How to Start Changing the World
Series of drawings
12 drawings made by filipino artist Buen Abrigo in collaboration and conversation with Paloma Polo.
8,5 x 36 cm each.
Paloma Polo invited Filipino artist and activist Buen Abrigo (Manila, 1986) to create a series of drawings in conversation with her and on the basis of an interview she had realized with Jose Maria Sison (Cabugao, Luzon, 1939- 2022). Sison, a close friend and comrade of Polo, was a writer, poet, activist and the founder of the revolutionary party [Communist Party of the Philippines-CPP] leading the movement for national and social liberation through a protracted armed struggle in the Philippines. He lived in the Netherlands since 1987, trapped in exile as a recognized political refugee without citizenship or even the status of legal residency.
The ongoing Philippine struggle adheres to the communist tradition and is rooted in the revolutionary liberation movements that have combatted the colonial yoke for centuries. A strenuous revolutionary force emerges from the poorest communities, which are willfully fighting to eradicate the ills that, from the revolution’s perspective, continue to ravage the country: a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society plagued with capitalist bureaucrats and relegated to a deindustrialization that forces the country to consume imported merchandise and to continuously exploit cheap labor, while the plunder of natural resources orchestrated by international corporations in alliance with the government is rampant.
The drawings by Abrigo attempt to visualize some episodes of Sison’s political biography as he narrates them to Paloma Polo. The exercise of drawing attempts to explore intangible dimensions of such experiences, which have barely been visually recorded but are alive in the imaginary and memory of the struggle.