August 11, 2022

Bicol Express News

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Filipino artists unveil mural painting project on good governance and social justice in Sorsogon, Philippines

The finished “Hamos” mural painting in Barangay Basud. Photo by: RJ Abrigo (Kurit-Lagting)

Seasoned muralists and young artists from various art groups and youth organizations unveiled a mural project on “good governance and social justice” on Tuesday at Basud village in Sorsogon City, Philippines.

The project was organized by 1Sambayan-Sorsogon Youth, in partnership with Kurit-Lagting Art Collective which was co-presented by the Concerned Artists of the Philippines Bicol Chapter, 1Sambayan-Sorsogon, and 1Sambayan Youth National.

Entitled “Hamos”, a Bicol term for “Join us!” which is a call to amplify the demand for people’s participation, the mural measuring 9 feet x 40 feet painted on a vacant wall along a highway aims to bring people together to create important conversations and expand thoughts on good governance.

Details and progression of the mural showing various sectors.

Good governance is the process whereby public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in a manner that promotes the rule of law and the realization of human rights.

“We feel that this is a safe space to express our creative ideas to engage arts with politics, society and thought, especially our call for a government that is committed to creating a system that protects human rights and civil liberties,” said Robert Christian Labalan, president of 1Sambayan-Sorsogon Youth.

According to volunteer artists RJ Abrigo and Gilbert Catabian, the mural was conceived through a series of collaborative brainstorming and sketching sessions.

“Another important aspect during the production of the artwork was the spirit of volunteerism where members of the community gave food, paints, and other materials,” they said.

“Initial sketches were made by young volunteer artists and we consolidated everything afterwards. The artistic process was really very engaging because we encouraged everyone to put in their ideas,” added JC Jamoralin of Concerned Artists of the Philippines Bicol Chapter.

In a statement, Allan Abrigo, one of the co-founders of Kurit-Lagting Art Collective and team leader of the project said that through art, they intend to encourage young Filipinos to be one of the key players in the vision to revive the failing democracy in Philippine governance by taking a more active and responsive role as citizens.

“For years, many people have been clamoring for partnerships between state and society, and among citizens, especially with the youth. Thus, we depicted in our work these topics to start conversations on these sensitive issues and we, as artists and cultural workers, are here to help shape public sentiment,” said Geri Matthew Carretero, Art Director of Kurit-Lagting Art Collective.

For 1Sambayan Sorsogon youth volunteers Don Angelo Laureta, Venus Briñola, Pia Paola Larosa, John Sola, and Victoria Clyde Tabuena, the project is a testament to the power of art as a tool for social change.

“ Art helps people see their commonalities instead of their differences which is one way to achieve unity and push for narrative change in the upcoming elections,” they ended.

The mural painting at night. Photo by JV Garcia (Kurit-Lagting).

Organizations behind the mural activity:

1Sambayan-Sorsogon Youth is the youth arm of 1Sambayan Sorsogon which recognizes the youth as a critical voting bloc that could determine the country’s future.

The 1Sambayan-Sorsogon Chapter is part of 1Sambayan National, which is a broad coalition of democratic forces representing the basic sectors in Sorsogon which aims to usher in a competent, trustworthy administration in the May 2022 national elections.

The Kurit-Lagting is a collective artistic collaboration of Bicolano artists from Sorsogon, Albay, Catanduanes, Masbate and Camarines provinces with art advocacies on human rights and the environment.

The Art Collective is a member of the Sorsogon Arts Council and the Concerned Artists of the Philippines Bicol Chapter.

The Concerned Artists of the Philippines Bicol Chapter (CAP-Bicol) is one of Concerned Artists of the Philippines newest chapters formed in October 2020, which is composed of artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers and cultural workers from various disciplines that work toward a nationalist, people-oriented art and culture.

The joint statement can be accessed here: https://tinyurl.com/4jnsptky