Quezon City— An art installation entitled “IMAHEGRASYON” will be on display at the National Science Complex lobby in UP, Diliman featuring the plight of Manicani residents as they continue their protest in front of the DENR Central office against open-pit mining.

The art installation explores the many ways in which notions of voluntary and forced migrations of people are traced, located and negotiated. Used clothing, slippers and other material objects used by Manicani residents in their journey from Manicani Island in Eastern Samar to Quezon City are included and arranged on the floor of the gallery which serve as markers of transit and symbolize the movement of people from one place to another.

“Some choose to move out from their homes for better opportunities while there are others who are forced to flee due to war or famine and some move because of environmental threats bringing with them a few belongings. In the case of Manicani residents, they do not carry many possessions with them and do not have a clear idea of when they may finally go back, and these are the issues I want to present in this work” artist, Geri Matthew Carretero said.

Philippine Misereor Partnership Incorporated (PMPI) expressed support in the art installation and calls on President Duterte to uphold the ban on the open-pit method of mining for copper, gold, silver, and complex ores in the country through the DENR issued Administrative Order No. 2017-10.

“This exhibit is another great way to tell a chapter of Manicani’s long struggle against mining. As communities such as Manicani continue to suffer from mining, we remain hopeful that Secretary Cimatu of DENR comply with the President’s directive and implement the ban on open pit mining.” added Ms. Yoly Esguerra, National Coordinator of PMPI.

The work also highlights a variety of issues and concerns that represent other displaced groups such as the struggle of urban poor communities in Bulacan and Tondo for free housing, the internal displacement of Maranaos who involuntary fled their city due to war, and the Lumads who are forced to evacuate as military forces search for NPA members and sympathizers in their communities.

“The identities, experiences and collective memories of the plight of displaced groups and individuals are muted by institutions and those in power. This work will tell their stories about refuge, political and environmental turmoil, territorial struggle, compassion and hope” Carretero further added.

The installation is part of a class exhibit “Unwrapped”, which features 6 artists under the Master of Fine Arts Program of the UP College of Fine Arts, Diliman. The exhibit is open from 7am to 5pm and will run from December 8-15, 2017.

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