Young artists unveil giant Francis tapestry

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YOUTH artists on Thursday unveiled a 30-foot tapestry painting depicting Pope Francis in solidarity with the youth, workers, peasants, women and other marginalized sectors of society.

The tapestry, one of the highlights of the week-long “Youth Camp for Pope Francis,” was unveiled after an ecumenical service at Liwasang Bonifacio n Manila dubbed as “Pagsambang Bayan ng Maralita.”

Artists from youth groups Kabataang Artista para sa Tunay na Kalayaan (Karatula), UgatLahi Artist Collective, Kamanyang and Alaysining spent a week of non-stop painting to finish the artwork.

In the painting, Pope Francis is flanked by a farm laborer and a contractual worker to his left, and youth, a student and a member of an indigenous group to the left.


“Our young Filipino artists want to welcome the pope with an image that doesn’t gloss over the hardships and the plight of the Filipino people. In this tapestry, the pope is flanked by the students, workers, indigenous peoples and peasants, conveying the message that the pope and the Church are one with the people, not above them. This is exactly what Jesus teaches us in the Gospel—that God is living with and through the people,” Einstein Recedes, spokesman for Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP) and an organizer of the Youth Camp, said.

The painting is dominated by ash, charcoal and argent in a subdued background of azure and cerulean, spiked in parts with splashes of amber and tangerine.

The somber colors are meant to remind the people and the government that amid the festivities, the very core of Francis’ visit is to console and stand for the poor and victims of natural disasters, said Karatula chairman Michael Beltran.

“Young artists stand in solidarity with the pope, who has managed to live up to Christ’s example by showing not only compassion but deep understanding of the roots of poverty, hunger and oppression in society. We hope that the pope’s visit to the country will ignite the fighting spirit of Filipinos, and recharge the force struggling for genuine social change,” Beltran added.

A framed miniature version of the tapestry painting, together with the Youth’s Open Letter to the Pope, will be presented to Pope Francis on Sunday by a representative of the National Council of Churches of the Philippines at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

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