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  • Philippine Arts Council

Tyrants of Tomorrow

The Filipino in Me - Insights into Living Heritage

Entry by Harvey Nichol. Calgary, Alberta


Tyrants of Tomorrow

Since taking office on June 30, 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has fought a “war

on drugs,” killing more than 12,000 Filipinos, mostly urban poor people. At least 2,555 of the

murders were by the Philippine National Police in a campaign that could correspond to

crimes against humanity. Duterte has scapegoated vulnerable people to justify cruel,

abusive, and counterproductive policies in the name of fighting drugs.

Tondo, the neighbourhood Harvey Nichol grew up in before immigrating to Canada, has

turned into a war zone. In 2018, his old town captain was murdered (caught on CCTV

camera), his auntie’s ex-boyfriend and his childhood friend’s dad were gunned down. Left

and right, lives just gone. In this video, Harvey Nichol creates a 9-foot-tall painting depicting

the brutality of war in a paleolithic fashion. War never changes, only the people participating

in it.

Directed by Ryan Wilkes

Produced by cSpace King Edward

About the Artist

Harvey Nichol is a first-generation immigrant and multidisciplinary artist who is currently pursuing a BFA at Alberta University of the Arts, majoring in Sculpture and minoring in printmaking.

His work embodies elements of various art movements such as neo-expressionism, social realism (in the Philippines), street and folk art which he married to create his version, which he coined as “Street Folk Expressionist Art.”

Harvey moves between different art-making practices such as painting, sculptures, clothing design & storytelling. Inspired by his life experiences as an immigrant, becoming homeless as a youth, and living through the foster system, he channels all of this through visual auto ethnography (self-reflection exploring personal experience and connecting it to a wider cultural, political, and social meanings and understandings.) along with elements of folklore and mythologies and socio-political commentary on today's world.

For more info on Harvey -


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