Philippine Cultural Politics
Can a song inspire a revolution? Is religious practice apolitical? Why do you think some films are banned from viewing?
The course focuses on literary, visual, and performance texts that participated in political discourses in the Philippines. This includes the following: the songs and poetry of the Philippine revolution of 1896; paintings by Fernando Amorsolo; popular cartoons such as Kenkoy and Ponyang Halubaybay; symbolic dramas of the anti-colonial movement during the first decade of American colonial rule; songs of the peasant movement; verbal jousts on labor and capitalism; street theater during the First Quarter Storm (late 1960s and early 1970s) and Martial Law; visual art (paintings, street murals, cartoons) by the group Artista ng Bayan (People’s Artists); literature propelled by the women's movement and LGBT issues; and banned political films. Among the questions the course addresses are the following: How did social movements influence these texts, and in turn, how did these literary, visual and performing texts contribute to these social movements? What strategies did the writers and artists employ in their works? How did writers and artists face issues of censorship and persecution? How were these works informed by popular culture, and consequently how did they interrogate popular cultural forms?