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#NeverForget: Events, film screenings, forums on martial law’s 50th anniversary

#NeverForget: Events, film screenings, forums on martial law’s 50th anniversary

  • This Sept. 23 marks 50 years since martial law was declared. These activities aim to remind us about the atrocities that came with it

That martial law took effect on Sept. 21, 1972 and thus it should be commemorated every year on that day is just one of the many pieces of misinformation surrounding the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his family. Yes, Proclamation No. 1081 declaring martial law in the country was signed on that day, but it wasn’t until Sept. 23 that Marcos Sr. declared it. 

“On this day, Marcos stole Philippine democracy. Institutions were shut down, people were arrested, and many were killed,” reads an infographic by the Official Gazette illustrating the measures taken on the day of the declaration.

As we all know—some of us at least, given the degree of historical distortions about this era—this was only the beginning of many horrific human rights violations that by 1981 totaled to about 70,000 people imprisoned, 34,000 tortured, and 3,240 killed, based on data from Amnesty International.

Fifty years since that day, Marcos Sr.’s namesake is back in Malacañang Palace, making remembering the human toll of martial law an even more painful and seemingly futile exercise.

But these activities by universities, civic organizations, scholars, artists, historians, and more insist that we should never forget.

Here are some of the online and on-site events happening this whole month in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the declaration of martial law.

Talks and forums

Sept. 17 – Center for Liberalism and Democracy’s “50 Years After: Mga Turo at Hamon ng Martial Law sa Bayan at Kasaysayan”

Sept. 21, 24, Oct. 1, 8, 15 – Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission’s “Tao sa Tao: Mga Totoong Kwento ng Martial Law”

Film screenings and plays

Sept. 10 to 25 – Altermidya’s “Ang Katotohanan sa mga Marcos at Martial Law” free film showings

Sept. 15 to 21“Lav Diaz’s “Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon” free streaming 

Sept. 17 – US advanced screening of the documentary “11,103” in Redwood City, California

Sept. 19 to 20“Indi na Maliwat: Alaala ng Escalante” play

Sep 19 to 20, 22 to 23 – Matanglawin Ateneo’s Martial Law Film Festival


Sept. 17League of Filipino Students’ ”Historyahan Tour”

Sept. 17 – ACT Philippines’ “Martial Law @ 50 Lakbay-Aral”

Sept. 18Akbayan’s “Road Trip: A Martial Law History Bus and Walking Tour”

Art exhibits

Aug. 30 to Sept. 25 – Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law’s “Golden Years: Weighing Philippine Martial Law” exhibit

Sept. 15 to March 18 – Ateneo Art Gallery’s “Dark Memories: Torture, Incarceration, Disappearance, and Death During Martial Law” and “Alaala ng Martial Law” exhibitions

Sept. 21 to 22“Gintong Batas” exhibit in Outremont, Quebec

Multi-event initiatives

Sept. 6 to 30: Ibon Foundation’s “Krisis at Batas Militar” exhibit, film screening, and book launch

Sept. 12 to 21The UP Institute of Human Rights’ martial law series “The Legal Construction of Dictatorship: We Remember”

Sept. 13 to 21 – SAKA’s “Martial Law @ 50” cultural events

Sept. 14 to Oct. 17 – UP Diliman Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts (UPD-OICA)’s “[email protected]: Tugon at Tindig ng Sining”

Sept. 21Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law’s “Singkwenta – Mga Kanta at Kwento Tungkol sa Martial Law”

Sept. 23UP Third World Studies Center’s website launch and “Marcos Lies” book launch © 2020. Hinge Inquirer Publications, Inc.


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