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Arielle Keil Abrau

Arielle Keil Abrau presents at the Rainbow Studies Now symposium, held on 23 November 2023 at Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington.

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The presentation delves into the intersection of transgender identity and indigenous Filipino culture through autoethnographic research. Arielle Keil Abrau explores their identity's cultural and historical aspects. Their research focuses on the indigenous Babaylan and Asog, roles in pre-colonial Philippine society encompassing spiritual and gender-fluid identities.

Central to Abrau's study is the concept of "voice" as both a physical transformation and a symbolic representation of identity and self-perception. Utilizing AI technology, Abrau aims to recreate their voice's evolution, emphasizing the personal and cultural significance of vocal changes in their journey from boyhood to womanhood. The research further incorporates themes of reindigenization, a process of reconnecting with Filipino and Wadai roots, highlighting the marginalization of indigenous cultures and their influence on personal and collective narratives.

Abrau's project includes a stop-motion animated film blending traditional and modern storytelling techniques. The film, featuring a bilingual script in BisayĆ¢ and English, narrates a fictional origin story of the first transgender Babaylan, reflecting the spiritual beliefs of Abrau's ancestors and their own transformation. The project also faces challenges, such as navigating copyright issues while authentically representing indigenous motifs. Through their artistic and academic endeavors, Abrau bridges personal experiences with broader cultural and social discourses, emphasizing the resilience and strength inherent in their journey and in the broader transgender and indigenous communities.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Record date:23rd November 2023
Location:Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (reference number to be confirmed).