Take to heart all revolutionary masterpieces of all artista ng bayan! Achieve the victory the revolution!

Read in: Pilipino

Art appreciation echoes the class struggle. For the few who lords over this society, art is just for art’s sake. Something for them to regard briefly, enjoy fleetingly and then forget. Something for them to buy, sell, measure their status and power with and put into pedestals.

But art, for the many who are exploited and oppessed, cannot be found in pedestals. It reflects reality – no matter how brutal or convoluted. Living artworks that mirror the genuine situation of the oppressed poor peasantry, paint the actual life of the revolutionary army in the mountains. Poems that utter extreme exploitation of workers and the pettybourgeisie that this system bleeds white. Concrete calls painted not on expensive canvases but on walls, bridges and fences. Bellowed not in grand theaters but in protests and movements. Deafening demands of a struggling people, clamoring for the absolute downfall of a criminal dictator and this system they want to be free of.

The people’s art carries life with it because it is made along with the struggle, with the revolution. This is what Jemar and Marlon, activists killed by the police on July 26 in Guinobatan, Albay, precisely did. This was also the life of Parts Bagani, artista ng bayan felled by bullets of the military in Polomolok, South Cotabato on August 16 and developed further by Kerima Tariman, another artista ng bayan who served the masses until Duterte’s atrocious military ended her life on August 20 in Negros. This is the manner of creation that the hundreds of artista ng bayan mastered in their lives. Them whose bodies may have fallen but whose art shall never be forgotten.

They were the artists in this great epic that they themselves had been creating. They journeyed through the land of struggle and revolution thay they themselves had begun.

Yes, murderous regimes will always be relentless in their attempts to hinder the people from finishing their artwork of change. These brutal regimes will always stifle the artists who unyieldingly draw, paint and write the masterpieces of the people’s struggle. But these artists’ works shall never lose its power to arouse, organize and mobilize the people because every line and letter of their creations are guided by the lives and experiences of the masses entrenched in unparalleled suffering under a semifeudal and semicolonial system. Together with the masses, they illustrate the history of destroying this system in order to attain genuine justice, freedom and peace.

The works of Jemar, Marlon, Parts and Kerima along with the many others may not be well-known by bourgeois standards but are given the most praise and are favored by the oppressed masses. Their artworks may not have spots in museums and theaters of the oppressors but will always have a place in the minds and hearts of the people. Their art for the people is one with the armed revolution that shall make certain of the revolution’s complete victory and the establishment of a society that is truly free and liberating. This is the greatest masterpiece that all the artista ng bayan and the people can ever contribute to the history of society.

Take to heart all revolutionary masterpieces of all artista ng bayan! Achieve the victory the revolution!