International Conference on Progressive Culture


People’s Art Conference Declaration of Unity

Declaration of Unity
July 6, 2011 – University of the Philippines


We, artists and writers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Taiwan and the United States and indigenous nations have successfully concluded the International Conference on Progressive Culture with the theme People’s Art: Shaping the Society of the Future. As progressive and anti-imperialist cultural workers, we declare our unity and commitment to the peoples’ struggles for social, economic and political justice in the world.




We pledge to work for people’s art. We should not let art be taken away from the people. We shall go to the grassroots and bring art to our communities, to the people. We shall resist curtailment of our freedom of expression. We shall fight for the peoples’ rights and welfare. We shall remember our history and ancestors and continue their struggles for freedom. We shall walk along with our peoples to end injustice in our world.

We learned that we may invoke and avail of just and fair principles and standards that are enunciated in the UNESCO Convention against imperialism, but what is really needed is a powerful mass movement of the artists and writers and the people for the revolutionary transformation of society.


We affirm that alternative media, contrary to mainstream media, must carry out hope to the toiling people and must lead the people against inequities, oppression and exploitation. We recognize that new technologies could be a powerful resource for progressive work, and that we should use them to create works that serve the interest of the oppressed.

We agree that the artist’s place is in the struggle, as embodied in the call of the filmmakers at the International Film Festival to film the struggle and serve the people and the call of the writers to build international coordination in their progressive media work and writing.

We wield the might of our pens and paintbrushes, our turn tables, musical instruments and mics, and our very souls, to advance the struggles of the people. We are one with the people rising up against imperialism.


A progressive movement without culture is like a body without a beating heart. Culture is at the very centre of our being, and this conference has succeeded in bringing progressive artists, cultural workers and media practitioners together to discuss our role and place in the growing struggles for social, economic and political justice and true freedom. It is part of an effort to bring artists back from the periphery to the centre stage of the toiling peoples’ struggles.


After all, we believe that without a “cultural revolution,” a revolution in the field of ideology and ideas, there will be no truly successful social and political revolution.


We have heard participants speak of how happy they were to see culture and politics united at this conference and how inspired they were by the spirit, energy and creative capacity of the cultural workers from the youth involved in progressive and anti-imperialist cultural work around the globe.


Of course there was not time to discuss and share everything we had on our minds and in our hearts. But that is the reason why we need to carry the spirit and content of this conference, People’s Art: International Conference on Progressive Culture (ICPC), back to our countries and our communities.


To this end the People’s Art conference decides to lay the basis for a global movement of progressive artists, cultural workers and media practitioners. We are setting up a People’s Art: Shaping the Society of the Future Coordinating Committee with representatives from the global regions represented here.

The members of the coordinating committee, along with some 100 participants and organizers at the People’s Art Conference have agreed to organize activities within the next three months among local and regional artists back in their home countries and communities to echo and build upon our first ever ICPC.


They have also decided to set up over the next two years regional networks of progressive and anti-imperialist artists, cultural workers, and media practitioners. The conference has also decided that in four years-time, after having carried out their organizing and work in the different regions, we will meet again to form a Global Movement of Progressive Artists, Cultural Workers and Media Practitioners.


Progressive cultural workers of the world unite!
United, the progressive cultural workers will never be defeated!

Film the struggle, serve the people!
Write the struggle, serve the people!
Shape the struggle, serve the people!


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 03:30