also regenerative. We will explore interconnections between how even we perpetuate different layers of silencing, invisibility, and denial on ourselves and each other; and why that is counter-productive to dismantling systemic and internalized oppressions like patriarchy, racism, and classism. By turning inward and asking difficult questions to understand where we are accountable, this workshop will create strategies and multigenerational dialogue on how we can show up on a collective and a 1:1 scale with everyday social justice work. These ongoing conversations and inner reflections will not be easy. However, they are necessary for our collective and individual growth. Considering that there are very few spaces to discuss Peminism, this writing workshop aims to share our bravery, knowledge, wisdom, and fury as women, and how we can build together as Pinays and Peminists and with women of Color to end violence against women.
What is Pinay Liminality? oral history workshop | Christine Abiba
Pinay Liminality is an oral history project that seeks to preserve the personal narratives of Filipino-Americans navigating the ‘in-betweens’ of identity in the Bay Area. Through this archival collection of kwentuhan, we practice Pinayism//peminism by putting our Pinay identities at the forefront.
Pinay Liminality records Pinay/Pinxys telling their stories in their own voices to
preserve our stories for posterity and future generations, understand who we are in community, and affirm the experience of liminality (the in-between spaces of the diaspora where we create and bridge meaning between multiple thresholds of construct and culture.
Inspired by the poetics of Barbara Jane Reyes, this workshop invites participants to reflect and share their responses to the following questions:
■ What does being Pinay/Pinxy mean to you?
■ How do you know what you know about being Pinay/Pinxy?
■ How does being Pinay/Pinxy intersect with your other identities,
roles, and relationships?
The first portion of the workshop introduces the concept of Pinay Liminality, the use of oral history as a methodology, and snippets of edited recordings. The latter portion of the workshop focuses on listening deeply, engaging in thoughtful conversations, and putting Pinxy narratives at the forefront.
Participants are invited to reflect on a list of conversations prompts and to share their experiences in pairs. By listening to each others kwentos, we learn about ourselves through community. Here, we share our interactions with gender, race, and class; our reflections on our history of colonization and cultural excavation; and our understandings of home, hiya, utang na loob, self, and belonging.”
Unbroken Water – Flowing Toward Decolonization – Jen Soriano and Naomi Macalalad Bragin
James Baldwin wrote “the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it…history is literally present in all that we do.” This is especially true for women and gender non-conforming people, who can tend to carry the weight of oppression in our bodies. This workshop will be a practice of embodied resilience in the face of the ongoing impacts of historical trauma. If we hope to step into our full power as Pinays, and to have Pinay worldviews and praxis shape our communities and society at large, we must acknowledge both the colonial trauma that has flown downstream for generations, and the strengths we bring to the healing process of decolonization. In this workshop we’ll generate a collaborative timeline of historical trauma in the Philippines, flow through sharing creative expressions of what it means to carry this history in our bodies, and apply Cipher Theory–based in the creative collective process of improvisation in hip hop culture–to experiment with sound and movement toward embodied decolonization. We ask participants to come ready to draw on their life experience and ready to cultivate curiosity, imagination, intuition and play.
Accessibility note: this workshop involves but does not require physical movement; anyone unable or unwilling to participate in the movement portion is encouraged to participate through sound or any other creative form of sharing available to them.