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Bicol artists raise awareness on environmental issues amid COVID-19

In a series of paintings, photographs, and literary pieces made over a year through online exhibits, creative actions and art production sessions, the art collective aims to empower individuals and communities to create meaningful change for the society by raising public awareness of critical environmental issues.

A photo series by RJ Abrigo. The photos show that nature is an abundant source and provider of basic needs to the community.

Members of the Kurit-Lagting Art Collective have collaborated together with other art groups and cultural organizations in the Bicol Region to create impactful artworks while highlighting important social and environmental causes. The Kurit-Lagting is a collective artistic collaboration of Bicolano artists from Sorsogon, Albay, Catanduanes, Masbate and Camarines provinces with art advocacies on human rights and the environment. The Art Collective is also a member of the Sorsogon Arts Council under the Visual Arts Discipline.

In a series of paintings, photographs, and literary pieces made over a year through online exhibits, creative actions and art production sessions, the art collective aims  to empower individuals and communities to create meaningful change for the society by raising public awareness of critical environmental issues.

“ When we started these collaborative projects last year during the onset of the pandemic, we committed ourselves to focus on specific causes and issues beyond the current scope of other environmental groups. We created murals, and drawings  that tell stories about the struggles of communities which underscores the need for an  inclusive environmental policy that would protect our communities and the environment,” said Geri Matthew “Choi” Carretero, co-founder and art director of the Kurit-Lagting Art Collective. 

“We also launched a film that highlights the dangers of plastic pollution, risks of waste-to-energy incineration, coal projects, and mining. We also released explainer videos, statements, and op-eds  to increase interest and engagement in environmental stewardship through the arts,” Carretero added.

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In this commissioned work, Kurit-Lagting members painted sceneries and idyllic landscapes on trash bins which will be soon installed around Sorsogon City.

“The members of the art collective are very concerned with the rising waste production during this time of pandemic so we initiated several virtual exhibits, webinars, and workshops to inform the public about the need to defend our lands and to know the hazardous effects of waste to our health, and the environment. All of these can be accessed through our official facebook page,” added Roy John “RJ” Abrigo, a member of the art collective. 

“We have come together to create  powerful artworks with an important message that would inspire other artists and communities  to foster a sense of concern, ownership, and pride for  our natural resources,” said Allan Abrigo, a teacher and co-founder of the art collective. 

“More creative events will be launched by the art collective in the next few months if the situation improves. We are planning to move from the digital domain to a physical community space, particularly in barangays located in coastal areas where most community members live. Part of this next step are storytelling, visual mapping workshops, talks and interactions about the effects of the pandemic with the members of the community,” ended Gilbert Catabian, a visual artist and member of the art collective.

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