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The University of Chicago Center for Identity + Inclusion
5710 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60637
Island Soldier follows members of the Nena family from Kosrae, one of the islands part of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), to the training grounds of Texas and the battlefields in Afghanistan. In recent years, FSM has become a “recruiter’s paradise” for the U.S. military, especially since 9/11. Yet they have lost fives times more soldiers, per capita, than any U.S. state.
Through an intricate weave of the personal journeys undertaken by Pacific Islander soldiers, the film illustrates a larger story of a remote region whose interests are caught in the ever-changing tides of international politics. Island Soldier asks challenging questions while offering viewers a unique perspective on a globalized wor...ld. Who are these virtually unknown foreign soldiers fighting America’s wars? What does it mean for the United States to use, and practically discard, foreign citizens from their military? What happens to Micronesian veterans, and their families, when they return home and cannot access their benefits (healthcare, treatment for PTSD, loans, etc)? What is the future of these islands that exist at the mercy of foreign superpowers and strategic military interests?
This spring, we are not only unearthing our origin stories but also exploring how we can grow from them, shedding light on trans-generational narratives and redefining what it means to be Asian in America’s current socio-political environment. By knowing where we came from, we can better understand where we are now and where we can go from here.
Check out the rest of our programming here: bit.ly/SpringFestival18
PanAsia Solidarity Coalition is the student organization for Asian, Asian Americans, and diaspora Asian peoples in general. Our work is centered around consciousness raising, political education, and organizing. Our community includes peoples from the Pacific Islands, South, Southeast, West, Central, and East Asia, peoples from both sides of the ocean, and peoples who are multiracial, transnational adoptees, or monoracial.