We understand artistic practice as a vehicle that can transform life, our relation with ourselves, society, and the natural world by experimenting with our subjectivities, expanding the consciousness and therefore creating new existential scenarios.
In October 2016, The Unifiedfield and Balud Art Network started co-producing Future Communities: an interdisciplinary art workshop and collaborative video-performance envisioning future sustainable models of community life in Mindanao, The Philippines. Future Communities is the brainchild of Marta Moreno Muñoz, conceptualized in 2004 and reconceived with Angely Chi to fit the Philippine context. Funded by The National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the project was set to be implemented in a post-disaster Sama-Badjau community in Davao City produced in cooperation with the Badjau Association of Matina Aplaya, Inc. and assisted by Melissa Claire Barrera and Ram Botero. Special thanks to all the participants: Naya Adjari, Honeylou Adjari, Ya ne Adjari, Lolita Adjani, Shem Adjani, Edjie Adjani, Sanawi Adjari.
As the specter of the economic and socio-ecological collapse looms, we enter yet another phase in the progression, or some might say regression, of human existence. Perspectives shift with altered expectations, uncertainty haunts our visions and pervades our immediacy with guaranteed financial meltdown, ongoing conflicts in the midst of an unprecedented environmental crisis, a result of centuries of uncontrolled growth, greed and exploitation. A disintegrating, crumbling, decomposing economy reflects not only failed models of finance, but models of society as a whole, of modern civilization as we know it. The prevailing climate permeates Future Communities, an interdisciplinary project which imagines potential scenarios of the future in a Mindanao post-disaster community, exploring collectively the following three themes: – Future models of community life – Sustainable relationships with the natural world – Imagining new psychological landscapes.
We aimed to take discussions, actions and expressions of these themes via: a workshop in performance art, creative writing, and filmmaking which was held with selected participants; a film documenting the installation/ performance based on the collective script produced during the workshop; a website and social media accounts that engage the online audience in discussions with regards to the project’s themes and issues unraveled in the workshop and other activities; and presentations with open fora. Forging dynamic intercultural exchanges and grassroots encounters through this interdisciplinary workshop, community members were given platforms to explore and articulate ideas of future or alternative models of community life in relation to their local, communal, and personal contexts and in connection with the global context.
The workshop was co-facilitated by Angely Chi and Marta Moreno Muñoz. In the process, we learned from the Sama-Badjau´s traditional resilience tackling issues on climate change, environmental destruction, and unstable and unsustainable economies by creating a local group that will work towards transitioning into sustainable and peaceful communities with better economic, environmental, and cultural practices.