Artivism 3.0: Marka Merkado to Push for Public Markets and Small Vendors through Art

Artivism 3.0 Marka Merkado at Barotac Viejo Iloilo

Alima Community, a community-based social enterprise in Iloilo City, had been successful in organizing two iterations of Artivism, its mural art brand and movement created to raise awareness for pressing social issues through the use of different art forms like public murals, dance, sports, music, poetry, and many more.

Each Artivism was held in a vastly disparate location from the other–at the Robinsons Iloilo Car Park for Artivism 1.0 (March 2017), and at Brgy. Sta. Filomena in Villa Arevalo (December 2018)–and was made possible with the support of the British Council and several local organizations and businesses.

This year, Alima Community will be holding ARTIVISM 3.0 kilometers away from the city: specifically, inside the Barotac Viejo Public Market. On that note, the organizers chose “Marka Merkado” to be 2019’s theme and is slated to be one of the defining activities of the 10th anniversary of Barotac Viejo’s Patubas Festival.

This early on, two murals had already been painted in the public market featuring ‘Lola Maria’ and ‘Lola Mering’, two elderly women considered by Barotacnons as pillars of the local merkado. As such, these creations drew praise from various commenters for highlighting the “heartbeat” of local commerce, as well as serving as a taste to the upcoming activities people could expect from Artivism 3.0.

Manang Maria, one of the pillars of local vendors in Barotac Viejo.
Manang Maria, one of the pillars of local market in Barotac Viejo.

Mr. Marrz Haley Quip Capanang, an artist and one of the lead organizers of Artivism 3.0, explained why they decided to focus on stories of the small vendors this year: “Generations of Filipinos have relied on vending and enterprising as their dignified means to provide for their families and communities.

Since new and bigger businesses are coming in the town, it makes the vendors small enterprises anxious for their livelihoods and feeling like they are being overlooked. We believe in the local public market’s role as a positive force for the community, and that is why we believe the merkado must always at the literal and figurative center of any town or city.”

Artivism 3.0 will also be the first event where the organizers will be holding the event with the participation of the Local Government Unit (LGU). Mr. Capanang hopes that with this collaboration, they can show to other LGUs how public places could transform for better when creatives and political leaders unite for a common goal.

Moreover, the organizers believe they can use art to uplift the local market’s morale by using paintings and concepts that highlight the contribution of the vendors and the families helping them, while also demonstrating how their actions shape the community’s culture and consciousness more than anyone will ever realize.

Artivism 3.0 will be two-day event from Dec. 17 to 18, 2019. Despite the LGU’s support, the Artivism organizers are still looking for parties who are interested in supporting this event. Those interested could email for more details.

The Alima Community believes that creating art is an embodied development for the self, community, and the natural world, and they hope you could join them in their cause.

About Iloilo Today

News and Media Blog in Iloilo City, Philippines.

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