Drive down Interstate 5 and meet the albatrosses of San Onofre State Beach. Ride the 720 bus and navigate the “pain to prison pipeline.” Hop off a jeepney in Walking Street and witness the ongoing legacy of U.S imperialism converging on Filipina bodies. Submerge yourself in the clear waters of Rajjaprabha Dam and swim with its ghosts — the displaced villagers of Khao Sok.
What do travel stories have to do with power? Lived experiences of race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, nation, and religion inform narratives of mobility, inequality, difference. On the Move, an online publication of writings by undergraduate students, grapples with questions of travel, migration, and movements of all kinds. Started in 2012 at the University of Toronto, the journal is now based at UCLA. Gender Studies majors Jamie Azar and Pam Gwen worked as student editors to create the most recent Volume 5 of On the Move, featuring stories written by students in Professor Ju Hui Judy Han’s Gender Studies 102 class in Spring 2018.
“I reach down to fiddle with the stereo knob until it reaches an appropriate level of static. Leaning against the wheel, I feel my battered but faithful little white truck hugging a curve in the freeway. At the top of the curve, the static turns into pop rock. I love that I’ve learned where on the 5 this station picks up…”
-Jamie Azar, “InterStates on the 5”
“Each time I visit Thailand, my family takes a trip to Rajjaprabha Dam Reservoir (also called Cheow Lan Lake), a three-hour drive from my mother’s small village in the south. We’d go hiking, fishing, and kayaking in this vast reservoir speckled with islands and the floating bungalows popular with tourists. The still freshwater lake perfectly mirrors the sky and patches of dense emerald jungle, going on for miles and eventually bleeding into the horizon…”
-Darin Chachitatory, “Underneath the clear waters”
“I want to curate a museum with you. / Fill it with all the art, your being, with you / wish you could see the way I see being with you.”
-Liliana Epps, “Tethered thoughts in traffic”
“Writing letters to momma kept me going, but the 720 bus was my lifeline. It took me to school or connected me to homeless shelters. It was always there for me when I had no other options.”
-Leidy Gonzales, “Shelter on the bus”
“Why did I look away? Why was I so adamant to distance myself from the Filipina bodies I saw? Did I think their sex work was a disgrace, that the women should have just gone to school and worked harder at something else?”
-Pam Gwen, “Walking street”
“ The trip was carefully planned, with three donors who guided us throughout Italy. One donor took us to church on Sundays, had us pray before we ate, and introduced us to her guests as “the little Mexicans I told you about.” She ignored the fact that one of the students was Salvadoran.”
-Luz Hernandez, “Thank you”
“It’s 5 pm- rush hour on the 405 freeway. 19 miles to go. How was school? Did you have fun?”
-Marisa Rodriguez, “Always on my mind”
“Skid Row does not discriminate. / This tent city, welcomes all.
See, houseless-ness / Is like the common cold, anybody can catch it.”
-Nancy Silva, “Skid Row chaperone”