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Flags: Symbolism and Meaning in a Changing Society

October 26, 2021 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

A discussion about the symbolism of flags throughout history.

Photo credit: Christian Calzada

Join Brittany Vega, lead artist of Sky Exchange, archivist and historian Eva Guggemos of Pacific University, and curator and professor at Portland Community College, Israel Pastrana for a discussion about the symbolism of flags throughout history.

This panel discussion is in conjunction with the Five Oaks Museum exhibit curated by Israel Pastrana:
Latinx Youth Activism in the Willamette Valley

On May 19, 2016, over 1,000 students staged a walkout at Forest Grove High School in Oregon. Responding to racially-charged incidents on campus, Latinx students at FGHS used social media to organize the protest and encourage others to participate. By lunch time, thousands of students from across Oregon had walked out in support of #StandUpFG, the hashtag used by Latinx youth activists to represent their movement. This exhibition uses narrative, contemporary artworks, testimonio, and other forms of creative expression to tell the story of #StandUpFG, its connection to the past, and how Latinx youth activism continues to shape our collective futures.

Eva Guggemos is the Archivist and an Associate Professor at Pacific University in Oregon. Previously, she was the Research Services Librarian at Yale University’s Rare Book Library. She has an M.A. in History from Yale University, a Master of Library Science from Simmons University, and a B.A. from the University of Kansas. At Pacific, she oversees the Archives & Museum collections. Her current project is a book on the Forest Grove Indian School.

Brittany Vega is the founding artist of the Sky Exchange. She was born in Bradenton, Florida, but was raised throughout various cities in the southeastern United States. Her current work is centered on the life of politically charged objects while focusing on process exploration through materials, primarily construction through textiles and sewing, painting, and print. She draws inspiration from personal collections of such objects and historical documentation to investigate how these things act as symbols for American-ness, and furthermore how they can be misconstrued.

Israel Pastrana (he/him) is a Chicanx historian and educator from the San Diego-Tijuana borderlands. His teaching practice employs place-based pedagogical approaches that center the history and lived experience of Black, Indigenous, and communities of color. In 2018, Pastrana worked with student activists to found Portland Community College’s Ethnic Studies program.

A high school pushout, Pastrana is a proud alumnus of Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California. He earned the B.A. from the University of Oregon and the M.A. from the University of California, San Diego, where he also completed doctoral coursework in History and Ethnic Studies.


October 26, 2021
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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Five Oaks Museum

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