Artists protest censorship in Philippines

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - As part of planned protest actions against the "attacks on freedom of expression" on Friday, August 12, an artists' coalition decrying the closure of a controversial exhibit at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) has urged the CCP to reopen it on what would have been its last day.

Expressing support for artist Mideo Cruz and decrying censorship, the Palayain ang Sining called on the CCP to reconsider its closure of the "Kulo" exhibit that included Cruz's "Poleteismo" that outraged politicians, clerics and religious activists.

The CCP board last Tuesday decided to close down the entire exhibit, bowing to pressure from religious conservatives and apparently after a call from President Aquino.

The exhibit, which opened last June, was supposed to have ended on August 21.

"We call on the CCP to reopen the exhibition in the spirit of the free flow of ideas and cultural expressions," the coalition of artists, critics and academics said in a statement.

"We call on all artists to join us in our cause and mount a creative protest against censorship," coalition spokesperson Iggy Gutierrez told a press conference at the University of the Philippines on Thursday.

He said the coalition also planned on showing the "Kulo" exhibit in other venues but declined to give details.

The UP press conference was attended by a broad range of artists' groups, including Sining Bugkos, Ugatlahi, the Concerned Artists of the Philippines and Artists Arrest, among others.

The groups threw their support behind Cruz and Karen Flores, the CCP visual arts head who had approved the controversial show and who resigned on Wednesday.

Flores, who was also at Thursday's forum, pointed out that religion should not lead people into hatred and should instead enlighten people.

Practice tolerance

"Religion should lead us to practice tolerance amid our differences," she said.

Religious conservatives and politicians raised a howl over Cruz's work, which featured an image of Jesus Christ with a penis attached to his face, and threatened civil and criminal suits against the CCP board and the show's participating artists.

Cecilia Sta. Maria, a professor at the UP Arts Studies department, said this was similar to disliking a particular page or chapter of a book but judging the entire thing as offensive.

Bienvenido Lumbera, a national artist for literature, said he found the recent events to be disturbing and feared it would set a precedent.

"The fear is already there for the artists, they would [have to] consider if anyone would be disturbed by their creations," he said.

Nicanor Tiongson, a former censors chief, said vigilance is needed to fight censorship and education to help people understand the workings of art.

Tiongson was the censors chief in 2001 when the Arroyo administration banned the showing of "Live Show," a film depicting the lives of young men and women who perform sex onstage, because of pressure from the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin and conservative political and religious leaders.

Musician and high school teacher Cabring Cabrera, the vocalist of Datu's Tribe, explained that as a musician, he was very much against the idea of censorship.

"It seems like President Aquino's 'matuwid na daan' is turning out to be narrow and not that straight," he said.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Catholics organize to promote pope's climate change message

    NEW YORK (AP) — There will be prayer vigils and pilgrimages, policy briefings and seminars, and sermons in parishes from the U.S. to the Philippines. …

  • Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored
    Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Carroll Heath didn't have it easy growing up in the Great Depression. His father wasn't around, his mother was a patient in a mental hospital and he kept largely to himself. Soon after graduating high school, he enlisted in the Army and wound up in the Philippines, where he's believed to have died sometime in 1942. …

  • APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda
    APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda

    Trade ministers at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Boracay, Aklan agreed yesterday to endorse the proposed Boracay Action Agenda to the member countries’ leaders, presenting opportunities for global trade for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In a press conference following the conclusion of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, who also served as chairman, said ministers agreed to recommend the adoption of the …

  • Talks with China over sea row urged
    Talks with China over sea row urged

    The Philippines should engage China in bilateral talks in its efforts to maintain peace and order at the disputed West Philippine Sea, Sen. Francis Escudero said yesterday. Escudero supports the government’s move to bring the issue before international arbitration but also stressed the need for the Philippines to pursue talks with China. Escudero made the statement after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea. …

  • House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills
    House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills

    The House committee on national defense is deliberating on a measure mandating the regular conduct of disaster risk reduction drills in educational institutions nationwide. Authored by Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., the bill mandates that risk reduction drills be held annually in all educational institutions throughout the country in coordination with the schools’ respective local government units. “The Philippines’ location along the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator …

  • PCSO running out of funds
    PCSO running out of funds

    Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman Ireneo Maliksi has admitted that the revenue-generating agency is running out of funds as it continues with its mandate to provide financial assistance to indigent Filipinos. Aside from providing financial help to individual recipients, Maliksi cited at least 13 laws that mandates the PCSO to provide mandatory contribution to different government agencies. Just last week, PCSO released P100 million to the Commission on Higher Education as …

  • Cops receive mid-year bonus
    Cops receive mid-year bonus

    Active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP)have received their mid-year bonuses. The PNP has released P1.9 billion for the mid-year bonus of the 155,000 active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel. The Directorate for Comptrollership released P1,933,664,893.50 through the Finance Service and subsequently credited to the individual ATM payroll accounts of active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel. …

  • APEC trade chiefs vow to speed up work in WTO

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Trade ministers from 21 Asia-Pacific countries on Sunday issued strong support to the World Trade Organization's efforts to boost global trade amid a flurry of regional free trade agreements. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options