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(en) ANA: [Philippines] RIP Pong (Gutson Heyres): A passionate and dedicated anarchist, By Bandido (pt) [machine translation]

Date Mon, 28 Sep 2020 08:20:42 +0300

I met Pong in 2004. I saw him at a punk show all dressed up in punk battle attire alongside his friends Tonton and other Makati Punks. I visited him at his meeting place in Makati, and then I learned that Pong lived in a jeepney[a sort of crossover between a jeep and bus]and sometimes stayed in university rooms or at a friend's house in Makati. When his family moved to the relocation site in Cavite, Pong and his older brother still remained in Makati. Pong was literally a nomad, moving from place to place. When I worked as a tricycle driver, Pong and others visited me at our terminal and ate together after I finished my job. If we wanted to visit the anarchist space in Cubão, we would sleep together on the streets at night.

Pong did not finish his study of graphic design and instead lived as a street punk and artist. He was the one who intensely made posters, pamphlets for concerts and events, banners for any political activity such as demonstrations, hanging banners, etc. Its fort was black and white drawings with a ballpoint pen. The images of his works were related to anti-war (Food Not Bombs), anti-civilization, counterculture punk and anarchism. He was inspired by the Black Bloc, anarchist and zapatista personalities. You would see this in your sketchbook, zines or recycled bond paper. Pong kept up to date with the socio-political events that were happening globally, and you could see that with his drawings. I can say that he was an internationalist because of his concern for the situation around the world.

He drew Carlo Giuliani as a tribute to his death; Carlo Giuliani was an Italian anarchist who was shot by the police in the Anti-G8 mobilization of Genoa in 2001. In memory of Alexandros Grigoropoulos who was shot by special forces in Greece. Pong also drew images of him supporting the December 2008 riots in Exarchia. He also made a portrait of Santiago Maldonado, an Argentine anarchist who was a victim of enforced disappearance. An image of the Palestinian girl Ahed Tamimi was also in her art. When Tukijo, a farmer from Kulon Progo, was released from prison, the anarchists celebrated this, and again Pong drew a portrait of him emerging from prison and embracing his companion. I personally gave this Pong masterpiece to Tukijo when we visited him in Indonesia in 2015.

In 2005-06, we worked together with other friends to launch the "11 punks Sagada" campaign. Pong and I had many meetings with the Asian Commission on Human Rights, as they were helping us in Manila with their legal advice, among other things. AHRC asked Pong to make an illustration in solidarity with the victims of torture. We organized a demonstration, together with other friends from Manila, Cainta and Bulacan, for the International Day against Torture that we held in Rotonda.

Pong was a dedicated enthusiast of anti-election propaganda through his creative illustrations that described the farce in the voting system.

Pong, as a street artist, portrayed images that were relatively important to him. He supported the indigenous struggle, not only Lumad for his self-determination, but also the Zapatistas, an indigenous community that lives autonomously in Chiapas, Mexico. He criticized urbanization, industrialization, poverty and the destruction of the environment. He was aware that capitalism and the state are primarily responsible for the madness that happens in our world.

Most infoshops and autonomous spaces here in the Archipelago had paintings and murals made by Pong. He was willing to share his talent with the community and friends; he liked to draw his friends' faces and give them as gifts. Most of the time, he drew in his notebook or asked a friend if he could make a mural in his home. He had difficulty establishing prices for his work, as he was not comfortable seeing his work of art as a commodity that needed to be bought. He was willing to offer it for free or for an exchange.

For me, I know that Pong generally had an anti-establishment and anti-institution critique, especially in the art world. As an artist, he was not amazed or interested in putting his work in a closed gallery. He would be happy to expose his work in public places, streets, shows / events, neighborhood areas, abandoned buildings and invasion areas. I learned from him that for people to appreciate art it is necessary to show it in public, so that people can question and create awareness. He has always participated in street art exhibitions such as the "Lansangan Koneksyon" and "Sining sa Kalye" events. But because we are proud that his work has been shown in other spaces such as Galeria Ishmael Bernal, we managed to convince him in 2012 to participate in a group exhibition.

In addition to punk, Pong had a mild taste in music. He introduced us to songs like "Tonight the Streets are Ours" by Richard Hawley and the band CocoRosie. If he was staying here in our infoshop, we always talked about many things like love life, family matters, socio-political issues, gossip, etc. He loved watching movies with my girlfriend, and they stayed up all night watching movies.

Pong not only inspired people, but CHALLENGED each one of us, showing that although life is difficult, anyone can do something different.


Source: https://etnikobandidoinfoshop.wordpress.com/2020/09/21/rip-pong-gutson-heyres-a-passionate-and-dedicated-anarchist/

Translation> A. Padalecki

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