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SU faculty: Dgte art scene deserves spotlight

By Genno Gabriel Rabaya | November 23, 2023

Following the publication of her article in Vogue Philippines, Angela Gabrielle Fabunan, Silliman University (SU) faculty and writer, pushed avenues for Dumaguete artists. 

“After Mayday Eve: Dumaguete’s Thriving Creative Scene” showcased Dumaguete as a “tropical gothic town” and the local art scene.

Regarding the latter, Fabunan claimed that the art scene in Dumaguete still has an “overlooked quality” that stems from the government’s lack of funding for arts and humanities, which affects the need for art spaces in the city.

She expressed how money influences arts and the establishment of galleries in Dumaguete.

“We push back the good commercial galleries and really take out the ones that are really making money,” Fabunan said. 

Her article also said that drag artists and performers also do not have a “permanent stage” in the city and have to cycle “through different venues for their shows.” 

Despite this, Fabunan said these drag performers are making a “huge following from the student population and the larger LGBTQ community in Dumaguete.”

The Vogue article also featured SU as a “breeding ground” for artists. 

According to Fabunan, SU shapes the art landscape because many greats originated from the university.

“They [SU artists] are part of our tradition and doing something different than what they did can make you also stand out,” she said.

Fabunan then said that everybody must support art and practice it. 

Writing for Vogue PH

On her article’s topic, Fabunan said, “I really wanted to capture how Dumaguete is perceived by outsiders and then kind of challenged those roles that Dumaguete plays.”

Fabunan claimed that, although the city is often perceived to have “an old world feel,” Dumaguete is actually modern. 

She added that students are “resisting that kind of old world colonization” and are trying to “modernize it in their ways.”

“I really needed to kind of mention the places where students go or the places where the artists go themselves rather than focusing on a specific person,” she said.

The article also covered the “subculture” of activism in art, such as “#Noto174,” and photos of Dumaguete by Carmen del Prado.

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