‘Talambuhay’ exhibit celebrates Linggo ng Samahan

Weaving and looming workshop as led by Cynthia Alberto.

From September 28th to October 5, an art exhibit and discussion exploring issues, such as immigration and displacement, were presented in celebration of Linggo Ng Samahan (Week of Community).

The activities were organized by Anakbayan New York (ABNY) and the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) and held at the Living Artist Gallery Space in Woodside, Queens.

This year’s exhibition is titled “Talambuhay,” which is a Tagalog word often used to describe a person’s migration story. The theme was “immigration and the local diaspora,” with community members and mostly Filipino youth submitting photographs, prints, sketches, and mixed-media art.

“It was very agitating and inspiring to display my works alongside other art by artists of the diaspora and revolutionary banners by Bayan organizations,” said local artist Diane Songco, a member of ABNY. “My photographs and cyanotypes depict Woodside and Jackson Heights, and it was especially meaningful to be able to showcase this series in the community I grew up in, and reflect on how the migration roots of my family are tied to the causes that Anakbayan fights for here in New York as well as the Philippines.”

Similar to last year’s art show, this year donations were raised to help fundraise for Anakbayan’s Summer Exposure trips––a three-week program that immerses ABNY members in the National Democratic organizing in the Philippines, as well as understand and see first-hand the issues Filipinos are facing.

A community mural on migration and the environment.

The highlight of the art show was the community mural and weaving and looming workshop led by Cynthia Alberto from Weaving Hand who shared with the principles of Zero Waste Weaving. Through the mural making,  members were able to relax, work collaboratively, and engage in important conversations about taking care of the environment, sharing migration stories, and the various experiences of locals living in NYC.

Other notable contributions included: “The American Portal” by Lisa Moore depicting how immigrants deal with balancing assimilation and preserving their culture; Cecilia Lim’s “Tandaan Ang Ating Ugnayan / Remember Y(our) Connection” that aims to educate and empower Filipinos in NYC to take a leadership role in addressing the climate crisis; Pierre Botardo, owner of Barkada Tattoo Studio NYC, who held sessions for Filipino-inspired flash tattoos; Trishia Frulla’s pieces from their Desire (& Resistance) series that explores femininity, sexuality and freedom; and Christian Seno who showcased his black and white photographs. The exhibition concluded with a performance by DJ Milkyshake.

The Linggo Ng Samahan had the support of the Citizens Committee for the New York City for the Neighborhood Grant Award.

Anakbayan is a community-based grassroots organization that fights for the rights and welfare of the Filipino youth and community in New York City. Its philosophy is to “educate, organize and mobilize with the aim of building unity among Filipino youth striving for genuine freedom and democracy and the advancement of rights, welfare, and social justice.”

© The FilAm 2019

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