University of the Philippines Mindanao Davao

North-South-East-West at University of the Philippines Davao February 2005.

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The North-South-East-West Video Installation with Metis storyteller Graham Thompson was presented at the University of the Philippines Mindanao Cultural Centre, Davao Philippines, February 2005.

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The University of the Philippines Mindanao, also referred to as UPMin or UP Mindanao, has as its main focus of education is Mindanao studies through an affirmative action program in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao to attract Muslims and Lumad students.

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LUMAD is a Bisayan term meaning “native” or “indigenous”. It is adopted by a group of 15 from a more than 18 Mindanao ethnic groups in their Cotobato Congress in June 1986 to distinguish them from the other Mindanaons, Moro or Christian. At present, Mindanao Lumads account for 2.1 million out of the total 6.5 million indigenous people nationally. (1993 Census)

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These fifteen Lumads in the Cotobato Congress were the following: Subanen, B’laan, Mandaya, Higaonon, Banwaon, Talaandig, Ubo, Manobo, T’boli, Tiruray, Bagobo, Tagakaolo, Dibabawon, Manguangan, and Mansaka.  They are found in the following towns and cities: Cotobato, Tandag, Dipolog, Kidapawan, Marbel, Tagum, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Malaybalay, Pagadian, Butuan, Surigao, Ozamis,  Ipil, Digos, Mati and Dipolog.

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The presentation was accompanied by The Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Peter Sutherland and attended by  Professor Antonio G. Moran Dean of College of Humanities and Social Sciences , Fritz “Pavitramesh” Balgos an artist and activist, Denis John Sumaylo, Artistic and Managing Director UPMin Kombuyahan, Carlo Figuerao the tour organizer and Public Affairs Officer of the Canadian Embassy of the Philippines , Steven Reault-Kihara Consellor Political/Economic Relations and Public Affairs of the Canadian Embassy of the Philippines and Professor Ricardo M. De Ungria Channcellor.

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Mayor of Davao City – Rodrigo “Rody” Roa Duterte

At the time of the North-South-East-West presentation, Rodrigo Duterte had just been re-elected as mayor in Davao and later would become president of the Philippines. Known for saying things that many would consider unsayable in his quest to fight crime, it is reported that his presidential election speeches contained the following oaths “Forget the laws on human rights. If I make it to the presidential palace, I will do just what I did as mayor. You drug pushers, hold-up men and do-nothings, you better go out. Because I’d kill you…I’ll dump all of you into Manila Bay, and fatten all the fish there.”

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Western Mindanao State University, Philippines

North-South-East-West at Western Mindanao State University Zamboanga, February 2005.

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The North-South-East-West Video Installation with Metis storyteller Graham Thompson was presented at the Western Mindanao State University, Zamboanga Philippines, February 2005.

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Multi-Media Canadian Ethnic Rites Show in WMSU on February 24; Sutherland To Grace Affair, 10 Feb  2005

A CANADIAN aboriginal artist will recreate North American ethnic rites in their native settings through his self-crafted two- hour multi-media show to be held at the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) on Thursday, February 24.

Dubbed as “North, South, East, West version 2.0,” artist Graham Thompson’s show in traveling in eight cities in the Philippines, a Canadian embassy correspondence to WMSU president Dr. Eldigario Gonzales said.

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The media installation is “concerned with enchancing our emotional connection to the earth by creating an immersive audio-visual environment of video monitors, projectors, DVD players, computer workstations, interactive CDROM,” the embassy said.

Canadian ambassador to the Philippines Peter Sutherland will speak during the show.

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Thompson specializes in the use of new media, such as digital computer technology, to artfully discuss native and aboriginal cultures, the embassy added. His trip to Zamboanga is intended to share his North American ethnic culture with Philippine lumads.

“‘In North South East West 2.0’, Thompson tries to recreate the hypnotic environment of (Canadian aboriginal) sweat lodge, by emulating the atmosphere of chanting and repetitive rhythms of the rattles within the darkness of the lodge through the use of multiple monitors and sound tracks with a darkened gallery setting. The repetition of audio-visual themes on overlapping displays engages the audience in a complex environment of sounds and images to provoke a feeling of belongingness and inclusion and a feeling of shared         experience,” the embassy said in elaboration.

The show, it added, “was designed to create a ceremonial experience that permitted self-reflection and examination of one’s life stages and to explore our spiritual and psychological relations to the earth.”

WMSU Public Affairs Director Prof. Ali T. Yacub said the show will be held at the university’s Social Hall at 10 to 12 o’clock, February 24. It is open to the public. (Rey-Luis Banagudos, Public Affairs Office, WMSU)