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Fantasy Production

Fantasy Production: Sexual Economies and Other Philippine Consequences for the New World Order

Neferti Xina M. Tadiar
Copyright Date: 2004
Pages: 368
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  • Book Info
    Fantasy Production
    Book Description:

    Taking an innovative, postcolonial, feminist perspective on transformations in the Philippine nation in the context of globalization, Fantasy-Production provides a theoretical framework for understanding the nationalist and postcolonial capitalist logics shaping the actions of the Philippines as a nation-state. Tadiar probes the consequences of dominant Philippine imaginations by examining a broad range of phenomena which characterize the contemporary Philippine nation, including the mass migration overseas of domestic workers, the 'prostitution economy', urban restructuring, the popular revolt toppling the Marcos dictatorship, as well as various works of art, poetry, historiography, and film. This will be one of the first books available widely in English that provides a sustained theoretical engagement with the cultural dimensions of contemporary socio-political and economic developments in the Philippines.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-129-3
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Introduction: Dreams
    (pp. 1-24)

    Of what consequence are Philippine dreams? Shortly after the deposing of the Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his family in 1986, a home videotape of a carousing party held on their yacht made the rounds of the same televisions around the world that had just aired the four-day carnival of their fall. ‘We are the World,’ sang the Marcoses with the gusto and full rhapsodic feeling worthy of this glorious chart-topping World Aid anthem. That video, along with endlessly replayed footage of and jokes about Imelda Marcos’s enormous shoe collection, encapsulated for the international audience the ridiculously pompous yet tawdry...

  5. Part I Fantasy-Production:: Bodily Resources and Libidinal Dynamics of National Crisis and Development

    • [PART I Introduction]
      (pp. 25-36)

      There is a story that I first heard in the Philippines a long while back.¹ It goes something like this: Do you know the origins of the American national anthem? Well, when José Rizal (the Philippine national hero) went to the United States, he wanted to watch that all-American game, baseball. But when he got to the stadium there were no more seats left. The only place to watch the game from was at the top of the flagpole. So he took it. Seeing how high up he was, the Americans stood up and sang out to him, ‘José, can...

    • 1 Sexual Economies
      (pp. 37-76)

      This chapter is comprised of two interventions at two different historical moments, each marked by a pivotal US-led ‘world’ war.¹ The first intervention was made in the context of the 1991 Gulf War and its fantasy of a New (Free) World Order composed of peaceful, prosperous regional communities of ‘free’ nations. The second intervention issues out of the context of the current ‘global war on terrorism’ and its fantasy of a global civilization of good states and peoples winning the universal crusade against a marauding transhistorical and regressive barbarism. These two moments serve as a measure of the changes in...

    • 2 Metropolitan Dreams
      (pp. 77-112)

      Since the toppling of the Marcos dictatorship and the much-touted restoration of democracy by the Aquino administration, which replaced the Marcos regime in 1986, a new metropolitan form that is altering the face of the metropolis and the experience of its spaces has emerged: ‘flyovers’. (Fig. 2.1) The construction of flyovers, that is, overpasses at major interchanges, is the response of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to the massive congestion of traffic caused by an ever-increasing population (estimated to be around 10 million). It is, in other words, a state as well as corporate² measure to cope...

    • 3 Domestic Bodies
      (pp. 113-150)

      In the mid 1990s, reports of the exploitation, abuse and torture of Filipina domestic workers working in countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates increasingly flooded Philippine newspapers. Headlines such as ‘Filipina OCW Slain in Kuwait Tortured,’ ‘Filipino Maid Accuses WHO Exec of Rape,’ ‘UN Experts: Stop Abuse of OCWs’ and ‘Maid’s body found floating in river after ward drowns’ presented themselves almost daily to the news-reading public.¹ These blaring news reports indicate at once the ways in which the physical bodies of Filipina overseas domestic workers are predominantly constructed and sometimes treated...

  6. Part II Desiring History, Tangential Pursuits:: Regimes and Heresies of Transformative Action

    • [PART II Introduction]
      (pp. 151-158)

      In spite of the well-known and highly debated Fukuyama proclamation that we, the world, have reached the end of history, ‘history’ continues to make its appearance whenever there is talk of or feeling about the nation. Such talk and feeling, in which ‘history’ figures prominently, are never so fervent, so abundant, as when the nation is in crisis. As the US in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks demonstrates, the spirits of nationalism run high whenever the nation appears besieged and history, seemingly forgotten, is feverishly re-dreamt in waking life. Forefathers reappear to remind the citizenry of the...

    • 4 Revolt of the Masses: National History as Psychology
      (pp. 159-184)

      Over fifty years ago, the historian Teodoro Agoncillo prefaced his just completed work, The Revolt of the Masses: The Story of Bonifacio and the Katipunan, with an explanation of the impossibility of writing a biography of the Philippine revolutionary, Andres Bonifacio (Fig. 4.1): ‘For the Plebian Hero, the first truly Filipino democrat, suffered from two disadvantages. On the one hand was his lowly and obscure origin, and on the other was the plethora of supposedly reliable documents on his trial and death.’¹ In Agoncillo’s view, Bonifacio’s ‘obscure origin’ prevents his contemporaries, including his sister, from remembering his early life with...

    • 5 ‘People Power’: Miraculous Revolt
      (pp. 185-224)

      In the last chapter, we saw the limits of a historical imagination that draws its authoritative symbolic forms in accordance to the principles of fantasy-production. These principles, which also serve as strictures on our political imagination, include the privileging of the nation as the paramount unit of world-historical action and the understanding of the nation’s actions as determined by the particular character of its internal constitution, that is, by the cultural attributes of its identity. In this worldview, nations consist of individuals whose subjective form serves as a model for that of the nation as a whole. What appears on...

    • 6 Himala, ‘Miracle’: The Heretical Potential of Nora Aunor’s Star Power
      (pp. 225-260)

      It is difficult to attempt to depict, much more to explain, the magnitude of Nora Aunor’s star power — the immense draw of a following that commands its own analytical category.¹ In movie critics’ conversations, the most expressive sign and irrefutable evidence of the spectacular power of this greatest Filipina actress of all time is the hysteria of her fans. The ‘hysteria’ is as much about the formidable size of her following as it is about the imputed excessiveness of their devotion. It is not, therefore, surprising that Ishmael Bernal’s ‘critically acclaimed’ film, Himala, is in these circles widely understood to...

  7. Conclusion: Hope
    (pp. 261-270)

    In Donna Haraway’s critical description of the tropic role of the gene in the reality games of technoscience — the gene as ‘the alpha and omega of the secular salvation drama of life itself — we can recognize the workings of much larger units of human life.¹ Nations, states, peoples, cultures — these are the privileged authors of and actors in the dramas of the present world, the things-in-themselves shaping destinies in our times. Not open futures, just a fixed array of possible outcomes. Like genes, replicators travelling across evolutionary time in living organisms as their bodily vehicles, nations, states, peoples and cultures...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 271-344)
  9. Index
    (pp. 345-358)