Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Insular Empire: America in the Marianas

The Insular Empire: America in the Marianas is a documentary film about America at its westernmost limits - the Mariana Islands of the western Pacific Ocean. 6000 miles from the U.S. mainland, the Marianas - which include the U.S. Territory of Guam and the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (or CNMI) - have played a crucial role in American history, and national security, over the past century. Yet most Americans know nothing about them, or about the indigenous communities who call them home.

The Insular Empire will change this. The Insular Empire will let a broad American and Pacific audience know that U.S. citizenship for the Chamorro and Carolinian communities of the Marianas is not complete citizenship. That U.S. citizens on Guam may have their citizenship revoked by an Act of Congress. That both "insular areas" lack voting representation in the U.S. Congress, and that the CNMI lacks any representation at all. That despite this, the federal government maintains a remarkable degree of control over the islands' laws and economic resources.

By many standards, the Marianas are colonies. The Chamorro people of Guam, after 100 years under the American flag, have still not achieved self-determination. Today, although they are not allowed to vote for their Commander-in-Chief, young people from the Mariana Islands are fighting, and dying, for the United States military – in numbers far exceeding those of any state in the union.

These are indigenous rights issues. They are civil rights issues. They are human rights issues. But they must be made visible before they can be addressed.

Since 2002, Horse Opera Productions has been working with the indigenous communities of Guam and the CNMI to produce The Insular Empire: America's Pacific Frontier. The film is now in post-production. We will partner with Pacific Islanders in Communications, our major production funder, to obtain a wide public television broadcast. But our vision extends beyond broadcast to include the following outreach goals:

* To inspire the indigenous communities of Guam and the CNMI to think critically about both their history and their relationship with the United States, and to think creatively about their political and cultural future; and

* To influence political decision-makers - particularly US congresspersons - to authentically democratize relations with Guam and the CNMI, so that islanders and mainlanders can become true partners in working towards a just and sustainable future.

Please take the time to browse our site to learn more about The Insular Empire: America’s Pacific Frontier .The Insular Empire is a non-profit project supported by tax-deductible contributions. Give now to support this important work - and help build a more authentic American democracy.

Si Yu'us Maase and Olomwaaay (thank you) for your curiosity and support!

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