Empowerment Through Art: An Art Exhibit for a Cause
Last April 6, I attended an art exhibit called the Empowerment Through Art: An Art Exhibit for a Cause. It is for the benefit of Batis-AWARE (Association of Women in Action for Rights and Empowerment), a nonprofit people’s organization that empowers returned migrant women who experienced abuse like human trafficking, domestic violence and other form of human rights violation, as well as Batis- YOGHI a sister organization which fights for the rights of Filipino Japanese children who suffered several forms of discrimination.
It was a thrilling experience for Yllang when Ignition Venture Studio invited her last March to exhibit, expose and showcase artworks by the group Empowerment Through Art.
Ignition Venture Studio is a nation-building enterprise which aims to empower the entrepreneur. They provide business support services that allow individuals to focus on executing their innovative ideas without the backend hassles of running an enterprise.
Ignition Venture Studio began empowering the empowered artists for women to rise and reach their full potentials.
The President of Batis-AWARE, Yllang Montenegro, who also happens to be the founder of Empowerment Through Art and a featured change maker artist for World Pulse, Yllang was among the artists who exhibited their work at Ignition Venture Studio. Showcased there were beautiful oil, acrylic, and mixed media paintings done by Anthony Quiling Jandusay, Aljay Andrew Sanglap Montenegro, Jonalyn Delos Reyes, Nova Hershey Barbaran, Laura Fermo, Riza Zuniga, Wenzel Alibin, and Elvin Zuniga.
In that exhibit, I have come to know the cause and was taken aback as to how real the human trafficking, discrimination and women abuse situations are as I get to see and hear the speeches of women who have gone through such difficult ordeal. It was only then that I got to see the heart and the message of the event which was for me is Hope.
Some women who are part of the Batis- AWARE became artists themselves and have used art as a therapy for them to heal. Although it was said that healing may take time, it is through this expression on canvas that they can relieve their pain. For every stroke could mean a gram taken off their load. Though admittedly, artists wouldn’t portray the truth as is, they tend to hide their messaging behind the beauty of the art.
It was not only an eye opener on issues dealt by these women but for their children as well. The Batis YOGHI which fights for the discrimination of Filipino Japanese children, also aired out the difficulties that they face. There was a lot of problems that I wasn’t really aware of but has become enlightened by now thanks to this exhibit. Surely there are still a lot of fights to fight.
Healing may take time for these women and children, but as long as there are organizations like Batis-AWARE and YOGHI – where people who have the same pains could find comfort and support from one another – there could be more Hope for faster recovery, and for a better life ahead.
Author: Shiela Basoc
Editor: Cecille PS Montenegro