Lordy Rodriguez
Curated Exhibition

Storm

One year after Super Typhoon Haiyan, “Storm” chronicles the creativity generated despite and beyond Haiyan's destruction. Left: Lordy Rodriguez, "Untitled 670," 2010.

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Lordy Rodriguez

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curated exhibition

Storm: A Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Project

What survives in the wake of a storm? One year after Super Typhoon Haiyan, Storm assembles a community of responders. Storm chronicles the creativity generated despite and beyond Haiyan's destruction.

 

The Philippines is exposed to about nineteen tropical cyclones per year. But in November 2013 Typhoon Haiyan became the worst disaster in the history of the Philippines. Haiyan killed more than 6,300 people, cost over $2 billion in damages, and affected over 16 million people.  

 

Our world increasingly is defined by disasters. We have witnessed catastrophes of apocalyptic proportions from storms like Haiyan and Katrina (United States 2005) to earthquakes like Fukushima (Japan 2011) and Port-au-Prince  (Haiti 2010).  During our curatorial process, some of the contributors to this exhibition faced new storms like Typhoons Rammasun, Fung Wong, and Vong Fong.

 

So this is not another moment of silence. We honor the dead with the noise of discontent. We also strive to reflect the radical love that propels efforts to support our kababayan. Little by little, each gesture of hope decenters the typhoon. Each act of hope reveals the people’s determination to recover.

 

Immerse yourself in the different dimensions of the healing process. From scholarly structural critiques to youth-initiated fundraisers. From poetic and musical renditions of collective grief to Hip Hop flash mobs to raise awareness.

 

Celebrate the indomitable human spirit and kapwa never lost in the flood.

 

Co-curated by Johanna F. Almiron and J. Lorenzo Perillo.

November 2014

 

For more information about community organizations that continue to help in the relief effort, navigate to the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns at http://nafconusa.org/ and CARE at http://care.org/emergencies/typhoon-haiyan.

 

Contributors:

Chelo A. and Xien How

Amanda Solomon Amorao

Christian Almiron of Gentei Kaijo

Jennifer Almiron

Ray Basa and Raffy Piamonte

Nana Buxani

Jeff Arellano Cabusao

Critical Filipina/Filipino Studies Collective

Francesco Conte

Franz DG

Rodrigo de la Peña

Hannah Dormido

Hip Hop Dance Association

Francis Estrada

Joel Kahn

Joseph Legaspi

Dindo Llana

Enrico Maniago

Isabel Manalo

Alex Orquiza

Lordy Rodriguez

Robyn Rodriguez

Catcher, Carver and Jhoanna Salazar

E. San Juan Jr.

Janice Sapigao

Melissa Sipin


Special thanks to: the American Studies Association, Valerie Francisco, Erwin Mendoza, Anna Sarao, Gina Rosales, Emerson Aquino, Arnel Calvario, Kim Alidio, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, and Father Alvin Cabacang.

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Melissa R. Sipin

b. 1988
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As a writer from Carson, California, my work hinges between the empty spaces of autofiction. My writing was awarded First Place in the Glimmer Train Fiction Open (2013), a Tennessee Williams Scholarship at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference (2013), the Miguel F. Flores Prize (2011), the Amanda Davis MFA Thesis Award (2013), and a VONA/Voices Fellowship with Junot Díaz, M. Evelina Galang, and ZZ Packer (2014, 2012, and 2011, respectively). My work is forthcoming/published in Guernica, Glimmer Train, PANK Magazine, Kweli Journal, Fjords Review, and Hyphen Magazine, among others. My short story, “How To Leave Familia,” was selected by the Hyphen Magazine Reader, a monthly roundup of APIA lit reads as their “Best APIA Fiction Pick for June 2014.”
 
I received my M.F.A in Fiction from Mills College and my undergraduate degree in English and philosophy at the University of Southern California. As the first Community Engagement Fellow (full-ride) at Mills, I taught political writing and multi-genre workshops in the Bay Area, partnering with PAWA Inc., Anakbayan East Bay, and UC Berkeley’s Maganda Magazine. I blog at www.msipin.com, teach at Old Dominion University and Tidewater Community College, and am currently working on a novel.

