Sunday, August 22, 2010

Factsheet 43 and Sigwa @ UPLB

The Factsheet 43 art exhibit, for the benefit of the Morong 43 healthworkers would be showcased at the University of the Philippines Los Banos, in One Caldi Place on September 13 2010. While on September 21, there would be a film showing of “SIGWA” (Rage…of Perils and Hopes), a film by Joel Lamangan and written by Boni Ilagan--an "Official entry to the Cinemalaya 2010, a Top Grosser of the Cinemalaya 2010, a film Graded “A” by Cinema Evaluation Board-MTRCB." Attached herein, from UPLB Zoomout Multimedia collective, are the press releases and related images of the mentioned events:


Art imitates life, particularly that of the illegally arrested health workers, in Fact Sheet 43: 43 Artists for the 43 Health Workers. Fact Sheet derives its title from the document prepared by paralegal and human rights volunteers in relation to reported cases of human right violations. The exhibit reflects the artist's interpretation of what is contained in the real fact sheets, which are otherwise unaccounted or discounted by state forces.

For two consecutive years, Fact Sheet has regularly been exhibited every December in time for the commemoration ofthe International Human Rights month. However in 2010, the group saw the urgency to mount the exhibit early in the year following the illegal and arbitrary arrest of 43 health workers, composed of professional and volunteer doctors, nurses and paramedics, in the middle of their health training in Morong, Rizal. Collectively known as 'Morong 43', the health workers were arrested allegedly for their affiliation with progressive groups. Based on the victims' accounts,they were subjected to various type of mental and physical torture in the hands of the military while in Camp Capinpin.

Despite growing clamor by the local and international communities to release the health workers, the 43 remained incarcerated and are facing non-bailable and dubious case of illegal possession of explosives. In particular, the artists, together with the family of the health workers appeal to the new administration to immediately release the 43and litigate those responsible for the violations against them.

Fact Sheet 43, which has already been exhibited invarious galleries and public areas in Manila, will attempt to sow creative and emotional revelation about the human rights situation in the country through visual arts.

Martial Law has ended almost three decades ago but gross human rights violations have persisted to this day. In fact, violations of civil and political rights have even worsened now than the Martial Law era.

The human rights group KARAPATAN has accounted more than 1,000 victims of extrajudicial killings, 207 victims of enforced disappearances, and 217 political detainees during the nine-year regime of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Alongside these direct assaults are growing cases of torture, hamletting, and violence against women and children among many other forms of human rights atrocities. Many of the victims are members and leaders of progressive and militant organizations, which are critical to the Arroyoregime. Even artists and filmmakers were not spared from this.

This pattern of impunity against progressive groups has extended to the new regime,wherein a total of 6 victims of extra-judicial killings have been accounted in less than a month under President Noynoy Aquino.

In light with the commemoration of Martial Law this September, various groups and cultural workers will have the nationwide screening of 'Sigwa', a Cinemalaya 2010 film directed by Joel Lamangan; written by Bonifacio Ilagan; and starred by Dawn Zulueta, Zsa Zsa Padilla, and Tirso Cruz III among others. In theSouthern Tagalog region, the 'Sigwa' screening is slated on September 21 at theNCAS Auditorium, UP Los Banos; a forum-discussion will follow shortly after the screening. Sigwa hopes to educate students on the human rights situation,especially during Martial Law.

As a regional event, the proponents are sounding the call to all institutions, organizations, and schools in the region to support the activity by attending and publicizing the film screening. As a pioneering activity, this is an open and continuing call to all youth, filmmakers, and members in the academe to defend and uphold human rights. Recognizing the power and reach of films, weare optimistic that in one-way or another, we can sow resistance among the public against attempts to curtail their human rights.

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