Batang Lumad: Children of the Soil / Aba Lluch Dalena and Lina Zacher

18 February – 18 March 2016, Atelyer

This collaborative exhibit is produced in response to the situation faced by the displaced children among the indigenous Lumad peoples of Mindanao. Thousands of Lumads have been driven away from their communities and ancestral lands in Mindanao. It is a reminder of how the Lumads’ story and aspirations for land, life and justice is still an unfinished one, and how our solidarity with their struggle continues up to now.

The Lumads’ voices must be heard.

– Lisa Ito

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The Manilakbayan held from November to December 2015 helped bring the struggles of the lumads closer to publics beyond Mindanao. Starting from the Kampuhan set up in the UP Diliman campus to the temporary shelters in Liwasang Bonifacio and Baclaran Church, they eventually followed the Manilakbayan contingent back to the evacuation site in Tandag, Surigao del Sur. Dalena and Zacher conducted visits and video interviews in Manila and held a series of workshops for children in Surigao del Sur—the outputs of which will be shared to the public through this exhibition.

The exhibit will feature artworks and messages to the public made by the Lumad children during a series of art workshops facilitated by Aba Lluch Dalena and Lina Zacher. These include collaborative and multimedia installations, photographs and video footage. These are the children whose works are presented in this exhibit:

Jeille Rhea Tapanan, Angelyn Tejero, Ivy Villar, Meni Rose De Castro, Glenda Mae Pagalan, Gleeza Balandrez, Jean Rose Bagante, Krista Tejero, Jhondel Libora, Elgene Monter, John Paul Undayon, Jegie Sinzo, Geojhan Tumambad, Eman Campos, Rovelyn Sinzo, Julius Undayon, Albert Campos, Daisy Pedroso, Adrian Campos, Jessica Agustin, Arlo Tejero

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Their works are a poignant statement on the plight and struggle for homeland that they share with their families and community. Despite the works’ context stemming from turmoil and deep-seated social and national issues, the children’s works have a light-hearted and meditative quality to them, bordering on the spiritual. Simple yet meaningful statements and questions posed, in the form of photographs, colored cards, paintings, cut outs, and terracotta works also represent the home they left behind, their journey, and ultimately, their hope for peace and return.

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