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Kara Nepomuceno '20

Kara spent Winter Term in Manila, Philippines to study pangalay dance with AlunAlun Dance Circle (ADC), an organization which practices and shares pangalay through open classes, research, and performance. She studied with artists Joy Cruz, Nannette Matilac, and ADC founder Ligaya Fernando Amilbangsa. In addition to practicing gestures for bula-bula and linggisan, or seagull, she learned physical techniques for posture, breathing, and footwork. She also learned about the formation of ADC and the significance of pangalay in the artists' contemporary lives, as cultural performance, physical exercise, and mindful practice. Pangalay, practiced in Tawi-Tawi in the Tausug community, is popularly staged for cultural performance as a "Muslim dance" in Manila and the Filipino diaspora; at the same time, audience support for the dance contrasts with continued state violence against Muslim and indigenous communities. Kara interviewed Kerlan Fanagel and other indigenous community leaders at the Lumad Bakwet school in University of the Philippines, Diliman to learn more about the relationship between dance performance and the struggle for rights.


Returning to Oberlin, Kara guided an open workshop and discussion where participants learned pangalay basics, focusing on slowed breath and wavelike movements, such as nilimbayan. Through movement and reflection, the class explored the ways that living movement traditions not only impart cultural knowledge, but also inform urgent and dynamic concepts of nation and citizenship. 

Sheng Kao '20 and Jennifer Lin '20

Sheng and Jennifer spent Winter Term in Taipei, Taiwan gathering content for a multimedia, online zine - utilizing the digital format as an accessible medium to share and reflect on the political climate LGBTQ activists and citizens in Taiwan are living in. They visited historical sites and spoke to people from LGBT community centers, bookstores, and businesses about their experiences. They also spoke to editors at New Bloom Magazine to better understand the roles of media and international politics in LGBT activism.

Kenneth Kitahata '20

Kenneth (‘20) spent WT ‘19 in Battambang, Cambodia volunteering at the NGO HelpAge Cambodia. HelpAge’s mission is to improve the wellbeing of older people, organizing everything from malaria testing to money lending. While Cambodia is a young country, rural elderly have little government support and are increasingly becoming primary caregivers to grandchildren as adults migrate for work. HelpAge is an informal social safety net. Kenneth’s project was to create three brochures about their Cow Bank, Rice Bank, and Revolving Fund to market to foreign donors. The majority of his 4 weeks were spent researching these programs through reviewing HelpAge documents, interviewing staff, and conducting field visits to surrounding villages to speak with program recipients. What began as a project to study microlending became a learning experience in how an NGO provides sustainable long-term care for elderly. Credit access is not the only solution, but a piece in a larger structure of programs including the Cow and Rice Bank. Challenges of food insecurity, social isolation, and poor health are not unique to Cambodia’s elderly, and HelpAge approaches sustainable aging through integrating a number of livelihood programs. 

Julia Pindaro '20

For my project, I shadowed several doctors and helped find research data. During my stay in India, I shadowed at a hospital, medical clinic, and a medical college. Mainly I shadowed Dr. Suneetha Narreddy or one of her students at Apollo hospital, which is well funded and typically serves middle and upper-class citizens. Additionally, I shadowed at Apollo medical college, which provides very low and affordable healthcare, as it is staffed primarily by students. I also shadowed at CHAI, a non-governmental hospital which is mainly supported by donations and treats those under-served for free. During my stay, I learned about the government’s role in healthcare and the healthcare barriers, which often exist for those who are diagnosed with a condition associated with a stigma such as HIV. I was able to see how each place functions and the different ways an institution adapted, due to differences in funding, in order to provide quality care.

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Neko Cortez '20

Neko Cortez will travel to Quezon City, Philippines in the Summer of 2019 to research traditional instruments and styles, pedagogical techniques that share music inter-generationally, and how music functions in the community and intersects with other art forms. Neko will compose and arrange a work which combines elements of traditional Southeast Asian music forms with jazz music, and on return will perform a concert of the new work.

Leina Fieleke '21

During summer of 2019, Leina will work as a curatorial intern at the Maruki Gallery for the Hiroshima Panels in Saitama, Japan. The Maruki Gallery was established by artists Iri and Toshi Maruki, who went into Hiroshima just three days after the bombing. Shocked by the disaster of warfare, they spent 30 years painting the Hiroshima Panels, which currently reside at the Maruki Museum, and were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995.

Leina will be working under Yukinori Okamura, director and curator of the Maruki Gallery for the Hiroshima Panels. Through her research on the Hiroshima Panels, Leina hopes to learn more about the importance and impact of anti-nuclear art in Japan and internationally.

Lea Watkins-Chow '22

This summer Lea will be working in central Taiwan with Tian Shan Ling Organic Farm. She will have the opportunity to gain insight into the sustainable management of the environment through planting and cultivating crops and be exposed to different cultural and generational relationships to food systems. Her labor on the farm will directly engage her with local food systems while attending Taichung Chung Hsing University’s organic farmers’ market will inform her of the relationships to agriculture and food held by different generations.

Yuan "Charles" Cui '20

Charles will spend two weeks in Taipei in the summer of 2019, visiting various independent bookstores and retail bookstore chains. He will investigate the boom of bookstore culture in Taiwan by interviewing employers and customers at bookstores. He plans to compile these findings and the individuals’ stories into an artistic book of articles and interviews, as well as a reading list of book recommendations from his interviewees.

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