MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The creative group DAKILA, in partnership with the British Council, commemorated the 10th anniversary of typhoon Yolanda (International name: Haiyan) with Climate Stories Playlist, a curation of short films highlighting the urgent need to address climate emergency as a human right issue. The Climate Stories Playlist screening was held on September 28, Thursday, at Sine Pop, Cubao, Quezon City, as part of the 11th Active Vista Human Rights Festival (AVHRF): Rebelasyon of DAKILA and its human rights center Active Vista.
The AVHRF is an annual event celebrating rights, freedoms, and dignity. This year, with the theme Rebelasyon and in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of typhoon Yolanda, the festival aims to open the eyes of audiences to the realities of the climate emergency.
“A full decade has passed since Typhoon Yolanda left behind a trail of destruction in the Philippines, underscoring the urgent need to address climate change as a human rights issue. In commemoration of the typhoon that claimed at least 6,300 lives in the country, DAKILA and British Council come together for the Climate Stories Playlist as a pivotal part of the continuous commitment to climate justice,” said DAKILA Climate Revolution Campaign lead Joshua Villalobos.
The Climate Stories Playlist features nine short films from countries around the world, including the Philippines, the United Kingdom (UK), Canada, and the United States of America (USA). These films explore the climate crisis from personal, political, and cultural angles, reflecting on connections to the homeland, community, indigenous culture, and climate change while inspiring hope, courage, and change. The screening at Sine Pop kicks off the caravan of the playlist in various schools and communities all across the country – from Northern Luzon to Mindanao.
In addition, DAKILA Managing Director Nini Oñate highlights the importance of screening climate stories from different parts of the world in the Philippines. “Just last July 2023, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres terrifyingly referred to our present situation as the era of global boiling. While each country has unique experiences, the UN chief’s declaration is a testament that the climate crisis is indeed an emergency of worldwide proportions. In the Philippines, what this means is heatwaves and extreme typhoons reminiscent of the deadly Yolanda,” she said. “A situation as stark as this calls for international solidarity, and thus, we bring together curated films from all over the world.”
Nini also put the spotlight on the landmark case by the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP), declaring climate change as a human rights issue: “In the Philippines’ context, we at DAKILA joined the Commission on Human Rights, Greenpeace, and other climate advocates in the landmark case against the 47 carbon majors around the world that negatively impacted the lives and human rights of the Filipino people. As we move forward with this landmark case, we call on our lawmakers to enact laws that impose legal implications on corporations that contribute to worsening the climate crisis. We also call on the national government to spearhead the transition to clean and renewable energy.”
Arts for Climate Justice
DAKILA has always used the power of creativity in advancing various human rights causes. The British Council is one with this cause to bring forward the issue of climate justice as an urgent human rights issue.
“The British Council uses art to spark creativity, innovation, conversations, and actions among individuals between countries. We are thrilled to partner with DAKILA on putting the spotlight on the climate emergency, an issue that affects us all and is very prevalent here in the country,” said Mich Dulce, Head of Arts at the British Council.
With this, DAKILA and the British Council, in partnership with Picture People (UK) and iMedia (UK), present the Climate Story Lab, an intensive mentorship program designed for Filipino directors and producers committed to climate justice advocacy. The training enhances skills in story development and film production, empowering storytellers to create impactful films that inspire global audiences to take meaningful action against climate change in the Philippines. After the training, selected participants will receive grant funding to realize their stories.
“Our call for the immersive Climate Story Lab endeavors to empower young creatives, especially those coming from the grassroots communities most affected by climate change impacts, to tell their own stories. We have received overwhelming enthusiasm from both aspiring and professional filmmakers to take part in the lab. Thus, we are extending our application until October 15 to accommodate as many filmmaker climate advocates as possible,” added Nini.
Through its #ClimateRevolution campaign, DAKILA has long been campaigning alongside environmental advocates for a sustainable future and inclusive climate actions. In 2014, to mark the first anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda, DAKILA led the 40-day 1,000-kilometer Climate Walk from Ground Zero in Luneta to Ground Zero in Tacloban, making pit stops in cities and municipalities along the way to hold creative forums with stakeholders on the importance of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction management policies and programs. The Climate Stories Playlist screening and film lab serves as a spark for DAKILA’s more intensified climate campaign as the consequences of climate change become more and more devastating.
“We believe that addressing the climate emergency is not just an environmental concern; it is a matter of fundamental human rights,” Joshua Villobos underscored. “This event ignites our ongoing efforts to advocate for change, inspire individuals and communities to take action, and demand the governments — both in the country and abroad — to lead in addressing the climate emergency.”
The AVHRF 2023 runs from September 21 to October 08. To know more and be updated about the festival, visit www.activevista.ph and follow Active Vista and DAKILA.