Online protests have become part of our culture—a progression that reflects how active our current political climate is. Animation director and satirical graphic artist Kevin Eric Raymundo inspired one when he unwittingly started the #Tumindig challenge by posting an illustration on July 17. This isn’t the first time his art focused on fists. In a previous illustration called “Kama-o-meter,” Raymundo also cleverly pointed out how diehard Duterte supporters (DDS) and red-tagged activists both use fists when expressing support.
The viral piece showed a standing individual in the shape of a raised fist surrounded by figures in the shape of extended fists who are bowing. “Tumindig ✊,” wrote the artist, who goes by the name Tarantadong Kalbo, in the caption.
The illustration quickly turned into a challenge slash protest after other artists started drawing their own #Tumindig personas to stand in solidarity with Raymundo and express dissent.
Meanwhile, DDS artists made their own counter art campaign that could benefit from going through a workshop. It drew a considerable amount of flak, judging from the replies.
We had a chat with Raymundo to talk about what the campaign means to him, his fave entries, and his message to fellow artists.
What was the reason behind your initial post?
I wanted to create a piece na ine-encapsulate ang pakiramdam ng isang artist-activist sa panahon ni [President Rodrigo] Duterte at ng kanyang [Anti-Terror] Law.
How did it turn into a full-fledged campaign?
If I remember correctly, artists Kapitan Tambay and Cartoonist Zach were the first to answer the “call.” Technically kasi wala namang call to action dun sa actual post, kaya nagulat ako na biglang may impromptu challenge. [Laughs]
There were interpretations that the post had to do with the upcoming elections. What does pagtindig mean for you?
Nakita ko nga. No issues naman doon. Pagtindig for me is standing up for what is right. So, in a way, registering to vote and voting for those who are deserving of the spot is one way of exercising our rights.
What’s your message to your fellow artists?
‘Wag tayong mabuhay sa takot. Let’s use our skills and talents to our advantage. Having the choice to “be positive” in our art is a privilege. I am aware of my own privilege as well, and I will use it to amplify the voice of the oppressed, even at the cost of losing “fans.” I do not create art for the sake of aesthetics. Art is always political, whether we like it or not.