What did you feel upon hearing about the Maguindanao Massacre? How could poetry be written/art be made so that it has value to the event?

Almost a year ago, we at High Chair attempted to make the twelfth issue of our journal a vessel for artistic response to atrocity. At the time, the country was reeling from the assault of the unthinkable turned fact.

In a place where acts of violence find a strong and enduring partnership with impunity, it isn’t easy for something to assume the status of unthinkable, and so when it does, it seems obscene to let it take hold without a struggle. In the case of those who write, the struggle is the task of wording it–unwieldy emotions, paralyzing self-awareness, and overwhelming indicators of irrelevance notwithstanding.

The results of that attempt are here, here, and here.

“Hindi mo mamahalin ang isang bagay na hindi mo naiiintindihan. Mas lumalalim ang pagintindi mo, mas lumalalim ang concern mo.” This, according to the UP botanist Leonard Co, now dead, another victim of violence. It is one year after the Maguindanao Massacre.