An excerpt from one of our Saipan Storyteller participants - Coloma Castro: "This is what the horizon will look like...Sails expanding across the horizon. An ancient revival. The next generation does not mean forgetting ancient practices. It means more fresh minds that are willing to preserve their culture. We are the people. The people of the land. Tipiyeew. A Carolinean word that means to come together and unite. With these sails on the horizon, we will unite." //// After Palau we went to Saipan for another series of Storytellers Workshops sponsored by PREL and @670humanities. One day was spent on a canoe from the 500 Sails organization. After our canoe ride, we wrote. Read their stories at the link in my profile. //// 📷 @dan_lin_photos Follow Dan's page for more gorgeous photos from all over the world
After my presentation a woman comes up and tells me that my promise to my daughter - the one I wrote in my poem "Dear Matafele Peinam" - is irresponsible. She says my islands are doomed. She says my people need to move on - that we've been living in our islands for thousands of years and that, like Moana, we need to continue voyaging. She says "There's plenty of land in other islands." I tell her that, with all due respect, Moana is a Disney movie. And that I disagree. I don't think we're doomed. I still have hope. And besides, all of the Pacific is threatened, not just my own islands, and that if we were to move, it wouldn't be *our* land. It wouldn't be the same. She casually repeats herself - "Well I dunno - your islands are doomed." I force myself to end the conversation amicably, slowly. I smile. "I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree." She shrugs, says ok, and leaves. Here's the truth: that conversation left me a lot more shaken then I'd like to admit. Because yeah. I have doubts. Sometimes I wonder if this is the right path. Sometimes I wonder if this is a doomed path. I don't know for sure that we'll save our islands. I'm afraid that I'm instilling false hope. There may be a time when I'll have to admit defeat - when I'll begin packing the details of my island into my body. When I'll force myself to remember that this is what the sea grass feels like. This is the sky against the ocean. This is an overcast day, sun brushing against my neck. But that time is not now. And after much reflection, I've decided to continue fighting until we're absolutely sure that there's nothing else we can do. I'd rather go down fighting with everything I have in me. I'd rather face the future head on. 📷: @dan_lin_photos
Poetry workshopping in the Rock Islands, Palau. The papers I'm holding are Jose and Justin's first drafts of their poems and we're off to edit 😊One of my favorite parts of workshopping is the editing stage - when I can sit and connect with the participants and witness their stories unfold. Check out their final drafts and the other students' pieces at the PREL storytellers website (the link is in my profile). Thanks to the awesome @dan_lin_photos for this 📷
Milky Way, Palau 🇵🇼 Learning more about these beautiful islands and culture while I'm here to teach youth poetry workshops and present at the Pacific Education Conference. Apparently the Milky Way gets its name from the limestone at the bottom of the lagoon that forms a clay like substance. Never seen anything like it. 📷@dan_lin_photos
"I am living because they tried to drown my body but forgot I am made of salt" ////// Leaving Hawaii after the most satisfying creative process and performance I've ever had. My family's like why is your art getting so weird? Lol I'm honestly not sure ..I only know that in exploring these dark places, I come to an understanding of myself and a strength that didn't exist before. Which feels right. Thank you to @jocelynkng @jahrager @reethum for inspiring me and holding space the entire time and to @drzzl for bringing us together 🌓🌊🌴👹
Hawaii folks - check out this new Smithsonian Museum pop up culture lab 'AE KAI this weekend July 7-9. Featuring 50 artists from Hawaii and the Pacific. I'll be performing a twisted version of my latest poem (as a mejenkwaad) in collaboration with @jocelynkng @reethum @jahrager - all as deities//demons//goddesses from each of our islands. Performance times: Today 3 pm and 5 pm. Sat 12 pm & 1:30 pm. Sunday 3 pm & 4:30 pm. At the old foodland at ala moana shopping mall next to the post office. Look for us in the meat locker (literally lol) 👹
Two weeks later and I'm still processing the day I spent in Hiroshima. I filmed a new poem I dedicated to Marshallese women who've suffered from radiation related birth defects in front of the Genbaku Dome, the only building left standing near the hypocenter of the U.S. bomb blast, 72 years ago. I met a 23 year old tour guide who works nights in a city away just so he can spend his days telling the story of Hiroshima as a volunteer. I also spoke with a woman who witnessed the bomb as a 6 year old girl. Safe to say that experience will stay with me forever. Here's an excerpt from the piece: "Sometimes I wonder if Marshallese women are the chosen ones.//If someone selected us from a stack. Drew us out slow. Methodical. Then, issued the order://
Give birth to nightmares. Show the world what happens. When the sun explodes inside you.///How many stories of nuclear war are hidden in our bodies?" To watch the video, check the link in my profile
My big events here in Japan are done and done ✅ ✅: 350 Japan Storytelling Workshop, CAN (Climate Action Network) Japan performance and panel on 100% Renewable Energy, and then SPF Pacific Ambassador's Roundtable. Thanks to Earth Company for making this trip possible!
Happy Constitution Day RMI! 🇲🇭Showcasing #laefly newest necklace designs with my sis Brenda - all these photos are from the One Island One Product initiative, asking each island to display a product they're especially proud of. These necklaces are my fav <3 along with that breadfruit flour!
Screenshot of my new poem video "Butterfly Thief" written in collaboration w/ @goodenergyuk. It connects the disappearance of bees, butterflies and islands. Click on the link in my profile to watch the full video #climatechange#exxonknew#imtakingyouwithme
Back in Oregon after spending a few weeks working on restructuring our non-profit Jo-Jikum and receiving intensive management training from the Japan-based Earth Company. This was the last day of our workshop on Eneko atoll - one of our more chill sessions lol.
Screenshot of my new poem video on demons, baskets, and the difficulties Micronesians face with accessing healthcare in Hawaii and the states. To view the video click on the link in my profile. Happy International Women's Day y'all ✌🏽😬
What an amazing time here in Fiji with the 350 Pacific Climate Warrior Coordinators, learning about their islands, struggles, and resistance. Then topping off the week by speaking on a panel with the OG's of Pacific poetry and hearing from the vibrant poetic scene of The Poetry Shop. ❤️❤️leaving heart-full and ready to see my family