Arts & Culture: Artist-activist group DAKILA calls for the public to express the real state of the nation through art

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES — In time for President Duterte’s last state of the nation address (SONA), artist-activist group DAKILA, along with Active Vista and We the Future PH, calls on the public to creatively express the real state of the nation through Kwento Engkwentro.

Kwento Engkwentro is a three-phase art exhibition answering the question: Ano ang state of the nation para sa’yo? The first phase is a call to the public to pitch their artwork concepts and ideas (Kwento). The second phase is the artwork production from the accepted pitches (Engkwentro). Lastly, artworks will be virtually exhibited and published to cap off the participants’ journey in this creative socio-political commentary (Kwento Engkwentro).

“We are living in the times when those in power heavily control the prevailing narratives, and those who dare oppose become easy targets of intimidation,” artist and DAKILA member Ralph Eya says to highlight the importance of creative expression in these trying times. “As an artist-activist group, we at DAKILA believe that creative resistance allows us to find new perspectives, insights, and ways to effectively and strategically fight back against the attacks on our rights and freedoms.”

Meanwhile, DAKILA Campaigns Director Sunshine Santos Serrano underscores the real state of the nation. “For the past five years of the current administration, we have seen how our freedom of speech is constantly under attack, suppressing our basic right to express. But, as President Duterte addresses the nation again on July 26, we remain firm that the real state of the nation lies in the daily lives and sufferings of the Filipino people,” Serrano says.

“The true state of the nation won’t be told from the Malacanang. It rests on our voices as Filipinos aspiring for genuine and rights-based change. Our voice is our power. Through art and any creative form of resistance, we call on you to speak loud and speak true.”

Kwento Engkwentro aims to produce 100 new or in-progress works in any multimedia art form that will be published in DAKILA’s first interactive and virtual HAYAG zine. Interested participants may send the working title, medium/discipline, short description, and a sketch of their proposed work to .

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