In most modern societies today, visual artists have taken to art to bring attention to advocacies and inspire people to act collectively and spark change. To elevate and raise awareness on its advocacies, newly-formed consumer rights group Rights Action Philippines (RAP) is also going the art route and stages “Consumer Rights in the State of Pandemic” an exhibit featuring over 60 works of contemporary artists slated from Dec. 16 through February 2022.
Netizens and interested art aficionados may view and purchase the pieces online via RAP’s website, https://rightsactionph.org/ and FB page https://www.facebook.com/groups/rightsactionphilippines.
The group was formed in 2019 but formally organized this year, RAP prioritizes “gut issues that directly affect people’s rights, targeting causes such as better education, improved transportation, affordable housing, fuel, and cheaper basic goods and services, efficient and corruption-free bureaucracy and clean environment.”
RAP Chairman Rey Dulay relates that their organization started from conversations among friends and they noticed that while there are consumer groups around, there is still a dearth of voices that strongly speak for the ordinary consumers and their everyday issues. “That’s when we thought of organizing and registering RAP as a formal organization,” Dulay said.
“Most of our initial members are artists, so we thought of this art exhibit as our first project,” as he explains the rationale for their initial public foray.
The works on exhibit all depict the creators’ take on consumer rights issues. “Our goal is to generate awareness, understanding, and protection of consumer interests and rights from an artist’s perspective,’’ says RAP chairman Rey Dulay, “This is also our unique way of giving artists a platform at a time when the visual arts sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.”
Through this initiative, the multi-sectoral organization aims to address the information gap and understanding of various consumer issues and encourage people to act and make a stand in protecting and fighting for their rights that are otherwise overlooked, violated, or ignored.
Among the 49 participating artists are Ernilo Germino, Eleanor Robleza, Romualdo Caliñgo, Rembrandt Vocalan, Salvador Sierra, Dyna Quizon Ondoy, Matthius Garcia, MJ De Jesus, Rey Dulay and Nick Dulay.
Vocalan’s “Basic Commodities”, for instance, depicts three items – cigar, red floor wax, and beer — described as “products that are always bought and found in sari-sari stores and are perceived to have a negative impact on the health and lifestyle of consumers.”
Dulay’s artwork entitled “Free Our Mind! It’s Our Choice, We are not Criminals!” shows a man smoking a cigarette. “Oftentimes they are taken for granted making them the government’s milking cows for much-needed taxes,” Dulay explains.
To coincide with the art exhibit, RAP is conducting an online learning series to highlight various concerns such as Legal Rights of Consumers, Consumers Movements Around the World (benchmarking on best practices), Case Studies on Successful Consumer Rights Cases, and Unfair Practices in the Art World. These can be accessed through their Spotify channel.
“We believe that people should be supported in the exercise of their rights and freedoms, which should result to better living conditions and enable them to function as more productive individuals. RAP will be the voice to champion their causes,” says Dulay.
Among advocacies RAP is targeting are consumer rights, commuter rights, smokes and vapers’ rights, artists rights, and rights of taxpayers.
Article Source: The Daily Tribune – Hybrid Exhibit Official Media Partner