Exhibition + Artist Talks + Workshop
Aimee Bernardo · Denizhan Ozer · Josephine Turalba · Okir MSU Art Club

Sabr is a project consisting of an exhibition, artist talks, and a Post-War Trauma Transformation Through Art workshop to mark the first anniversary of the Marawi Siege. Supported by the Institute of Peace and Development in Mindanao of the Mindanao State University, the Regional Commission of Bangsamoro Women, and MIT Council of the Arts, contemporary artists, Josephine Turalba and Aimee Bernardo explored creative responses to post-war trauma and displacement due to conflict. In their art workshops, they co-created art on sky lanterns with some Marawi IDP youth (internally displaced people), high school and college students and faculty, and soldiers of the Philippine Army translating post-war traumas into visual expressions of new dreams and hopes for their new city #BangonMarawi. This project culminated with the release of the eco-friendly biodegradable lanterns at sundown.

Sabr inquires into the complex causes as to why peace remains elusive in Mindanao and seeks to understand the cultures of violence, fear, and mistrust that arose from the long history of the colonial heritage and subsequent Filipino cultural reawakening. Extremely destroyed, Marawi Ground Zero lies in ruins from this last war. While the city continues to address traces of the radical ideology that allowed the local armed groups to recruit members among its residents. it grapples with historical sentiments and cultural orientations vacillating somewhere between sabr and qadr in understanding the war within the context of a colonial’s policy of annihilation.

(Sabr, in Arabic means patience, perseverance, endurance and persistence while Qadr means fate or a predestination.) This project aims to decode the “complexity of the problem of conflict that has become the essence of life in the region”1


1 Samuel K. Tan, The muslin South and Beyond