“Tao Po”, a cultural performance and dialogue
Time & Location
About the Event
Tao Po! Is there anyone there? Tao Po! We are human beings!
From September to October this year, key cities of Europe will be the venue for “Tao Po”, a cultural performance and dialogue focused on the narratives and plight of the victims of Extra Judicial Killings (EJKs) and of their families. The performance will be held in Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
"Tao Po,"** is a monologue of four (4) characters featuring Mae Paner (a.k.a. Juana Change), a result of several days of immersion trips and interviews of families and people affected by EJKs. Mae Paner performs the role of a zumba instructor haunted by her husband and son, both victims of summary killings; a photographer whose sanity is questioned by the newspaper that employs him; the apparent double life of a policeman, sworn to uphold the law, and a hit man, paid to violate it; and a young girl paying tribute to EJK victims haphazardly buried in the notorious burial site of victims (“tokhang wall”).
The play is followed by ‘Talk Back’ panel discussion and dialogue with the audience, artist and members of Rise UP for Life and for Rights and their quest for justice.
Rise Up for Life and for Rights is an organization established by human rights advocates and families of victims of the EJKs. The delegation coming to Europe, including two mothers of victims, will show how what started as a “war on drugs” has turned into what is the hidden agenda behind the murderous campaign: an Operation Plan by military and police that silences criticism and opposition. They are supported and accompanied by the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) and the Commission on Human Rights Philippines.
This nightmare of killings happening in the Philippines has taken the lives of more than 26,000 people, mostly from poor communities. The so-called war on drugs is also being used to hunt down and physically eliminate critics of the Duterte government, specifically human rights defenders, lawyers, peasant leaders, indigenous peoples, members of religious congregations as well as political opposition. A number of victims are families of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Recently, the United Nations Human Rights Council has approved a resolution initiated by the government of Iceland, to launch an independent investigation into crimes committed during the Duterte government’s war on drugs.
The Tao Po and Rise Up delegation will meet with European (in its capital city of Brussels) and national parliamentarians, human rights advocates, religious organizations and bring to their purview the horrific state of human rights in the Philippines. Accompanying the presentation is the photo exhibit entitled LAUNDERED STORIES (NanlabaN) which presents the story of the killings through clothes. Clothes, or the lack of them, tell stories. In the Philippines, the clothes of the victims of the government’s murderous campaign tell a story not found in many of the documents that record the deaths. They tell of torture, of deceit, and of murder.
The European performance, dialogue with Tao Po and Rise Up for Rights and Life and the photo exhibit are organized by members of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines in Europe, Migrante-Europe with the support of other migrant as well as solidarity organizations and individuals.
Organized in Germany by: Gabriela Germany With support from: Anticolonial Berlin Die Linke Internationals
Reference/s: Gabriela Germany Cathy: +4917660494488
Ticket Price : 3Eur Proceeds will support the continuing campaign of host and presenting organisations against the continuing and worsening human rights violations in the Philippines, and to the travel and lodging expenses of the delegates.
** “TAO PO” are words said when one knocks on the door. It means “May tao po ba? (Is anybody there?) “TAO PO” could also mean “I am a human being”. For more information on the play please visit: https://www.rappler.com/life-and-style/arts-and-culture/224731-tao-po-juana-change-knock-hearts-ejk-victims