Youth go nude to express advocacy

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013


THEY stripped off their clothes to send a message -- expose the Philippine social realities.

Around 30 youth from the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan stepped out of their comfort zones to express their opinions creatively through an open shoot activity called ‘The Nude Project: An Advocacy Campaign Open Shoot on Social Realities.’

“This is the way of the youth to let the people know that we’ve got something to say about our social realities,” said Gladys Valle, a student from Xavier University.

The activity was held in an open space in Magsaysay Park on December 16.

Micka Virtudazo, one of the project’s organizers, said one of the goals of the activity was to encourage the youth to express themselves in a creative but meaningful way.

She added that the Filipino youth should be made aware of the present realities and do something about it.

Valle added: “It was conducted openly for the people to witness. It was the youth letting their bodies do the talking.”

Virtudazo said the project was “done in the open to make the people see ‘the naked truth’ concerning the realities of our society.”

Issues

“We are against the establishment of coal-fired power plants because of its contribution to climate change,” Virtudazo said.

Indirectly, she added, it caused a lot of trouble including deaths around the world since carbon dioxide and all the harmful chemicals emitted from coal plants contribute to climate change.

Virtudazo said the open shoot was able to spread the realities about Human immunodeficiency virus-Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV-Aids).

In Northern Mindanao, she said people diagnosed of having HIV-Aids increased from 15 percent to 24 percent.

“That increase is alarming enough for the youth and the people to take a stand against it,” she said referring to HIV- Aids cases.

Other than that, the group also expressed their disappointment over corruption especially the most recent ‘pork barrel’ scam.

Atypical

Markey Magallanes from Mindanao State University—Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) participated in the open shoot because it is an atypical way of using the body.

“I joined the ‘Nude Project’ because it was very creative and meaningful especially that it allows me to express my views on the present realities,” he said.

As regards his views on social realities, he said: “I want to end the culture of impunity. I am pro-environment so I abhor all things that contribute to global warming. Also, I want the indigenous people to exercise their right to self-determination.”

Magallanes said he traveled an hour or two to participate in the activity.

Participants

Students from Bayabas National High School (BNHS), Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST), MSU-IIT and Xavier University—Ateneo de Cagayan participated in the activity.

The open shoot was organized by Youth Alliance for Peace (YAP) and Tulong Kabataan.

“The participants were not completely nude. They still have their boxer shorts and tubes on,” said Valle.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 18, 2013.

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