I finally had the pleasure today of meeting Kimberlee Kihleng -- Executive Director of the Guam Humanities Council. We've actually been working together for over four years now, but since I haven't been back to Guam in all that time, Kimberlee finally came to Vancouver to see me. (Actually, she came here to see her sister, who runs the Vancouver Art Gallery. But she was nice enough to invite me out for tea.) :)
One of the things we discussed was bringing The Insular Empire to Guam for a premiere screening in the spring, as part of the GHC's NEH-funded civic engagement program around the impending military buildup. According to Kimberlee, "the purpose of the project is to allow Guam residents at the community level the opportunity to discuss the impending expansion and its implications in a meaningful, non-confrontational way through the use of "texts", i.e., poems, excerpts from short stories and essays, and film. With the project, we want to provide a space to encourage residents to talk with each other openly and reflectively about the buildup so they can be better informed and more civically engaged."
(Now of course, IMHO, giving the good folks of Guam a vote in Congress, or at least giving them some say in how, when, and if the buildup occurs, would be a better idea... but the NEH doesn't fund that sort of thing. So I guess you have to just take what you can get.)
The GHC is planning on screening The Insular Empire as a part of this project, and they are inviting me and some of the film's participants to Guam to speak with audiences there. I really am honored to be included in this project, and I can't wait to finally bring the film back to Guam!
Independent Guåhan's April General Assembly
2 days ago