Artworks from Confined Spaces:
an art exhibit for the benefit of the political prisoners of Camp Bagong Diwa

Paintings and Artworks - 1  Paintings and Artworks - 2


NHA Bldg., Elliptical Road, QC
May 30, 2014




GMA News Online: No confined spaces for detainees’ artworks by Mark Angeles

More paintings by Voltaire Guray can be viewed in his website




Artworks from Confined Spaces


Artworks from Confined Spaces is an exhibit of paintings, papercrafts, handicrafts and other artistic expressions of political prisoners.


The exhibit, scheduled from May 30 to June 6 at the lobby of the National Housing Authority has been initiated and organized with the joint sponsorship and cooperation of the NHA Employees Union, the Confederation of Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE), the Concerned Artist of the Philippines (CAP), Bayan Muna (BM), volunteers, KARAPATAN, and Samahan ng mga Ex-detainee Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA), together with relatives, friends, fellow advocates in struggles and other supporters of political prisoners.


Among those with artworks in the exhibit are detained National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultants Alan Jazmines, Eduardo Sarmiento and Tirso Alcantara, and youth activist-turned-peasant organizer Voltaire Guray and many other political prisoners, mostly in Camp Bagong Diwa.


Most of their artworks reflect the dire, exploited and oppressed conditions of the people and the srruggles against which they and other political prisoners have been imprisoned for; the fascist cruelties they went through and continue to go through in the hands of the prevailing rotten reactionary ruling state, its imperialist masters, and the fascist military, police, intelligence and jail instruments of these; and the struggle for freedom, justice, human righta and for the broader political-cultural and socio-economic interests of the mass of the exploited and oppressed people these political prisoners and fellow advocates continue striving to wage and win in the interest of the exploited and oppressed people.


With their artworks, these political prisoners and fellow advocates seek wider and stronger sympathies, support and active participation of the people in those struggles against the peraistent evils and for the qualitative betterment of society.





Press Release
30 May 2014

“They cannot imprison the artist and the activist, in as much as they cannot imprison their struggle for just and lasting peace.”

An art exhibit featuring the works of political prisoners opens today at the lobby of the National Housing Authority. Titled “Artworks from Confined Spaces,” the exhibit features some of the works of political prisoners at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City and New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City.

“Some of them began drawing or painting outside prison. Most of them were able to hone their talents while facing the hardships inside the walls of prison,” said Ilagan.

They are a combination of young and old political prisoners who were able to gather a collection of their works while inside different detention centers.

“They face various trumped-up charges, a far cry from their lifetime commitment to struggle for justice and democracy. It is such an injustice that they are robbed of their youth, they are denied of their freedom. Through this exhibit, let us see through the eyes of the political prisoners. As they say, we are inside the larger prison of society,” Ilagan said.

Featured political prisoners are peace consultants for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines Tirso Alcantara, Alan Jazmines and Eduardo Sarmiento; youth activists-turned-peasant organizers Voltaire Guray, Reynaldo delos Santos, Hermogenes Reyes and Sandino Esguerra.

There are currently 482 political prisoners in the country. More than a hundred of them were arrested on trumped-up criminal charges under the Aquino government. The exhibit aims to echo the call to free all political prisoners.

Guray, one of the political prisoners, said he and his fellow political prisoners hope that their works will be seen by many people. “Ang mga likhang sining ang sisimbolo para ipaabot ang tuloy-tuloy naming pakikibaka kasama ang malawak na sambayanan sa labas ng bilangguan. Ito rin ang maghahatid ng aming kalagayan at karanasan, at ang kabulukan ng sistema sa loob ng bilangguan. Ang aming sining ay patuloy na maglilingkod sa sambayanan (The artworks symbolizes our continuing struggle with the broad masses of the people outside prison. These also portray our situation and experiences, and the rotten system inside prison. Our art will continue to serve the people).”

The exhibit is a joint effort of the NHA Employees Union, the Confederation of Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE), Concerned Artist of the Philippines (CAP), Bayan Muna, KARAPATAN and SELDA. It will run from May 30 to June 6. ###

Reference: Bonifacio Ilagan, SELDA vice-chairperson 0908-8124781






Poems from the KM64 Poetry Collective ▼


Songs from Concerned Artists of the Philippines and BAYAN ▼



Free All Political Prisoners Campaign, Demand for a General, Unconditional and Omnibus Amnesty

In September 2011, the Free All Political Prisoners (FAPPs) Campaign was launched to demand for a General, Unconditional and Omnibus Amnesty for the more than 350 political prisoners (PPs) in the country (As of May, 2012, there are already 380 political prisoners).

The national and international call to free all political prisoners, together with actions from the political prisoners themselves like fasting, hunger strikes, noise barrages among others have yielded positive results.

Malacañang, through itsspokesperson Edwin Lacierda, was forced to make a public statement saying there are no political prisoners in the Philippines. By dismissing the existence of PPs, however, it only replicated the statements of the former Marcos dictatorship during the time of Martial Law.

News on PPs came out in the media, including a full-page feature on the plight of the PPs. TV and radio interviews, fora and discussions on the situation of PPs and call for their release through GUOA were also numerous.

The campaign succeeded in creating wide public opinion, but has not reached the desired political pressure on the national and international level to push the Aquino government to make a presidential proclamation for GUOA. For that to happen, the President has to make it executory after getting the concurrence of the Upper and Lower House of Congress.

The stalled peace talks between the GPH and NDFP also has a lot to do with the desired release of PPs especially the NDFP consultants when the GPH failed to follow the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantee (JASIG).

Despite Pres. Aquino’s non-proclamation of the GUOA, this will remain the maximum demand as the most expeditious way to release all PPs. There also remains the utmost priority to immediately release NDFP consultants, the sick, elderly, minors, women and those who had been imprisoned for a long time.

The two demands will be pushed for the release of several PPs while continuously demanding for the release of all PPs through GUOA. Mass protests and actions from the PPs themselves and outside jails are equally significant to pressure the government to action this year.


Visitors at the Art Exhibit ▼
Free Ailing and Elderly Political Prisoners ▼