First established in 2017, Artivism is a portmanteau and an embodiment of the words “art” and “activism”. It is spearheaded by local artists with the support of the British Council, a UK-based organization that promotes international cultural programs. The movement aims to bring focus to the many social issues we are facing through the many faces of art.

Iloilo is home to a rich cultural heritage and many talented artists. By working with various groups, non-government organizations, and even local museums and galleries, Artivism aims to bring art to public and accessible places, and thus, closer to the masses.

Murals started adorning the walls of the city and its towns, as more joined the movement. This year’s Artivism, the fourth to be celebrated, is entitled “UNCOVID: Uncovering Idiopathy.” Relevant to current world events, the founders of the movement say that this year’s theme is an ode to humanity to break free from all sorts of contagion that plague us, including the material confines we have created for ourselves. To act proactively is to prevent the sickness from consuming us before it has even come knocking on our proverbial doors.

Using art to achieve this can result in a wider reach, including those who live in far-flung corners of Iloilo. The murals, features, photography, performances, and many other forms of art can and should be shared with everyone, from all walks of life. This is what Artivism is all about. With the help of the local community who also believe in celebrating the vibrancy of humanity’s creations, long may the arts live in the City of Love.