Martial Law @ 40
This afternoon, Annette Ferrer came to pick up two paintings I did inside my prison cell in Camp Bago Bantay.
The two paintings will join over 140 art works from the martial law years which will be exhibited in the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The exhibit opens on July 14.
It was Norma Liongoren who first contacted me about joining the exhibit. When I said yes, Marika Constantino visited our place and accepted the two pieces I offered. One is the child I painted for Human Rights Day in 1984. The other is a canvas mural whose title reflects my state of mind and heart then: “Notes for a Theology of Struggle.”
Marika sent me this e-mail, which explains the idea of the art exhibit:
Our exhibit, ReCollection 1081: Clear and Present Danger (Visual Dissent on Martial Rule), which opens at the CCP on July 14, 2012, is basically about remembering.
September 21, 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the Declaration of Martial Law. Unfortunately, the incidents from our past have not been accurately passed to our present-day youth. This being the case, how distorted will history be portrayed in the coming years?
It is from this paradigm that the need to revisit experiences from this period arose. The idea is not so much to criticize or denounce Martial Law, but merely to recall. Memory being a fickle thing, can be easily influenced, commanded or forgotten, at worst. As a pivotal era of our fledgling nation, this must not be relegated as a mere footnote.
In this regard, I would like to pose the questions below. You may answer all or just a couple of the queries (I am leaving that up to you). These may be answered in English or in Filipino. Your answers will then be compiled and will be used as part of the catalogue and possibly annotations/captions for the exhibit. Aside from your works, we wish to impart your thoughts and sentiments to the viewers as well (most especially to the younger generation).
What image/imagery comes to mind when you hear the phrase “martial law”?
When it was proclaimed, where were you? What were you doing? How did you react?
Do you have any vivid recollection with regards to the martial law years?
What was the creative process like back then? How did martial law affect your art practice?
What are the similarities and/or differences between present day conditions and how life was 40 years ago?
I hope I find time to give some answers before the July 5 deadline.Explore posts in the same categories: Renewing our spirit, Theology of struggle