With the recently presented «Profile» program, Germany’s «Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen» put a spotlight on Filipino visual artist, filmmaker, and human rights activist Kiri Dalena. Here, Modern Times Review sat down with the renowned transmedial artist. Also read – Looking at the Philippines today: Survey and Resistance
Have you ever thought about leaving your country
My situation is not so bad that I am compelled to leave for economic reasons, which is the case with the millions of Filipinos who leave to become workers overseas. My situation is also very far from that of political personalities and high-profile activists who face grave threats and attacks on their lives and reputations. When I am in a different country and I see that the rule of law operates and that everyone possesses the opportunity to build decent and meaningful lives, I grow sad for my country. But, at the same time, it is an inspiration, I see that it is possible to live differently. So while it is still beyond my imagination to see how we can turn our conditions around, given that at present what is right is wrong, and what is wrong appears to be right, I tell myself that there has to be a reason why I was born there and not anywhere else.
Who is especially under attack?
Human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, judges. Those who file complaints against the government, specifically against those who abuse their power, or rather those who repeatedly and systematically commit abuse because they have power. Those who speak up against the erosion of democratic processes and institutions in our country. Those who take the side of the vilified and demonized sectors of our society who are most vulnerable to extermination and exploitation.
When I am in a different country and I see that the rule of law operates…I grow sad for my country.
What can be done?
If we speak specifically about the «drug war», we need to have an evidence-based dialogue and education campaign in the communities, in the grassroots. People who remain quiet should not look away just because it is not happening to their families. Those who accept and welcome the «drug war» narrative need to be informed and understand that killing and executions will never be the solution to the drug problem. While …
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