Consumer rights group stages exhibit of artists affected by pandemic

Contemporary visual artists who have been primarily affected by the pandemic have turned to art to bring attention to their plight and inspire people to act collectively and bring about change.

Consumer rights group Rights Action Philippines (RAP) is taking the art route to stage “Consumer Rights in a Pandemic State,” an exhibition featuring more than 80 works. Until March 10, the exhibit is available through RAP’s website, and its other social media platforms.

Created in 2019 but officially organized this year, the RAP prioritizes’ gut issues that directly affect people’s rights, targeting causes such as better education, improved transportation, affordable housing, fuel and goods. and cheaper basic services, an efficient and corruption-free bureaucracy and a clean environment. “

RAP chairman Rey Dulay said they started to organize after noticing there was a lack of groups speaking on behalf of ordinary consumers and their day-to-day issues.

Coincidentally, most of the RAP members are artists who need an outlet to express their plight and their opinion on consumer rights.

“Our goal is to raise awareness, understand and protect the interests and rights of consumers from an artist’s perspective. It’s 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, ”Dulay noted.

Through this initiative, the multisectoral organization aims to fill the information gap and understand the various consumer issues and encourage people to take action and take a stand to protect and fight for their rights which would otherwise be neglected, violated or violated. ignored.

Among the participating artists are Geronimo Santos, Romualdo Caliñgo, Rembrandt Vocalan and Dyna Quizon Ondoy, Matthius Garcia, MJ De Jesus, Pol Mesina, Rey Dulay, Lauren Jascha Tolentino and Nick Dulay.

Vocalan’s “staples”, for example, describe three items – the 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. “

Meanwhile, Dulay’s work titled “Free Our Minds! It’s Our Choice, We Are Not Criminals!” shows a man smoking a cigarette.

“Often times they are taken for granted, making them government cash cows for much needed taxes,” Dulay explained.

The Chairman of the Congressional Special Committee on the Creative Industries and the Performing Arts, Christopher de Venecia, praised RAP initiatives to empower artists and promote awareness and understanding of Filipino consumer rights.

“The rights of people, especially the rights of consumers, must be defended and people must speak out to defend their causes,” said de Venecia.

“I am proud of the advocacy from Right Action Philippines as it matches my own advocacy for the arts and culture, as well as the creative industries and I am more than confident that this virtual exhibit will not only increase awareness of consumer rights,” but also showcase the talent of our Filipino artists, ”added de Venecia.

To coincide with the art exhibition, RAP is organizing an e-learning series to highlight various concerns such as consumer legal rights, consumer movements around the world (benchmarking best practices), studies case studies on successful consumer rights and unfair practices in the World of the Arts. These are accessible through their Spotify channel.

“We believe that people should be supported in exercising their rights and freedoms, which should translate into better living conditions and allow them to function as more productive individuals. RAP will be the voice to defend their causes.” , Dulay finally noted.

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