Artists for Human Dignity
On 09 March 2017, a group of artists led by National Artist Ben Cabrera (BenCab) will come together to share their works around the theme of human rights and human dignity. (See attached list of artists).
HUDYAT! is a pioneering project by a group of artists that will put the spotlight on the abuse of human dignity amid the spate of summary and extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.
The spate of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines is unprecedented in post-Marcos history. Since the Duterte administration waged its all-out war on drugs, more than 7,000 people have been killed as of end-January 2017 either in legitimate police operations or in those described as consequences of vigilante killings.
After a brief moratorium because of mounting pressures both here and abroad and the killing of a Korean businessman by rogue cops, President Duterte reinstated his war on drugs making it a top priority of his government. There is outrage but not loud enough to convince President Duterte who is spearheading the anti-drug war to rethink his zero tolerance to anyone who stands in the way; and when he is still enjoying a very high acceptance rating from the public.
This project aims to put the spotlight back on human dignity that is being lost in the current anti-drug campaign of the government. Human dignity is an innate right of each person to be valued, respected, and to receive ethical treatment. Human dignity is the basis of fundamental human rights; it is inviolable and must be preserved, respected and protected.
Without human dignity at the center, the purported gains of the anti-drug war will be short-termed instead of having a real and lasting significance in society. In the drug war and the problem it seeks to eradicate – human dignity pays the price. It is lost in the broken lives of families and victims of drug addiction. It is lost in the most brutal and grotesque manner by which the extra judicial and summary killings are carried out. It is lost in the wretched conditions in jails and state rehabilitation centers. It is lost in the chaos and abuses in police stations and on the streets. It is lost in the poor villages whose residents lack access to services and knowledge that could help them deal with the problem. It is lost in the public apathy towards the killings.
“ ‘To battle for the right’ is in FEU’s hymn and one of our core values is Uprightness. The Hudyat sa FEU is a discourse platform that will guide us in making a more informed decision to uphold and protect human dignity,” said Romel Bernardo, president of FEU’s Central Student Organization.
The exhibit will run from 09 to 25 March at the FEU campus at Nicanor Reyes St., Sampaloc, Manila. Student fora to further expose the problem through the voices of the participating artists, advocates and the victims and survivors will take place on 10 March (2:00 to 3:30 pm) and 18 March (10 to 11:30). For more information, contact us through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HUDYATSAFEU/ or call 09176302924 or (02)7364897.
List of Participating Artists
National Artist Ben Cabrera
Jose F. Lacaba
Jose Tence Ruiz
Ma. Eugene Aniar
Gene Paul Martin
THE ARTISTS’ PERSPCTIVES
A long time ago, I saw a sign in a local police precinct that read “It’s better that 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man be wrongly convicted.” That statement moved me and in a fleeting moment restored my hope in our justice system of upholding human dignity. The tragedy is that a life taken cannot be returned. Antipas Delotavo
The pleasure of despair. But then, it is in despair that we find the most acute pleasure, especially when we are aware of the hopelessness of the situation…
…everything is a mess in which it is impossible to tell what’s what, but that despite this impossibility and deception it still hurts you, and the less you can understand, the more it hurts. Pandy Aviado, Notes from the Underground
“A good way to measure civil society’s sense of humanity and justice is to take a closer look on how it manages its jail system. The state of Detention Centers in the Philippines is a clear manifestation of the failure of the criminal judicial system to adhere to the 1987 Philippines Constitution’s mandate to build a just and human society for the poor. No amount of penology expertise can solve the problem because the root is institutional and lack of support from our government to correct existing deficiencies.” Rick Rocamora 2.28.17
My art practice has long been concerned with conflict and resistance, in particular the points of tension between the individual and the collective. This work critiques the ways in which machismo and fanaticism are used to generate violence and gain dominance. Seeking to understand and question the process by which dominance is obtained can be viewed as a form of resistance. – Mark Valenzuela
The images that is part of Hudyat stands for several issues that needs our continuous attention. The role of photographs as evidence and an aid to social change needs to be reiterated and we as visual journalists hope that the public takes heed and sparks a continuous dialogue about the issues. – Veejay Villafranca
The worst cases are when the person is shot in the same area as their home, or in their neighborhood, or even if it’s a [body] dump, if they recognize the face, then that’s when you brace yourself, because the wife will walk in, the mother will walk in. And it’s weeping and wailing and screaming. And you know that you’re witness to the worst moment of a person’s life and you don’t know if you’re a voyeur. And you don’t know if you’re doing the right thing by asking questions.- Patricia Evangelista