The simulated blood-stained our bodies wrapped in black plastic luggage on the chilly ground immediately reminded us of the violent drug conflict gripping the nation.
The temper was somber as college students went to view “Hudyat!”—a transferring multimedia exhibit held not too long ago on the Far Eastern University (FEU) campus.
Echoing the occasion’s title, “Hudyat!” sounded off the alarm in regards to the dismal state of human rights on the heels of President Duterte’s “Oplan Tokhang”—expressed by means of work, images, sculptures, installations, poetry, articles and documentaries.
Curated by Ricky Francisco, the two-week-long exhibit additionally featured two boards that mentioned the theme.
“It’s really about human dignity. Cursing and exploitation—it’s as if the new accepted norm nowadays is to abuse someone,” stated photographer and exhibit co-organizer Melvyn Kaldero.
He recalled being impressed after seeing the youth take part in protest rallies that condemned the creeping authoritarianism which harked again to an outdated martial legislation regime his technology was all too accustomed to.
Contacting his colleagues on what they’ll do, Kaldero stated that it appeared like a puzzle whose missing items fell into place. Thus was born “Hudyat!”
One of the featured artists, Australia-based Mark Valenzuela, stated he values the relevance of artwork to society.
“It’s because of my perspective as an artist living abroad. When you’re in another country, you are able to see things clearer because you have the perspective of an outsider, at the same time an insider, because you are still Filipino. You are able to see your own mistakes, at the same time, your country’s,” he defined.
As to why the exhibit was held at FEU, Kaldero identified: “Although we were welcomed and invited by other universities, these were already highly politicized. It’s like in war, there’s no need to go to your colonies since they are already at your side.”
True sufficient, “Hudyat!” not solely opened eyes, but in addition the hearts and minds of FEU college students.
“Although we know that these things are happening, it’s still different to have images flashing right before your eyes rather than just on television,” stated Chayne Castro, a fourth yr pupil of Fine Arts. “It’s real, especially after hearing the stories of the victims and those directly affected, unlike us who are on the safer side. After attending the forum and seeing the exhibit, I was really motivated to do something to help put a stop to the killings.”
Christine Joy Lopez, a fifth yr Accountancy pupil, was touched by Shiela Coronel’s article, “Her Brother’s Name”: “It encourages people to become involved.”
Genevieve Miano, a fourth yr Communications pupil, opined: “It reinforces the need for vigilance against the blatant disregard for human rights, to remind us of our humanity, our capacity for empathy, that good should always triumph over evil.” —CONTRIBUTED
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