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Sillimanians commemorate martial law in human rights fest

By Rainne Nocete | September 29, 2023

DAKILA and Active Vista, in partnership with the Silliman University Student Government and other student organizations, opened the Dumaguete satellite of its 11th Active Vista Human Rights Festival on Sept. 21 at the Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium.

To spotlight the experiences of martial law victims, a special screening of the documentary “11,103” premiered, followed by a talk-back session and vigil.

Following the opening, the festival had several activities, such as the community mural that began on Sept. 25, its unveiling on Sept. 30, and other film showings scheduled from Sept. 25 to 30.

The festival is part of a national effort, with satellite festivals in select locations, including Dumaguete City.

Dumaguete satellite festival manager, Chelsea Rallos, said that the festival’s theme, “rebelasyon [revelation],” is a response to a time when “being vigilant is not enough” because of rampant disinformation and historical distortion.

“Ultimately, it is through the act of revelation that we can start working towards revolution; to expose the people controlling the narrative,” she added.

Special screening

11,103” is a documentary about the stories of the victims who survived the violence during martial law under the regime of Ferdinand Marcos Sr., former President and dictator. 

DAKILA, a non-governmental organization and one of the event’s main organizers, described “11,103” as a “powerful documentary spotlighting the survivor stories of those who endured state-sponsored violence, sharing their experiences amidst dark times.”

A talk-back session followed the film screening with speakers Ian Casocot, a multi-awarded author, and Mike Alcazaren, “11,103” film co-director.

“Social injustice was very stark [on] this island, so we felt that we needed to give a special edition,” Alcazaren noted before the premiere of the Negros special story.

In an interview with the Weekly Sillimanian, although he and his team have made martial law documentaries before, Alcazaren said they wanted to retell the story focusing on the martial law victims.

He further explained that most martial law documentaries are “all about politics and the country.”

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