para sa aton
We started para sa aton (For Us) in 2013 as a response to the many issues on Bantayan Island. We proposed that art can contribute to tackling social, economic and environmental issues.
Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, made international headlines in 2013 when it hit the Philippines with winds up to 300kms. Bantayan Island was more than 90% damaged triggering a response from many international NGOs. Although the damage was severe, the typhoon merely highlighted issues that already existed for many years. We believe that the aid industry reinforced negative power balances, and to some extent, reinforced a disproportionate relationship between the so-called powerful and powerless.
The typhoon reminded us of the fragility of our situation and lead us to rethink our work. Through actions, we believe that we can create change while making this process an opportunity for dialogue as a long term goal.
Not knowing how to tackle such issues, we were open to any possibility, idea and opportunity. Art, science, agriculture and entrepreneurship all overlap - we focused on thinking creatively about practical needs. It was a period of learning, experimentation and establishing partnerships with like-minded people and organizations.
Since 2013, we supported a Barangay, or neighborhood, council with rebuilding their marine sanctuary. This process necessitated dialogue and action about environmental issues. At the same time, we worked women who came together to develop alternative livelihoods. Guided by the Transnational Institute for Grassroots Research and Action, they developed their small businesses from home.
Action-based learning and dialogue has been important as we feel that change is a group effort.
Throughout the years, we continue to document and share our activities using images. This process led to the formation of an arts group called Atonisla - a small group of young people from Bantayan with an interest in art, education and creative practices. Together they work on projects and organize workshops in photography, film making and acting. Through DAKOgamay, we facilitate the development of their projects and participation in festivals and cultural exchanges.
projects supported by
national commission for culture and arts (ncca)
bantayan island exchanges
dienst kunst en cultuur (dkc)
Transnational Institute for Grassroots Research and Action