Date of Graduation

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

College/School

School of Education

Department/Program

International and Multicultural Education

First Advisor

Shabnam Koirala-Azad

Second Advisor

Emma Fuentes

Third Advisor

Robyn M Rodriguez

Abstract

The inspiration for this topic comes from my own experiences as a Filipino transnational cultural worker in this movement. There has been research done on Filipinos in the arts and social movements, however there is a paucity of information concerning Filipino cultural work. Cultural work and cultural workers are intentional in creating culture as an act of resistance to imperialism, as of the stories they tell though their creative work are not revealed much in mainstream media. Cultural workers also seek to debunk the myth of artists working in isolation from the community. As shared by the participants in this study, cultural workers are more importantly organizers working closely with marginalized communities, and in many ways are "popular educators" and "organic intellectuals."

The purpose of this study is twofold: to examine the extent to which cultural work brings political consciousness to marginalized populations in the Philippines and the U.S. who do not have access to education, and to examine the impact of cultural work locally and transnationally as a tool for social change and addressing issues that impact marginalized populations, particularly in the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines.

The qualitative methodology used for this study is narrative research, gathering the stories of Filipino cultural workers both in the Philippines and the U.S. These cultural workers are part of the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines. Data was collected in the Philippines and the U.S. through interviews and field observations.

The participants in this study confirmed the assumptions offered by the theories that guided this work, through the experiences they shared. Their organizing through cultural work is in essence the social practice of Theater of the Oppressed. Their role as critical organic catalyst is exemplified their practice of being Artist-Teacher-Organizer-Researcher (ATOR) with the communities they align themselves with. Lastly, the cultural workers closely identified with the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines as a social movement with a distinct social process of transnational collective action.

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