In order to raise awareness and invite people to participate in peacebuilding efforts, the History Department conducted a lecture series on various topics relevant to the Marawi Siege. The three-part series was held in January and February at the Institute Mini-Theater.
Citing the complexities surrounding the Marawi Siege and the numerous misunderstandings arising from it, Historical Society President Dirb Bry Sebrero shared the History’s Department’s desire to dispel misconceptions by disseminating information regarding Meranao history and culture which may hold the key to understanding the root causes, analyzing the impact, and coming up with possible remedies for the damage brought on sought by the siege.
The lecture series tackled ridô, historical injustices, and peacebuilding inititatives in the Meranao context. Target participants included not only students but also those who were directly affected by the siege and those who want to contribute to peacebuilding initiatives.
Jamail A. Kamlian, faculty member of the History Department and co-author of Ridô: Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao, shared insights from his research on ridô during the first lecture held on January 24, 2018.
During the discussion, an impassioned exchange of ideas among the participants ensued. Possible government interventions regarding the practice of ridô were also tackled.
Dr. Kamlian talks about common misconceptions on ridô (Photo by the Historical Society)
History Department chairperson Rohane M. Derogongan talked about historical injustices suffered by Muslim Filipinos during the second lecture on January 31, 2018. She highlighted the need to be at peace with the past in order to avoid problems in the present and the near future.
The series concluded with a lecture focusing on peacebuilding on February 7, 2018. Norjannah B. Bao and Jed B. Otano, faculty members of the History Department and special assistants of the Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao, served as resource speakers of the said activity. They emphasized the crucial role of the youth in peacebuilding initiatives as well as the importance of rights awareness.
“How do anthropologists study emotions? And what is the relationship between emotions, memory, imagination, and the (un)making of an imagined community, particularly in contexts of violence, the liminality of uncertain peace, and the struggle for the right to self-determination?” Sociocultural anthropologist Rosa Cordillera A. Castillo from Humboldt University Berlin approached this question during the 3rd Pagpakabana Lecture-Forum hosted by the Department of Sociology on February 22, 2018 at the CASSalida Theater, MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology through a discussion of particular Maguindanaon emotions such masakit sa ginawa (painful) that are borne out of remembering and imagining violence, especially the massacres committed against Muslims. This is based on her long-term ethnographic research among Maguindanaons in the Cotabato region, who participate and have a stake in the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s Bangsamoro struggle for the right to self-determination. She said, “In analyzing narratives and commentaries during my months of living in Mindanao, giving particular attention to words, phrases, expressions, and gestures related to emotions, I began to understand masakit sa ginawa as an emotion that is very much oriented towards one’s fellow to the extent that the pain of the other is felt in the self, hence fellow-feeling. Much later, I came across David Hume and Adam Smith’s discussion of fellow-feeling and found it to be a useful frame for a deeper analysis and more elaborated conceptualization of the term, particularly when put into dialogue with the anthropology of empathy of Douglas Hollan, Jason Throop, and their colleagues, as well as with current kinship theory.” She provided several vignettes and narratives of her interlocutors. She quoted one of them, for instance, who said that when he heard stories about the massacres committed against Muslims,“I felt the pain that was inflicted on my fellow Bangsamoro. It was as though it was really inside me.” This, he said, motivated him to join the Bangsamoro struggle.
Fellow-feeling, she suggested, are “sentiments that involve slippages between empathy, compassion, considerateness, and pity. It is an affective identification with the other whereby imagining the other’s plight and/or imagining our self in the other’s situation plays a central role in a process that involves both emotions and cognition. Fellow-feeling is particularly cogent in creating affective solidarity or feeling for the suffering of one’s fellows, and collective responsibility or doing something to ease their suffering.” And as Hume and Smith point out, it is shaped by imagined identification. That is, the emotions invoked when people remembered and imagined the violence that they and fellow Muslims suffered from “were often attached to imaginings of the circumstances of violence as well as to somatic and bodily metaphors of kin, through which identification with members of the imagined community of the Bangsamoro that overlaps with the umma (Islamic community) were imagined, felt, and expressed.”
She also provided insights into some of the dynamics of clan feuds and how kinship metaphors and idioms play a significant role in it. Castillo concluded the lecture-forum by emphasizing that imagined identification are shaped by political circumstances, by Islamic and Maguindanaon ideals of brotherhood and solidarity, by somatic and bodily metaphors of kinship, by the relational self, as well as by shared experiences with violence, marginalization, and neglect of Muslims in Mindanao.
The lecture-forum, entitled Emotions, Memories, and Imaginings of Violence: Insights from an Ethnography of Maguindanaons in the Cotabato Region, is the third instalment in the Pagpakabana lecture-forum series which aims: (1) to provide a venue for dialogue and sharing of experiences and perspectives; (2) to raise awareness of students and faculty on various pressing issues; (3) to offer an avenue that promotes engaged learning and critical thinking; and (4) to stimulate potential research engagements, partnerships and collaboration.
The first two sociological conversations on Re:Reading Rodrigo Duterte and Sociology in Latin America were hosted by Nicole C. Curato of the University of Canberra, Australia and Maria Cristina M. Cielo of Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales Sede Ecuador, respectively. Both lecture-forums were conducted in January.