My Google Page Rank

Trying to change the world with Zamboanga Hace

PDFPrintE-mail

At the southernmost tip of the Philippines, a revolution is brewing.

Armed with borrowed cameras, students from Western Mindanao State University shoot scenes in their hometown, Zamboanga City. In a classroom, they make intricate vernacular typeface inspired by folk typographies seen on the streets of Zamboanga. At the annual Zamboanga Hermosa festival, they gather the participants and capture them backstage.

Student artwork from Zamboanga Hace 1 taken by Roderick Cordura

For the past two years, around 80 students from WIMSU have been taking part in Zamboanga Hace, a series of contemporary art workshops organized by The Office of Culture and Design (TOCD). "It's about teaching them critical, creative, open thinking and trying to encourage them to think differently and challenge the kinds of boxes they've been educated to think inside," explains TOCD's Clara Balaguer.

Since October 2010, Zamboanga Hace has invited five contemporary artists and designers to work with the students, and to do a body of work on the city. The series began with a digital photography workshop by Spanish photographer Biel Capllonch, where the students came up with a commissioned portrait series, which Balaguer describes as "surprisingly really good."
Poster for Zamboanga Hace 1 by Miguel Figueroa (Puerto Rico) and Rita Lino (Portugal)

She explains that they make do with what they have, which is not that much. "It's not about the quality of the equipment, it's about what you put in to the equipment," she says. Even when things got a bit more complicated when Spanish filmmaker Carlos Casas held an independent film workshop, the resourceful students were able to make things work. "It can be a huge problem," says Balaguer, adding that she brought in her computer and a digital camera for the students to use.

"It's so easy to do things like this because the students are so willing to find solutions. I think a lot of people underestimate Filipinos in general but if you give them freedom to think of their own solutions they come up with really, really great ones. It's a place where they can be free to think differently," she says.

At the Zamboanga Hermosa festival, the participants gathered in an ancestral house instead of the students just going to the event and photographing them there. "We kind of decontextualized them. The idea was to turn them into paintings almost, play with the composition," recalls Balaguer.

At the end of the series, all the artworks will be published in a catalog and exhibited at a major cultural exhibition. "We're hoping that there'll be two exhibits, one here and one in Spain. So if any of them want to become contemporary artists, at the age of 19 or 20 they have two major exhibits at two major institutions which is huge for any artist anywhere in the world," says Balaguer.
Miss Zamboanga contestants featured in the final artwork of Biel Capllonch for the photo series commissioned by The Office of Culture and Design

Even without the exhibits, the students are already accomplishing quite a lot. Apart from producing their own short films and coming up with portraits, they completed a commissioned editorial project in a workshop on vernacular graphic design by Miquel Polidano, a Spanish graphic designer and the founder of Triangulo Editorial.

In the next and last in the Zamboanga Hace series, The Institute of Infinitely Small Things will hold a workshop on performance and public art. Based mostly in Boston, the art collective incorporates human behavior experiments into artistic performances. "They're very much into participative art, and they like to involve innocent bystanders in their work. It's kind of like an exponentially growing social experiment," explains Balaguer.

Although this is the last series in Zamboanga Hace's first cycle, TOCD would like to keep on doing it. Like many other projects, it's just a matter of finding the supporters. "If you really want to change the world, it's a long process. It's not enough to just be there for a couple of years," says Balaguer.
Carlos Casas with student of Zamboanga Hace 3 who won best film director prize.

While the project may not be changing the world just yet, it certainly makes a difference in the lives of the students, and also of those who work with TOCD, Balaguer included. After the independent film workshop, they held a screening, and awarded one of the students. "We gave him best film and best director. Everyone was rooting for him to win because he's one of the kids who would always have to borrow the camera or exchange it for working on something," says Balaguer, who decided to give the student the camera they bought for students to use during the workshop.

"We didn't plan it but when we gave him the camera and everybody was cheering for him it was kind of like, I felt like I was on American Idol. I thought, this is what I should be doing with this money. There's nothing better that I could have done," says Balaguer, who left her advertising job to set up TOCD.

"When I turned 30 I kind of took stock of my life and what I had left behind and what I had in front of me and what I had in the present, and I realized that I had kind of turned my back on my roots. I felt like I had things to do here in the Philippines," says Balaguer, who returned after seven years when her mother fell ill. "I guess because you go through this whole process when you lose a parent or when anybody close to you dies, you there's this moment of illumination and you're like, what am I going to do with my life?" she says.

The answer, it turned out, was to move back to Manila and open TOCD, which she says is all about using contemporary culture to spark progress. Apart from Zamboanga Hace, TOCD has several other projects, including one founded with Canadian street artist Kaid Ashton called Homeschool, where volunteer teachers hold workshops for children on the streets of Manila.

To find out more about Zamboanga Hace and other projects of TOCD, visit their website.