I create, I write, because it is what I’ve always done. It is something that adds a distinct layer of nuance, complexity, observation, and love for life that no other action or behavior can imitate—it’s similar to one’s decision to fall in love, get married, or have children. Writing adds something to my life that nothing else can. It has saved my life. Like Alice Walker has said, “It is, in the end, the saving of lives that we writers are about.”

I’m a writer from a lineage of accidental literacy. I’m a writer who cannot escape her political inclinations because who she is manifests into a political statement. I hold firm to the belief that the political is the personal, but one must find a balance to everything. Stories are always more universal and—at the same time—more specific than this. They're about falling in love. Or a relationship between a brother and sister. About searching for one's place. Or the leaves that fall to the ground in autumn. About springtime, winter's coldness, summer's whimsicality—about beginnings and endings and the process in-between.

This is why I affix myself to James Baldwin’s call to all artists: our burden is to disturb the peace. Because the artist thinks-feels the most extreme states of the human condition (birth, love, and death), we fight with society like a lover and expose its unwillingness to witness its oppression, its loneliness, its refusal to see truth and its addiction to shadows. This witnessing fortifies our burden “to create dangerously,” as Edwidge Danticat says, to use our words as “disobedience to a directive.”

Writing is hard, it is difficult, I hate it most of the time, and I feel depressed constantly because of its demands and whips and needs. But what I love about it, what I need from it, is its process. I will always quote Flannery O’Connor to explain why I write: “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” 

Writing is failing. Writing is trying. Writing is becoming. Writing is taking what is left, what is broken, and with your hands, affixing the failures to what you know to be true, what you know to be good, what you know to be of the highest self, and with this in your heart and mind and soul, you make art. Make art out of failure.

It is through failure that I write through the highest self. The most “selfless” self. The most “giving” self. The most “true” self. It is my way to decolonize, my way to achieve critical consciousness, my path toward becoming more fully human. For me, writing is process. Life is process. Writing gives me the Page to unleash, unburden, give, communicate, and create, and for this, I write; for this, I live.

 

 

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  • Born: Torrance, CA
  • Based: Los Angeles, CA, USA

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An Invocation After Haiyan in News Reports

Janice L. Sapigao

Jan 2014 Poem Courtesy of Eileen Tabios of Meritage Press

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Janice L. Sapigao

b. 1987
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Janice L. Sapigao is a Pinay poet born and raised in San Jose, CA. Her work has been published in Quaint Magazine, Jacket2, AngryAsianMan.com and the anthology Empire of Funk: Hip Hop and Representation in Filipina/o America (Cognella Academic Publishing, 2014), among others. She earned her M.F.A. in Critical Studies/Writing at CalArts. She co-founded an open mic in Los Angeles called the Sunday Jump. She now lives in the Bay Area where she teaches at Skyline College and San Jose City College.  She enjoys drinking green tea, running, and playing with stuffed animals. She is at work on a poetry collection about immigrant women who build the Silicon Valley, microchips for millions. Please visit her website for more reflections: janicewrites.com

I meditate on a Pinayist documentary poetics: an active pursuit of how my lens, my reality of my experience growing up Filipina American is undoubtedly truthful, rich and implicated in how I experience the world, my family, justice, love and sociopolitical events. I call for: women of color experiences, ones that are validating from the start, one that recognizes the difficulty in speaking, sharing, loving self and others, healing, teaching ourselves and owning up to it in ways that reflect growth, pain and self-love (pinayism). A Pinay documentary poetics allows the Pinay to trust herself, to place her grief, silence, and hurt as moments that shape and construct larger narratives towards gaining consciousness of herself and her community. I think that a Pinay documentary poetics allows a reflexivity that we discover ourselves, one that puts self in and out of social context, one that is an act towards freedom. It might be to take the fragments and create story, to take loss and misunderstanding and give them voice and material, to take hearsay and rightfully flip, subvert and launch into something humanizing, intuitive, weird, joyful, crazy and precise.

