I am wracked with guilt that I could not help out with fellow Surfacing project participants set up this exhibit that, by the way, has been making the rounds of many campuses and spaces. From what I heard, the exhibit has gained positive responses. It’s just such a disappointment that I have not been able to devote time for it. My bad.
The project is a nice initiative, though, and a great help in publicizing the plight of families of the disappeared.
For those interested, you might want to view the photo essays in its current venue — at the Sambalikhaan Grounds, Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music, 275 E. Rodriguez Ave., Quezon City. Here is the writeup for the exhibit, which is under the Tutok Creative Convergence art festival:
They were activists, wanting to change society by arousing and organizing amongst the masses. They were ordinary civilians, going about their daily lives. Suddenly, they disappear. Desaparecidos is the Spanish word meaning “the disappeared.” It was coined in Latin America where thousands became victims of enforced disappearance implemented by tyrannical regimes.
Enforced disappearance is “committed by government officials or by organized groups acting in behalf, or with the support, consent or acquiescence of the government,” according to the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons against Enforced Disappearance. It is among the most common human rights violations committed in the Philippines, often by suspected military agents in the name of counter-insurgency. Under the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, there have been 184 desaparecidos, the highest since martial law.
a photographers’ initiative led by the Free Jonas Burgos Movement and Desaparecidos, is an effort to create and sustain public awareness on the issue of enforced disappearances. It shows the lives and struggles of 14 families of the disappeared, as well as that of the disappeared.
“A photograph is an expression of absence and a form of transport,” says writer John Berger. Let these photos express the pain and injustice of the desaparecidos’ absence and transport us to the reality that we need to face and collectively challenge.
Enrimand “Manman” Dejeto
Candice Anne Reyes
Curated by Nino Tagaro and Jes Aznar
Sambalikhaan, Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music (AILM)
275 E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon City
February 27-29, 2008