Veterans and youth (part three)

Yesterday, I got a text message from a good friend in Dili, sharing how exasperated she was about plagiarism amongst the students at the university where she teaches. What seems like a problem in one local classroom reverberates throughout nation-building and democratization processes at a…

Sisterhood and mapping a new city

For my sister, Diosa, with love, respect, and admiration

Yesterday my sister and I drove to Oakland, California to retrace our steps when we first arrived fresh off the boat (FOB) in 1981. She was 12 and I was 14. She is celebrating her…

The hierarchy of suffering game

Part two of Music, Art, and Trauma

For my teenaged son and his generation

I don’t know if you remember any of the stories that your father told us about growing up in Manutasi, Ainaro and walking several miles to school barefoot. …

A story about a Piano in East Timor

Jam session, Pryangka Viana Martins and Baquita Murak Hanjam, July 2, 2015. Two incredibly talented Timorese musicians now studying in Portugal. “Princesa, hau lakoih hare o tanis…hau lakoih hare o triste…hau hakarak o nia hamnasa.” …

The caregiver: reflections on the crisis in care

July 20, 2022

Last Friday, July 17, 2022, the Anti-Terror Law under Duterte went into effect in the Philippines. 47 years ago, in 1973, Martial Law was declared by Marcos. What lessons can we learn?

When it comes to understanding the dynamics…

Survival and hope during Covid-19: on vulnerability, uncertainty, fear, and resistance

A few months ago I listened to guest speakers on NPR radio talk about survival strategies during shelter at home. One woman said she was ashamed to admit that she loves isolation. Another man said that he found this…

Dance lessons and social inclusion

I’m fascinated by therapeutic techniques. Walking therapy, writing therapy, gardening therapy, baking therapy, dance therapy, music therapy…All of them have helped me survive and thrive all these years while caregiving for different people. Dance and music are making me realize that singlehood can be a…

Joy Siapno

Visual storyteller, Southeast Asian historian,

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