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  • Born: San Jose, CA, USA
  • Based: San Jose, CA, USA

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Alexander Orquiza

b. 1980

Alexander Orquiza is a historian of the twentieth century United States and the Philippines. From 2012-2013, he was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Wellesley College, and he joined the Tutorial Board of History and Literature at Harvard University in fall 2014. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, his M.Phil. from the University of Edinburgh, and his Ph.D. in history from the Johns Hopkins University.
 
His work focuses on cultural and intellectual exchange between the US and the Philippines. His first book, A Pacific Palate: Food and the Philippine Middle Class during the American Period, 1898-1946, is forthcoming. It examines how American colonial reformers, businessmen, educators, and bureaucrats used food to transform the daily lives of Filipinos. Orquiza contends that food reform was essential to the American imperial mission in the Philippines. It created new consumers for American goods as well as farmers who produced goods for the American consumer market. These food reforms affected generations of Filipino public school students and transformed menus in restaurants and hotels. They were part of visual culture in magazine and newspaper advertisements, and were the focus of Philippine-American economic and political debates.
 
Orquiza argues that food is a powerful lens for examining history. Too often, society only considers the fleeting consumer aspects of food—where is the hip new restaurant, what is the latest food fad, how to make so-called “authentic” versions of dishes. But society often ignores the equally important aspects of food supply: how do ingredients arrive at our tables, who is working in farms and kitchens, are they receiving a fair and decent wage. Orquiza asserts history has shaped our individual roles in this market. Knowing how these roles evolved and how they changed over time is just as important as nutritional labels and Yelp reviews. As a historian, Orquiza believes the answers to these questions about food lie in our knowledge of the past.
 

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  • Born: USA
  • Based: Boston, MA, USA

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Hit Hard

Jennifer Ruth Almiron

2014 Poem Courtesy of Jennifer Almiron

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Jennifer Ruth Almiron

b. 1976
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Jennifer Almiron is a poet, musician (violin, piano, voice), and lifelong learner.  She was born in Brooklyn Heights Hospital and grew up in the bucolic farmland of suburban New York.  She attended Hackley School, Amherst College, and both UCLA and California State University.  She is currently enrolled in a teacher credential program for English at CalState LA, where she plays violin with Aguila del Oro, a Mariachi Band.  Her autobiographical essay, “I am She” was published by Philippine Artist and Writers Inc. She has won the G. Armour Craig award for Writing at Amherst College as well as the Yamaha Mind Institute Music Teacher Grant, while at her post as Music Teacher at the Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts in Los Angeles.  A New Yorker, in Los Angeles, Jennifer has been active in the Arts community in her role in the Los Angeles Opera College Advisory Committee. She lives with her husband and two children, Leo and Everisto, who inspire her to “Write On.”

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  • Born: Brooklyn, NY, USA
  • Based: Los Angeles, CA, USA

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Untitled 584

Lordy Rodriguez

2010 Ink on paper. 10" x 14" Courtesy of Hosfelt Gallery and the artist.

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Lordy Rodriguez

b. 1976

Lordy Rodriguez was born in the Philippines, raised in Louisiana and Texas, and currently lives in Hayward, California. He obtained his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts in New York and his M.F.A. from Stanford University. For several years he has been working on a series of ink drawings that reinterpret the United States of America as delineated by geographic, civic and state boundaries. These handmade maps, drawn in fine Technicolor detail, represent his take on the ideal reconfiguration of our [U.S.] country. His recent exhibitions include "The Map is Not the Territory" at the Hosfelt gallery New York, New York (2011); “Surface Depths” at Nevada Art Museum (2009); “States of America” at the Austin Museum of Art (2009); “Optimism in the Age of Global War” at the 10th Annual Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2007); “The California Biennial” at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California (2006); “Perspectives,” as part of “25: A Quarter Century of New Art” at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas (2004); and “Dessins et des autres” at Galerie Anne de Villepoix in Paris, France (2004).

