Art is and will always be one of the greatest forms of protest

  • By YOU.PH
  • August 6, 2021
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  • 1106 Views

How one artwork inspired so many, including student artists

“I’m gonna be real with you guys. Napakahirap ng laban na ito,” this is what graphic artist Kevin Eric Raymundo, more widely known as “Tarantadong Kalbo,” posted on his Facebook page regarding a sudden surge of popularity of his #Tumindig artwork, an illustration of a fist with a face standing up in defiance.

“They’ve been relentlessly attacking me across all platforms. It’s a well-oiled machine after all,” he added. He admitted that he doesn’t have that kind of machinery to counter the trolls attacking him, “My art is my only weapon.”

Despite of that, people having their own #Tumindig custom art keeps on growing, including a lot of student artists. Here are some which have caught our attention:

“Habunnyart” by Jomer Haban

Jomer Haban, 21, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde

Social Media: @habunnyart on Twitter and Instagram

“I made my own rendition of the #Tumindig illustration with my art persona to stand in solidarity with Tarantadong Kalbo and all of the people fighting for our rights and the oppression currently happening in our country.”

“What made me create this piece for our organization is not just for the clout, but how I wanted to stand up and fight for the rights of the PWD community.”

Angelo T. Pagdanganan, 19, University of the Philippines Diliman

“This artwork is a representation of how our organization, UP Supporting PWDS through Exercise and Recreation (SUPER), strives to fight systemic ableism to have a more inclusive society where everyone’s rights are respected while applying the values of critical thinking, sensitivity, unity, and happiness. The ‘superhero’ cape represents how each individual is positively unique in every way and can bring out the super in them. 

As I saw the original #Tumindig artwork by Tarantadong Kalbo, I was moved because he had the courage to stand up for his rights as a person born in this country. Just with his artwork it inspired hundreds and thousands of people, making them create their own version of #Tumindig. What made me create this piece for our organization is not just for the clout, but how I wanted to stand up and fight for the rights of the PWD community. A lesson learned from the Tumindig artwork is that you will not create change if you stay silent but on how you fight and strive for change, since everything starts with you. Sa bawat pagsubok, huwag tayong manahimik. Para sa Bayan!”

This piece is my persona, and I will refuse to stand down, not after everything I’ve seen down to our government to the people around us. I will keep on fighting.”

Cloudbewwies, 19, Meridian International College (MINT)

“I promised myself, after years of silence I would no longer be silent about the issues we face in our day to day lives. While yes we choose our fights and pick battles we know that in our hearts, at least that there is some hope from the battles and issues we come across that there will be light at the end of it all.

This piece is my persona, and I will refuse to stand down, not after everything I’ve seen down to our government to the people around us. I will keep on fighting.”

Cyrill Acuña’s unnamed ‘artsona’

Cyrill Acuña, 21, Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Manila

“My #tumindig piece is based of my ‘artsona.’ He is my unnamed original character that I drew a couple of times.

I decided to make a version of the #tumindig kamao to support Mr. Kevin Raymundo (Tarantadong Kalbo) along side with other cartoonist/illustrators like Mervin Malonzo, Hulyen, Marian Hukom, and others who also made their own version. It is a collective action of dissent that by making your own persona means you are standing against the oppressive force of the current regime. 

I understand that by making art that bears this message is not enough. As a student and an individual we have to act directly.”

“I wanted to show that you can still stay true to your own image, or show your own color.”

Gaby Ayalin, 20, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde

Social Media: @aweshii on Twitter and Instagram

“I tend to overthink things a lot and I initially wasn’t going to post it because I felt scared of what the others would think, but something about Kevin’s works as well as the other amazing local artists that joined has made me feel empowered enough to share my voice through art.

Art is and will always be one of the greatest forms of protest and it’s where I get to express most of my thoughts and feelings so I realized that even if it makes other people uncomfortable, at least I was courageous enough to stay true to what I really believe in and to be part of something bigger than myself. 

Speaking up and showing one’s support for the upcoming elections can be expressed in various ways. All the other artworks that my fellow artists have made are all admirable in their own ways. For my piece, I wanted to show that you can still stay true to your own image, or show your own color. Being true to yourself makes the cause and the support much more rewarding and authentic, I think. Much like these art pieces, you don’t always have to be so aggressive with the stylings and whatnot to make a statement. If you want to wear purple and some accessories while standing your ground – then so be it!”

 “I’ve always believed art is and always be political. It’s a platform to express dissent and my own way to encourage, to inform everyone especially my fellow youth to register and vote for the upcoming election.”

Ange Labyrinth, 21, University of Santo Tomas

“My #Tumindig piece is a continuation of my recent introspection series where I deconstruct personal photos and archived works. I made this in solidarity with Tarantadong Kalbo, a fellow visual artist.  I’ve always believed art is and always be political. It’s a platform to express dissent and my own way to encourage, to inform everyone especially my fellow youth to register and vote for the upcoming election. I dedicate this piece to all the Filipino’s standing up and fearlessly speaking out against Duterte’s regime.”

“It is with pride that my university’s uniform is in the icon altogether with the clear criticism of the present administration.”

Jan Lucila Platero, 19, San Beda University-Manila

Social Media: @itsluxila on Twitter and Instagram

“In addition to being a freelance graphic artist, I’ve always been expressive of my political opinions and stand. It is through this art by Tarantadong Kalbo where I can be both creative and political along with other people and artists as well. The head of the state is a product of our university.

I made this #tumindig art to express that it’s not wrong to go against the principles, values and the actions being done by one of my school’s alumnus. It is with pride that my university’s uniform is in the icon altogether with the clear criticism of the present administration. This indicates that we may be both from same learning institution, but not all students agree to his plans and kind of leadership and influence he has on the citizens.”

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