Tag Archives: art exhibit

Political prisoners’ art exhibit on Independence Day

Sa Timyas ng Paglaya POSTER

IN TIME for the commemoration of the 118th Independence Day of the Philippines, the Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda), in cooperation with Hustisya, Desaparecidos and Task Force Free the Artist, mounts an art exhibit featuring over a 100 paintings and drawings by more than 20 political prisoners, plus some sculptures and an array of handicrafts.

Titled Sa Timyas ng Paglaya, the art exhibit opens at 4 PM on June 11, 2016 at the Bulwagan ng Dangal, Main Library Basement, University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. It will run until June 18, 2016.

Most of the artists have never done any visual work before imprisonment, and only learned the craft in detention. Among the exhibitors are Alan Jazmines, Eduardo Sarmiento, Renante Gamara and Tirso Alcantara who are all peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

The opening of the exhibit has been scheduled on the eve of what is deemed as the Independence Day of the Philippines. Because timyas means genuineness, the exhibit hints to probe into the authenticity of our country’s freedom even as it bolsters the campaign to free all political prisoners in our midst.

Of the 543 political prisoners, 48 are elderly, 88 are ailing, and at least 50 are women. Majority have been arrested and slapped with trumped-up charges by the outgoing Noynoy Aquino administration.

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Women artists, rights activists mount exhibit for women political prisoners

women artists

In commemoration of the International Day to End Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) on November 25, women artists, human rights activists and poets joined relatives of political prisoners in mounting a benefit exhibit of portraits of women political prisoners in the Philippines at the Conspiracy Bar in Quezon City.

The Kababaihan sa Sining at Bagong Sibol na Kamalayan (Kasibulan)–an organization of women artists, human rights group Karapatan, poets from Kilometer 64, and relatives of political prisoners under Hustisya, opened the exhibit Wednesday with nineteen (19) portraits of women political prisoners.

Volunteer teacher Rhea Pareja, elderly Moreta Alegre, youth activist Maricon Montajes, women’s rights advocate Rosanna Cabusao, and National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace consultants Wilma Austria, Ma. Concepcion Araneta-Bocala and Loida Magpatoc, were among the women political prisoners featured in the portraits.

As of September 30, 2015, there are 51 women political prisoners in the Philippines, out of the 555 political prisoners. Political prisoners are individuals illegally arrested and detained based on their political beliefs or affiliations. Fabricated criminal charges were filed against them.

The benefit exhibit, which will run until December 7, is part of the continuing efforts to raise awareness and resources for the campaign to free political prisoners in the Philippines.

The organizers said the exhibit was also opened in time for the UN-declared IDEVAW, in commemoration of the death anniversary of the Mirabal sisters in the Dominican Republic who also became women political prisoners during the military dictatorship by the Trujillo regime in the 1950’s-60’s. The Mirabal sisters – Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa – were called “Las Mariposas” or “The Butterflies,” among the members of the resistance movement in the Dominican Republic.

For references:
Vivian Nocum Limpin, Kasibulan President (0915-8107879)
Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General (0917-3162831)
Nikki Gamara, daughter of political prisoner Renante Gamara (0916-1134588)

Press Release

Art exhibit features works of political prisoners

An art exhibit featuring the works of political prisoners opens today at the lobby of the National Housing Authority. Titled “Artworks from Confined Spaces,” the exhibit features some of the works of political prisoners at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City and New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City.

“Some of them began drawing or painting outside prison. Most of them were able to hone their talents while facing the hardships inside the walls of prison,” said Bonifacio Ilagan, SELDA vice-chairperson.

They are a combination of young and old political prisoners who were able to gather a collection of their works while inside different detention centers.

“They face various trumped-up charges, a far cry from their lifetime commitment to struggle for justice and democracy. It is such an injustice that they are robbed of their youth, they are denied of their freedom. Through this exhibit, let us see through the eyes of the political prisoners. As they say, we are inside the larger prison of society,” Ilagan said.

Featured political prisoners are peace consultants for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines Tirso Alcantara, Alan Jazmines and Eduardo Sarmiento; youth activists-turned-peasant organizers Voltaire Guray, Reynaldo delos Santos, Hermogenes Reyes and Sandino Esguerra.

There are currently 489 political prisoners in the country. More than a hundred of them were arrested on trumped-up criminal charges under the Aquino government. The exhibit aims to echo the call to free all political prisoners.

Guray, one of the political prisoners, said he and his fellow political prisoners hope that their works will be seen by many people.

“Ang mga likhang sining ang sisimbolo para ipaabot ang tuloy-tuloy naming pakikibaka kasama ang malawak na sambayanan sa labas ng bilangguan. Ito rin ang maghahatid ng aming kalagayan at karanasan, at ang kabulukan ng sistema sa loob ng bilangguan. Ang aming sining ay patuloy na maglilingkod sa sambayanan (The artworks symbolizes our continuing struggle with the broad masses of the people outside prison. These also portray our situation and experiences, and the rotten system inside prison. Our art will continue to serve the people).”

The exhibit is a joint effort of the NHA Employees Union, the Confederation of Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE), Concerned Artist of the Philippines (CAP), Bayan Muna, KARAPATAN and SELDA. It will run from May 30 to June 6.