Artists, human rights advocates stand up for digital rights on World Press Freedom Day

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Artists, human rights advocates stand up for digital rights on World Press Freedom Day

As disinformation continues to wreak havoc online, Filipino comic artists have found a new role as truth-tellers, using their art to unmask and counter information disorder. Their works, which tackle the far-reaching consequences of disinformation with wit and creativity, are mounted in the exhibit Drawing Dissent.

Initiated by the Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA), Drawing Dissent intends to raise awareness on the many forms online disinformation can take. The phenomenon of information disorder has swept through the digital sphere, instilling doubt, hate, and fear among the Filipino public. It has since been weaponized by the powers that be and has caused sweeping damage to our personal lives and national affairs.

Acknowledging how disinformation perpetrators utilize multimedia forms—such as pictures, memes, and videos—to distort and spread false information, FMA, in collaboration with Tarantadong Kalbo, Manix Abrera, Jesie Castro, Kapitan Tambay, and Marian Hukom, endeavors to reclaim the power of images to illustrate and communicate factual truth.

Injecting humor and sarcasm into their storytelling, the artists’ comics handled the themes of online gender-based violence, mandatory SIM card registration, among others, with both intellect and sensitivity. Depicting casual conversations around such topics, these comics picture a scenario media workers and advocates are working for this World Press Freedom Day: Filipinos openly discussing about human rights with respect and utmost regard to truth.

Drawing Dissent will run from May 3 to 19, 2023 at the UPFI Media Center in UP Diliman. This exhibit is in partnership with Union of Journalists of the Philippines – UP, UP College of Mass Communication Student Council, Out of the Box, Internews, and USAID.

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