“Against the Stream” street art exhibit installed to welcome World Fisheries Day

“Against the Stream” street art exhibit installed to welcome World Fisheries Day

Manila, Philippines – In front of the central office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) located at the Elliptical Road in Quezon City, sail-shaped artworks printed on fabric were installed by peasant advocates and artists’ group Sama-samang Artista Para sa Kilusang Agraryo (SAKA), in solidarity and to recognize the significant contribution of small fisherfolks in the Philippine society.

Dubbed as “Against the Stream: a street protest art exhibit for Filipino fishers”, SAKA along with the country’s biggest small fisherfolk federation Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) initiated the street art exhibit to welcome the incoming World Fisheries Day on November 21.

Seven visual and installation artists from SAKA created the sail-shaped artworks depicting lives and struggles of fisherfolks including the “Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea, reclamation of fishing grounds accompanied with demolition of fishing communities, and the fight against the fascist state”.

“We hail the excellent and progressive artists not only for their representation of the marginalized sector, but also for their participation, through art, in the struggle of the Filipino fisherfolks,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said during the street art exhibit.

“Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea, encroachment of commercial fishing fleets within the municipal waters supposedly for small fishers, conversion of coastal and fishing areas into profit-oriented projects; these are among the many issues that propel our visual protest. This street exhibit pays tribute to our fisherfolk who stand against the stream of violence attempting to drown out the call for the recognition of fishing rights as basic human rights,” Mark Sanchez, an artist from SAKA said.

SAKA said that today’s street exhibit would be followed by community exhibits wherein the artworks would be conveyed to several coastal areas facing profit-oriented projects and displacement, as a way of making the art “accessible to the marginalized sectors whom it actually represents”.

“The idea is to bring the art to the masses, to where it should actually belong. We would sail through various coastal communities with these artworks to deepen our knowledge, and most of all, to further our integration and solidarity with the fishing sector,” added Sanchez.

Tomorrow, PAMALAKAYA will troop the Department of Agriculture (DA) central office to demand immediate livelihood subsidy and mobilize calamity funds for the agriculture and fisheries sectors adversely affected by the successive typhoons. ###

Photos by SAKA

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