The Pilipino Arts Renaissance
The Journey of a Brown Girl An interview with Jana Lynne Umipig By Kristina Rodulfo
ccording to Jana Lynne Umipig, creator storytelling, movement and prose, in order to and director of The Journey of a Brown combat subordinate and objectifying attitudes Girl, the Filipino–American arts surrounding Filipinas. renaissance is nothing new. With its successful debut and encore in March “I don’t see it as an arts renaissance,” she said. 2014, Journey is just the beginning of what “I see it as an evolution, or a revolution, Umipig so confidently describes time and again from where we were before and where we’re as a movement. She states, “I truly believe this going to continue.” type of work is much more than us going on stage and talking about all the bad experiences It’s characteristic of Umipig to turn a popular and struggles of our people. It’s about thought upside–down. After all, Journey does connecting with other individuals on the idea exactly that to previous conceptualizations of empowerment and creation and building of the pinay. The show combines true larger possibilities.” testimonies with history and creative KR Why did you create The Journey of a Brown Girl? JLU I really put it together for myself first and foremost. It was my pathway to discover who I really was—my identity as a pinay. That was the core reason. As I started to expand, doing interviews of different women, I realized for myself that this is not just my story, but that her story was mine and mine was hers. A lot of sisters felt the same about the hardship, the disparity, and having a hard time in the U.S.
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living as pinay. I wanted to talk about how we begin healing from that. How do we come to a space together where we can start to create something together and say, ‘That’s it! We’re not going to be in a space of being victimized anymore!’ We’re going to return to our roots, and rather than connect on our struggle and how Filipinas have been exploited, we will heal by continuing to do the work and find empowerment with one another.