February 25, 2010

Same old, same old

Krista by Pablo Baen Santos, 1984, oil on canvas. One of the pieces in the social realist collection of the Ateneo Art Gallery currently on display in the exhibit "Fractions of an Intangible Whole." From the exhibit notes:
    This work depicts inang bayan (Philippine motherland) with a crown of barbed wire around her mouth like a gag. The work simultaneously embraces the themes of nationalism, censorship and the strong influence of the Catholic tradition in the Philippines. The Philippine flag and a sea of protesting bodies forge the backdrop as the female Christ holds her clenched fist in defiance.

Krista by Pablo Baen Santos
One year shy of the silver anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, not much has changed in Philippine politics. In many ways, it is even worse than during Marcos' time. Corruption is rampant and has filtered down to all levels of government, public education is a joke, poverty levels have not improved, environmental degradation is uncontrolled, and journalists still fear for their lives. Even if we manage to elect an ethical president in May, there will not be much to celebrate during the revolution's silver anniversary. It will take much, much longer than a year to apply breaks to the downward spiral that our country has gotten itself into since that historic moment.

18 comments:

Jacob said...

Wow, that is one powerful painting. I had no idea things were as bad as they are in the Philippines! Hopefully, things will begin changing with the next election. But the bad guys never give up and usually have most of the money and power and continue to rule...that's the way it is here.

JM said...

Your text is a very dark 'portrait' of the situation in the Philipines, Hilda and I really wish things will change in a near future, but I have to agree with Jacob about the bad guys and their money and power as they allways keep on ruling even being in the backstage...
Fantastic painting!

klikkonthis said...

That painting is both beautiful and heartbreaking, Hildy. Sitting here in California, it's hard to have anything really meaningful to say other than, I hope things get better.

tapirgal said...

I learn so much every time I visit your blog. Your offerings to the CDP Community are really something!

gogouci said...

The struggles of the people illustrated in this piece are palpable. It's a distressing commentary on the state of politics in the Philippines.

Don and Krise said...

I feel for you and your country. You show us so much beauty so much of the time. Every once in a while you deliver a post like this that sort of jogs us back into the reality that all is not rosy and good. What a strong visual this is.

Olivier said...

belle peinture et surtout très prenante

Cezar and Léia said...

This painting is really impressive.Thanks for this post dear Hilda.
Léia :)

maricar said...

everytime i come visit your blog i learned something new from our country... your post are mind opening Hilda, the painting speaks itself what is really happening in our homeland...

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

The painting has so much emotion but so do your comments. I am glad you can still make them and that you blog is here to inform us. This year, your blog has taken us from eating at the mall, attending cultural performances, university events to this. What a range. What a slice of life!

Jan
GDP

the donG said...

amazing canvass. it reflects so much of what the country has experience, experiencing and may still experience.

Al said...

That's a fascinating and powerful painting. I fear that the Philippines is not the only country in a downward spiral, as my country (the USA) is not addressing its serious issues.

arabesque said...

i can silently hear your rants again. ^0^
i couldn't agree with you more, there's always a lot of what-if's and oh-how-i-wish phrases whenever it falls down on this topic.
i really, really, really hope that come May election, there will be real changes that would alleviate our country from all the negative issues that we are facing right now.

Renee said...

I agree with all of the above U.S. commenters as well... things are not cheery here either. In fact, I think it's worse than ever. Thank you for the powerful image though.

VP said...

Sorry for the state of your country, but you probably could see the same problems, more or less, almost everywhere.
I don't believe that this coarse and demagogic piece of 'art' has any answer to this, if not in a simplistic, Utopian and menacing way.

Photo Cache said...

that painting is so powerful.

has it been that long, the edsa revolt, the original? i remember i was there playing around with foreign journalists :)

thanks for rminding me of this day

Dina said...

A strong picture to accompany your strong words, Hilda.
I guess these old political "traditions" do not die easily.
May the good people like you outnumber the bad.

Andreea said...

I'm not too much into social realist painting, probably because they remind me of growing up in a communist country where life was horrible, the corruption was rampant and basic things like food or heat were scarcely available. It's not a bad painting but I don't think I'll ever be able to appreciate it.