By BM




Related news items:
Newer news items:
Older news items:

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

SPEED FIRE... RONNEL

21 Jul 2017 Hits:36 Be the first to comment!

Este si Ronnel Ivan Lao Basiri, conosido na nombre “Ronnel” , 22 años de edad, 5’7” el altor , soltero y residente de Tetuan , Ciudad de Zamboanga .Si Ronnel el anak di Omar K. Basiri y Susan Lao Basiri . Su hermano si Bon, Kan y hermana si Shenan y Shandi . Ya gradua elementaria, secondaria y colegio na Ateneo de Zamboanga University na curso BS Management and Accounting . Este su istoria… “ Na familia , diamon desportes el basketball . Hunto con mi tata que ya influencia canamon mga hermano mio  , kame mga basketbolista . Mi uban pirmi ta juga amo si John Raymond Antatico y Totoh Ascaño .  Cuando high School yo , uno yo del varsity [...] Read more

Prev Next Page:

Mayor, security sector meets with Maranao leaders

20 Jul 2017 Hits:71 Be the first to comment!

Mayor Beng Climaco and the security sector met with leaders of the Maranao community in Zamboanga to discuss issues pertaining to the ongoing Marawi crisis, the condition of Maranao families [...] Read more


D’ FAST and D’ FURIOUS... KAN

20 Jul 2017 Hits:63 Be the first to comment!

Este si Hemill Kan Lao Basiri , ta llama conele na palayao “KanKan”, 25 años de edad, 5’5” el altor, y residente de Tetuan , Ciudad de Zamboanga . Su [...] Read more


Man hacked by neighbor

19 Jul 2017 Hits:71 Be the first to comment!

A man was hacked by his neighbor near Jumbo Bridge in Barangay Guiwan, this city, on Sunday night. The victim was identified as Jimmy Delos Reyes Viray, 39, single, a resident [...] Read more


D’ SLASHER... BRYAN

19 Jul 2017 Hits:63 Be the first to comment!

Este si Bryan Russel Balansag Animos , ta llama conele “Bryan “, 26 años de edad, 5’10 el altor , soltero y residente de Pasonanca Ciudad de Zamboanga . Su [...] Read more


D’ QUICK BROWN FOX … Rhon Rhon

18 Jul 2017 Hits:84 Be the first to comment!

Este si Ronnel  Tatud Daruca , ta llama conele na palayao “Rhon Rhon”, 28 años de edad , 5’8” el altor , soltero y residente de Tumaga , Ciudad de [...] Read more


D’ HAWK... ALVIN

17 Jul 2017 Hits:85 Be the first to comment!

Este si Alvin John Bernardo Munio , ta llama conele “Alvin”, 31 años de edad, 6’1” el altor , y residente de Caragasan , Maasin , Ciudad de Zamboanga . [...] Read more


DOLPHIN MOVES... JUN JUN

16 Jul 2017 Hits:120 Be the first to comment!

Este si Angelito Surjedo Pacatang Jr., ta llama conele na palayao “Jun Jun” , 26 años de edad , 5’8” el altor y residente de Callejon Drive . Guiwan , [...] Read more


(Sharing Time) There’s no end of the world, but only..

16 Jul 2017 Hits:87 Be the first to comment!

TO disabuse the minds of many, there’s no destruction of our planet Earth in its physical form. The earth won’t at all go kaput or be devastated into pieces. The [...] Read more


IRON MAN PLAYER… Modz

15 Jul 2017 Hits:94 Be the first to comment!

Este si Modivar Mabolo Enriquez, ta llama conele na palayao “Modz”, 36 años de edad,  5’10” el altor, casao y su esposa si Leslie Morales Enriquez, diila mga anak si [...] Read more


Man stabbed in Ayala

15 Jul 2017 Hits:98 Be the first to comment!

A man was allegedly stabbed while walking with his common-law-wife in Dumagsa, Barangay Ayala, this city, on Wednesday night. Reports coming from Police Station 9 identified the victim as Jessie Dagooc [...] Read more


CHO withholds occupancy permits for Z3R housing units

15 Jul 2017 Hits:78 Be the first to comment!

The City Health Office has withheld its recommendation for the issuance of occupancy permits for the housing projects under the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Reconstruction and Rehabilitation (Z3R) due to [...] Read more


Driver surrenders to soldiers after bumping girl on road

14 Jul 2017 Hits:104 Be the first to comment!

For fear of retaliation from the family of his victim, a Public Utility Van (PUV) driver surrendered to the members of the Philippine Marines manning a checkpoint at Barangay Muti, [...] Read more


WILD CAT MAGIC… DASH

14 Jul 2017 Hits:92 Be the first to comment!

Este si  Esa, Al-Daser Hajiri , ta llama conele na palayao “Dash”, 22 años de edad, 5’10” el altor y residente de Armor Village, San Jose Gusu Ciudad de Zamboanga [...] Read more


D BARKER… SAN SAN

13 Jul 2017 Hits:99 Be the first to comment!

Este si Ensan Wil Delos Santos, ta llama conele na palayao “San San”, 24 años de edad, 5’6” el altor , casao y su esposa si Reivarie Joyce T Reyes [...] Read more


Zambo qualifies for WWF’s ‘One Planet City Challenge’

13 Jul 2017 Hits:96 Be the first to comment!

Zamboanga City is one of the ten cities in the country that has successfully qualified to join in the 2017-2018 edition of the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) ‘One [...] Read more


Zamboanga team to 1st HDWOC bags 11 medals

11 Jul 2017 Hits:107 Be the first to comment!

Zamboangueño weightlifters who participated in the 1st Hidilyn Diaz Weightlifting Open Championship (HDWOC) held at the Meralco Fitness Center in Ortigas, from July 8-9 brought home a total of 11 [...] Read more


D ENFORCER ….. JUK

11 Jul 2017 Hits:104 Be the first to comment!

Este si Eddie Mar Chan Santos, conosido na nombre “Juk”, 30 años de edad , 5’11” el altor, casao cun Laureen P. Santos y residente de Km7, Pasonanca, Ciudad de [...] Read more


Martial law should be in whole RP, indefinitely

11 Jul 2017 Hits:98 Be the first to comment!

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,  burn for [...] Read more