About this Event
“Tao Po” is a performance monologue that seeks to portray and bring to the attention the realities behind the extrajudicial killings (EJKs) as a result of Philippine President Duterte's “war on drugs”.
The "War on Drugs" has taken the lives of more than 20,000 people, mostly from poor communities. It is also being used to hunt down and physically eliminate critics of the Duterte government, specifically human rights defenders, lawyers, peasant leaders, indigenous peoples and political activists.
This cultural performance hopes to give "flesh" to the victims, their families, the journalists, and the police, and assassins who have been involved in the EJKs and have stories to tell. The performance features Ms. Mae Paner, an artist and political activist. The production runs for a little over an hour followed by ‘Talk Back’ panel discussion and dialogue with the audience, artist and victims’ families about the monologue, their real life stories and quest for justice.
The monologue was first shown at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines’ celebration of Human Rights Month in September 2017. Since then, it has attracted thousands of viewers in various locations in the country and has garnered excellent reviews from critics.
The play earned its first international exposure to audiences abroad in Australia during the Melbourne Fringe Theatre Festival and in Canberra on 15-26 September 2018. The performance captured various media interests with Helen Musa of City News of Canberra describing it as “the most stunning piece of theatre I’ve seen all year."
Rise Up for Life and for Rights is a faith-based network in defence of life and human rights against drug-related extra-judicial killings and violations in the Philippines. It was established in 2016 to respond to the impact of the Duterte administration’s bloody ‘drug war’ to the victims who are mostly poor. Following their approach of Redeem, Respect, Rise Up, the network focuses on organising the victims and empowering them to rise from being victims to advocates of human rights and change.
European Tour Collaboration
Rise Up and Tao Po have collaborated on many occasions in the past, especially in creating venues for truth-telling and drawing support for the families of victims. This time, we are coming together with the Philippine Commission on Human Rights, the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, Migrante-Europe and other migrant as well as solidarity organisations in Europe with the shared goal of bringing to the broadest audience—even those outside Philippine borders — the sight, sound, texture and the many feelings around the narratives of those left behind by the victims.
Here in the London, collaborating institutions and organisations are the Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines (CHRP-UK) and RISE UP as main sponsors, in co-operation with Filipino community organisations such as Gabriela-London, Filipino Domestic Workers Association (FDWA), Kanlungan Filipino Consortium, IFI Chaplaincy, and Bayanihan Leicester.