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  • Born: The Philippines
  • Based: Hayward, CA, USA

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Untitled 651

Lordy Rodriguez

2010 Ink on paper. 10" x 14" Courtesy of Hosfelt Gallery and the artist.

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Lordy Rodriguez

b. 1976

Lordy Rodriguez was born in the Philippines, raised in Louisiana and Texas, and currently lives in Hayward, California. He obtained his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts in New York and his M.F.A. from Stanford University. For several years he has been working on a series of ink drawings that reinterpret the United States of America as delineated by geographic, civic and state boundaries. These handmade maps, drawn in fine Technicolor detail, represent his take on the ideal reconfiguration of our [U.S.] country. His recent exhibitions include "The Map is Not the Territory" at the Hosfelt gallery New York, New York (2011); “Surface Depths” at Nevada Art Museum (2009); “States of America” at the Austin Museum of Art (2009); “Optimism in the Age of Global War” at the 10th Annual Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2007); “The California Biennial” at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California (2006); “Perspectives,” as part of “25: A Quarter Century of New Art” at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas (2004); and “Dessins et des autres” at Galerie Anne de Villepoix in Paris, France (2004).

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  • Born: The Philippines
  • Based: Hayward, CA, USA

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Untitled 668

Lordy Rodriguez

2010 Ink on paper. 10" x 14" Courtesy of Hosfelt Gallery and the artist.

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Lordy Rodriguez

b. 1976

Lordy Rodriguez was born in the Philippines, raised in Louisiana and Texas, and currently lives in Hayward, California. He obtained his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts in New York and his M.F.A. from Stanford University. For several years he has been working on a series of ink drawings that reinterpret the United States of America as delineated by geographic, civic and state boundaries. These handmade maps, drawn in fine Technicolor detail, represent his take on the ideal reconfiguration of our [U.S.] country. His recent exhibitions include "The Map is Not the Territory" at the Hosfelt gallery New York, New York (2011); “Surface Depths” at Nevada Art Museum (2009); “States of America” at the Austin Museum of Art (2009); “Optimism in the Age of Global War” at the 10th Annual Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2007); “The California Biennial” at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California (2006); “Perspectives,” as part of “25: A Quarter Century of New Art” at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas (2004); and “Dessins et des autres” at Galerie Anne de Villepoix in Paris, France (2004).

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  • Born: The Philippines
  • Based: Hayward, CA, USA

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Untitled 670

Lordy Rodriguez

2010 Ink on paper. 10" x 14" Courtesy of Hosfelt Gallery and the artist.

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Lordy Rodriguez

b. 1976

Lordy Rodriguez was born in the Philippines, raised in Louisiana and Texas, and currently lives in Hayward, California. He obtained his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts in New York and his M.F.A. from Stanford University. For several years he has been working on a series of ink drawings that reinterpret the United States of America as delineated by geographic, civic and state boundaries. These handmade maps, drawn in fine Technicolor detail, represent his take on the ideal reconfiguration of our [U.S.] country. His recent exhibitions include "The Map is Not the Territory" at the Hosfelt gallery New York, New York (2011); “Surface Depths” at Nevada Art Museum (2009); “States of America” at the Austin Museum of Art (2009); “Optimism in the Age of Global War” at the 10th Annual Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2007); “The California Biennial” at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California (2006); “Perspectives,” as part of “25: A Quarter Century of New Art” at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas (2004); and “Dessins et des autres” at Galerie Anne de Villepoix in Paris, France (2004).

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  • Born: The Philippines
  • Based: Hayward, CA, USA

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Critical Filipina and Filipino Studies Collective

As an activist-scholar group, the Critical Filipina and Filipino Studies Collective (CFFSC) seeks to organize educators and scholars to interrogate and challenge histories of Western imperialisms (Spanish and U.S. imperialisms), ongoing neocolonial relations in the Philippines, and their relationship to past and present Filipina/o migrations through our research and teaching both within the university and beyond it.

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Typhoon Haiyan Relief: A Critical Filipina/o Perspective

Critical Filipina and Filipino Studies Collective

Nov 24, 2013 Pamphlet 2 pages Courtesy of the Critical Filipina and Filipino Studies Collective

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Critical Filipina and Filipino Studies Collective

As an activist-scholar group, the Critical Filipina and Filipino Studies Collective (CFFSC) seeks to organize educators and scholars to interrogate and challenge histories of Western imperialisms (Spanish and U.S. imperialisms), ongoing neocolonial relations in the Philippines, and their relationship to past and present Filipina/o migrations through our research and teaching both within the university and beyond it.

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