Sunday, April 8, 2012

Carlos Celdran and Redefining Subversion

"Art and Liberation--The "subversive" Carlos
with Leslie Bocobo and Pat Mangubat
It wasn't surprising that even in a cosmopolitan city such as Dubai, things like art, are still being considered subversive. At the largest art exhibit in the Middle East held in Dubai, avant-garde protest artist Carlos Celdran's philosophical viewpoint got censored, just because he tried to tell the truth. 


His depiction of Imelda Marcos, wife of former dictator Ferdie Marcos was not flattering, but it does not mean that he lied about how Meldy used her charms to convince former Libyan president Moammar Khadaffy to take an active role in pacifying the violent South during Martial Law. Khaddafy did stop helping the Bangsamoros in their struggle against Marcos and it was historically correct to say that Meldy had a big role in bringing together MILF leader Nur Misuari, the government and the Libyans in what is now known as the 1979 Tripoli agreement.


Celdran's art was not bold nor abstract--it was simply, the truth. That incident happened and for me, does not merit any singular objection.


Fact is, what happened shortly after the 1979 Tripoli agreement, which was supposed to end the Bangsamoro struggle was overtly subversive, to say the least. Admit it---post-Tripoli agreement was pure canard. It momentarily brought peace in the South, but the struggle remained. Had Carlos depicted post-Tripoli Mindanao, it could have merited a stronger reaction.


What is most refreshing about what happened to Carlos is the re-definition of protest. Gone are the days when youngsters wearing Mao shirts and caps populate the protesting mobs. Now, even people of such fine pedigree such as Carlos are showing their subversion in their own styles. 


For those who don't know, Carlos is not your typical ideologue, the one whom the military considered as security threats. 


Fact is, Carlos' ideology is amorphous--no mold, just simply protesting what is wrong about the things happening right now.


Carlos was once a banker in New York. He went back and embraced his being Filipino. He looks cono to you and me, but behind that facade lies a caring and understanding soul that wants to liberally break free from the mold that society had secured for him since his birth.


What is good about the things Carlos is doing is the way he redefines the concept of political subversion. 


You don't need to be a Commie to be able to see what's wrong and act upon it, no. You only need to be a citizen and open your eyes to the truth--that you live in a society where brute force is the Law and governments are wolves that shepherd the sheep through mass indoctrination. 


Carlos chose not to tread the path recommended by society to him. He chose to tread the path least taken--that of a revolutionist who simply want the world to know what is happening.


He's like Neo of the Matrix whose eyes have been opened and he is breaking all the established rules to liberate those who continually live peaceful lives when all they are, really, are hosts being literally eaten by society's fat parasites.