(P24) (Dis)locating Kababayan: Unstable Communities in Global Philippine Art and Visual Culture


Single Panel


Session 1
Wed 09:00-10:30 K12 | 1.12



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The imagining of a national community expediently homogenized people, linearized time, and reconfigured language in the late 19th- to early 20th-century Philippines. The Tagalog word “bayan” (town), the center of power, for example, superseded vernacular designations of the periphery such as “bukid” (farm or countryside) and assumed the
equivalent translation of the modern ‘nation-state’ or, ironically, ‘country.’ But what happens when diaspora has reconfigured the ideological notion of “bayan” and the reciprocal framework of “kababayan” (someone who belongs to the same nation)? Interestingly, the interpellation of “kababayan” often occurs when Filipinos have left the
“bayan.” “Kababayan,” therefore, exists in relation to loss and otherness precisely in an attempt to establish instant kinship outside the unstable “bayan.” With approximately 12 million Filipinos living abroad across 100 countries and often through multiple generations, this panel aims to problematize and accommodate the changing spatiotemporal
contexts through which art and culture are produced inside and outside the Philippines. Engaging in a transdisciplinary discourse to represent differing notions of “bayan” that is perpetually in flux, lacking singularity, and existing between forms and meanings rather than a nostalgic gaze towards a defunct place and time, the panel seeks papers that explore instability, ambiguity, and suspension as the defining characteristics of global Philippine art and visual culture.