Voices of Resistance from the Philippines
Lakbayan is a “protest tactic, an organizing tool, propaganda machinery and a lobby mechanism.” (Mong Palatino) This involves the mobilization of mass organizations of peasants, indigenous peoples and other sectors of Philippine society across the country to march to the capital and present their demands to the national government. Inspired by this tradition, Dang A Dang Radio will present a collection of protest music and sonic expressions of dissent from the Philippines. Through a sampling of the archive through “listening stations” with audio recordings, text and visual materials, it will highlight the country’s history and tradition of protest.
Saturday, 18 March to Sunday, 9 April 2023
In a Lakbayan, masses of organized peasants, indigenous peoples and agricultural workers travel from the peripheries to the capital to present their demands to the national government. It highlights the displacement of indigenous peoples by domestic and foreign plunderers, issues of food security and local struggles, the call for the resumption of peace talks and the militarization and attacks of rural communities. It counters and brings to the fore the government’s callous attitude towards these issues.
A month-long march and sea crossing brings the rural struggle closer to new ties with other communities where the movement may be weak, to potential new allies and supporters that can provide “information, supplies and logistics”. The camp-outs in the city become spaces for education, receiving material support, and “staging ground” for political action.
Inspired by this tradition, Dang A Dang Radio will present Lakbayan: voices of resistance from the Philippines, a collection of protest music and sonic expressions of dissent in the Philippines. Through a sampling of the archive through “listening stations” with audio recordings, text and visual materials, it will highlight the country’s history and tradition of protest.
The exhibition will present an inter-generational selection of sounds from the classics of the First Quarter Storm movement to the current generation of activists and musicians, accompanied by background information and context through materials like songbooks, liner notes, posters, and photographs from the collection of Dang A Dang Radio, and other progressive organizations.
Drawing from the spirit of the Lakbayan, the exhibition will “transport” the stories of struggle from the peripheries, not as an appeal for mercy, but in a call for solidarity.
The exhibition will map the themes and sectors represented in the archive and how they are reflected in the music and other audio materials featured. It hopes to show not just worsening conditions and oppression, but also the sound of movements gaining strength and building political power.