MARC Seminar to Feature Powerful Film About World War II on Guam
Date: THURSDAY October 15, 2014
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: UOG CLASS Lecture Hall
Film: War For Guam
Opening Address: James P. Viernes, PhD, University of Guam
Discussion Panelists: Lt. Col. Esther J. C. Aguigui (Guam National Guard), Mary Cruz, PhD (UOG Political Science Department) and Joaquin Perez (Political scientist, Retired civil servant)
MANGILAO, GUAM – The Richard F. Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center (MARC) announces the next installment in its Seminar Series entitled “Re/Envisioning Tiempon Gera: Chamorro Wartime Survivors as Living Warriors for Guam.”
The event will feature a screening of War for Guam, a documentary about the experience and impact of World War II on the island directed by Frances Negrón Muntaner and co-produced by Baltazar Aguon, Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua, and Christine Borja Sumbi.
The film tells the story of how Chamorros endured a three-year Japanese occupation only to be stripped of much of their ancestral lands by the U.S after the military recaptured the island.
“I hope this film conveys how much the Chamorro people lost, and how much more we stand to lose,” Co-Producer Aguon expressed. “This generation of elders were more than just victims, they were heroes. To be able to pick up and move on to create a life in the face of devastation loss is the epitome of the Chamorro warrior spirit.”
War for Guam aims to lend increased voice to the people of Guam and facilitate an urgent dialogue about the long-term effects of ongoing U.S. colonialism and militarism on the island, adding complexity to the dominant survivor narrative of the war that is widely accepted in Guam.
The screening will open with an address by Chamorro historian Dr. James Perez Viernes, and will be followed by a discussion panel featuring a diverse range of participants, who will engage the audience in an open dialogue about the film and panel discussion.
For more information please contact LaVonne Guerrero-Meno at (671) 735-2150 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lt. Col. Esther J.C. Aguigui, Guam National Guard
Lt. Col. Aguigui made history becoming the first female to earn the highest rank of the Guam National Guard. She began her military career in 1985 and has served in both the US Air Force Reserve and the Guam Air National Guard. Lt. Col. Aguigui brings to the panel the perspective of a Chamorro woman who navigates two seemingly different worlds between her native identity and the career she has built in service to the US military.
Mary Therese Cruz, PhD, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Political Science, University of Guam
Dr. Cruz has teaching and research specialization in indigenous politics, identity theory, Micronesian/Pacific Studies, and US State and Territorial politics. She brings a diverse background to the panel with particularly useful insight on present-day political developments and movements which speak to the postwar issues that linger today, as well as the possibilities for Guam and its people to move forward in addressing them.
Joaquin P. Perez, Retuired Civil Servant and Political Scientist
Mr. Perez devoted over thirty years of service to the Government of Guam and US Federal government. He has worked alongside and advised the island’s political leadership through decades of the people of Guam’s ongoing effort toward self -determination. Mr. Perez brings firsthand, lived experience of Guam’s fight over the last several decades to address the post-World War II inequities and injustices that permeate in the present and that are highlighted in the film.
James P. Viernes, PhD, University of Guam History Department and Chamorro Studies Program
James Perez Viernes is from the village of Santa Rita. He is an adjunct faculty member in the History and Chamorro Studies programs at the University of Guam. Dr. Viernes obtained his PhD in History from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and a Master of Arts degree in Pacific Islands Studies, also from UH Mānoa. Dr. Viernes has done extensive research into the history of Sumay in southern Guam and the destruction of the village and displacement of its residents in the aftermath of World War II. His dissertation focused on issues of Chamorro masculinities, notions of manhood and US military colonialism on Guam during the early American administration (1898-1941).