Seven months ago, the Pandemic has set every event in the world into disorder – from big events like major concerts, conferences to personal events like weddings. Social events were all re-scheduled or worse canceled.
VIVA ExCon Organization from Bacolod City is set to host the 30th year of the Visayas-wide biennale which was started by the art group Black Artist in Asia in 1990 in Bacolod City and whose hosting has since then toured the Visayan Islands every two years without fail, to include the islands of Negros, Cebu, Panay, Samar, Leyte, Bohol, Guimaras, Siquijor and Boracay. Having accomplished such goals in the 30 years of its existence, VIVA ExCon now looks towards the future in ways that can best contribute to the development of the communities it serves. It is a local initiative towards the promotion and strengthening of cooperation among visual art groups in the region. It has become an effective artist-centered blueprint with which other like initiatives have been patterned after. It has been adapted by the NCCA as the basis for local initiatives in the formation of the regional art festivals in Mindanao & Luzon. VIVA ExCon 2020: DASUN was a homecoming that everyone looked forward to.
‘Dasun’ or ‘what now’ is in keeping with Futures Studies which postulates possible, probable, and preferable futures and the world views and myths that underlie them. “What Now” seeks to understand the context and circumstance of the art community in relation to the sectors of the community it coexists with, what is likely to continue and what could plausibly change. Part of the creative initiative is to seek a systematic and pattern-based understanding of past and present, promote inclusivity, and determine the likelihood of future events and trends so as to better respond with alternatives towards a much preferred future.
The VIVA ExCon Organization has been planning the event a year and a half before COVID-19 struck hard in the country. But instead of shirking, the organization decided to push through and calibrate its programs intended for this year – the show must go on. It is a time to adapt, a milestone in the history of a biennale that has inspired and nurtured countless Visayan artists through the years.
VIVA ExCon 16 will have two phases from 2020 to 2021 – Visayan Islands Virtual Conference (V-Con) and Visayan Islands Virtual Exhibition (V-Ex). The Virtual Conferences will be in November 2020 and will continue on a monthly basis until June 2021.
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Conference proper will start on November 11, 2020 starting with Island Updates from Panay, Kalibutan Curatorial Input by Patrick Flores and Curatorial Team and the official conference virtual opening led by Rhoderick Samonte. On the same day, the first Virtual Dialogue 1: Family will be with resource persons Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan and Rosemarie Jacobo-Sarnate with reactors Raymund & Estela Fernandez.
Day 2 of the virtual conferences will be on November 13, 2020 with Island Update from Bohol and the Virtual Dialogue 2: Business with resource persons Calixto Chikiamco and Ed Valencia with reactor Raul Arambulo.
November 15, 2020 will be the 3rd conference day with Island Updates from Cebu, Virtual Dialogue 3: Education with resource persons Br. Edmundo Fernandez, FCS and Fr. Jason Dy, SJ and reactor Palmy Tudtud.
Day 4 of the virtual conferences will be on November 18, 2020 with Island Update from Samar and Leyte as well as the Virtual Dialogue 4: Governance with resource persons Congresswoman Loren Legarda and Congressman Francisco “Kiko” Benitez with reactor Lutgardo “Gardy” Labad.
The last virtual conference will be on November 20, 2020 with Island Updates from Bacolod and Dumaguete as well as discussions about The Role of Cultural Agencies in Developing the Visayan Art Communities to be followed by the Synthesis of Futures Studies by Rhoderick Samonte.