Working on the frontline of the climate crisis in the Iloilo Province of the Philippines, Raz Salvarita led numerous community groups in a series of community engagement activities, culminating in a public art installation: 'Unmasking Climate Injustices: Voices from the Past, Present, and Emerging Generations.'
From July-December 2021, activities have included art-driven narratives and storytelling, scenario thinking workshops, community surveys, and short film documentaries, and even rice planting and an observation of the effects of micro-climate change. Core participants have included a group of women farmers, school teachers, local artisans, and student leaders. The project has drawn the support of local government officials, the tourism council, and the Municipal Environmental and Natural Resources Office (MENRO).
The public art installation will now serve as a platform for staging community engagement dialogues and workshops. It will also offer a space dedicated to focused learning. The thrust of this creative endeavour is to magnify the individual or collective citizen’s role as activator, facilitator, and educator in the hopes of shifting the climate crisis and community consciousness.
In 2018, Razcel Jan Salvarita has presented a TEDx Talk on “Artivism: Effecting Environmental Consciousness through Art”.
His impact in the local and international eco-artivism has brought him to a deeper sense of commitment to becoming a Teaching Artist and integrating creative awakening to supplement practices that supports behavioral and perspective change among communities specifically in the grassroots. He has represented the Philippines in two United Nations Climate Change Conferences (COP11/Montreal-Canada and COP13/Bali-Indonesia) where he was one of the climate artist campaigners and environmental journalists. For more than two decades, Raz continues to work as an environmental educator, community-based facilitator and consciousness activator with various local and international non-profit organizations. Recently, he was a fellow with the Southeast Asia Delta (SEAD) program on Arts and Sustainability by the Mekong Cultural Hub and the British Council; and currently an arts leader fellow for the “International Future Leader” Arts program of the Australia Council for the Arts. During the onslaught of the pandemic, he led and co-facilitated an on-going series of Creative Recovery workshops focusing on women farm folks through a support grant by SEA-Junction’s “Staying Resilient Amid the Pandemic in Southeast Asia”.Raz is a multi-disciplinary artist, creative activist and founder of Baryo Balangaw Creative Initiatives who directs the vision and mission of the CommUNITY Centre for Peace, Arts and Sustainability in the Philippines.