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This UP installation reminds us that dissent is truly a duty


Following  his previous “The Gathering Storm” installation, artist Toym Imao comes back with another symbolic piece.

Today, the University of the Philippines Diliman has unveiled the art installation “Barikada” at the Oblation Plaza, Created by Imao, the Filipino artist whose recent works portray the bloody Marcos regime,  the “Barikada” installation commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Diliman Commune. The eight-day historical event was an uprising of students, faculty, transport groups and residents who opposed the entry of military and state forces into the university during the Marcos administration.

A closer look at the details of the artwork show red-painted bamboo ladders and armchairs that seem to represent the fraught relationship between an educational institution and the dissent it can foster against an authoritarian rule.

If anything, such a piece of history mirrors what the university is experiencing today. The recent termination of the UP-DND accord, which prohibited the entry of state forces in the university without first notifying its officials,  has been slammed widely.  The termination is seen as a suppression of academic freedom long cultivated by the university amid instances that have shown the government’s abuse of power.


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Photo from ABS-CBN News



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