In Translation

2017, single channel video and stills

total run time: 8:15

with Marietta Calleja-Baglieri

with poem “Hi Bata Santo Han Akon Pagbisita”

or “Once When I Visited Uncle Sugbo” by Victor Sugbo, used with permission

In In Translation a conversation between mother and daughter and the recitation of a poem (by Waray writer Victor Sugbo) in Waray-Waray, the mother's first language, allude to loss of native language. Immigrants encounter this loss, yet, here this loss is juxtaposed against the performance of an indigenous Ifugao dance from the Cordilliera region, danced by Philippine-American nurses of varying ethnicities/ islands, most of whom would not identify as Indigenous. This dance performance can then be understood in many ways- some may see it as appropriation, some may see it as a celebration of unity or of Philippine roots, but I juxtapose it with the poem and conversation to present it as a complex act that embodies a shifting liminal state and a remembering in the body. This juxtaposition is intended to complicate the experiences of assimilation, immigration, European colonization, and neo-colonialism and look at the practices that flow into the gaps these have caused. In Translation asks, where does that which resists translation reside?