Three years after the tragedy of typhoon Haiyan, a group of local artists, among which top celebrity Solenn Heussaff, will auction off paintings in order to complete a disaster-resilient village for typhoon victims.
Three years and other typhoons have passed since the powerful winds of typhoon Haiyan blew through the Visayas region in November 2013 ; displacing 14 million people and causing more than 6,000 fatalities. After all this time, the country is still recovering from the damages with thousands of those in its path struggling to rebuild their lives.
Until today, most of Haiyan victims still live in flimsy shelters that are unlikely to withstand the next typhoon. Indeed, because of the Philippines’ location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and the intensifying effect of climate change, Haiyan unfortunately won’t be the last super typhoon the country will experience. Just a few weeks ago, supertyphoon Haima/Lawin made the top of the headlines after sweeping through Northern Luzon, with strength and magnitude reminiscent of November 2013.
At the call of France-Philippines United Action (FP-UA), the Foundation of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a group of local artists have put their creativity at the service of typhoon victims. Multi-dimensional artist Solenn Heussaff along with three of the country’s top emerging artists, Alfonso Recto, Piaget Martelino and Chris Verayo, each created original artwork that will be auctioned off to fund a project of the FP-UA Foundation : a disaster-resilient village benefiting victims of typhoon Haiyan.
The auction will take place during the biggest French event of the year, Soirée Beaujolais, at the Marriott Grand Ballroom on November 29, 2016. This will be the 26th edition of this annual event organised by the French Chamber of Commerce, which gathers 1,500 people from the French and Filipino business community.
Artworks that will be auctioned off during Soirée Beaujolais 2016
Proceeds of this auction will go to the completion of a rehabilitation village in Bogo City, in the north of Cebu Island ; a region which was largely devastated by the passage of typhoon Haiyan in 2013. This village will include 46 houses and a multi-purpose center designed to withstand up to intensity 8 earthquakes and strong winds of 275-300 km/h. It will welcome more than 200 people and is set to be completed by the middle of next year. The FP-UA Foundation is partnering with Habitat for Humanity Philippines on this project and has already received funding from various companies ; namely Cités Unies France, SYD Conseil, Pernod Ricard, Worldwide Food Distribution, Republic Cement, Megacem, The Wong Chu King Foundation, Delfingen, Asia Inspection, Annexus International and Archetype.
As the Foundation of the French Chamber of Commerce, the aim of the France-Philippines United Action is to encourage the French business community to give back to their welcoming host, the Philippines, through projects such as these.
The foundation was launched in 2013 as a response to the widespread damage inflicted by Typhoon Haiyan, known as the strongest and most violent typhoon to hit the country in a decade. FP-UA was swiftly created under the French Chamber of Commerce to coordinate the relief and rehabilitation initiatives of the French business community. Since then, two villages of more than 200 disaster-resilient houses have been built in Daanbantayan, also in the north of Cebu Island, and now host families who had lost their homes to the powerful typhoon.
Artist Solenn Heussaff is grateful for this opportunity to help her fellow Filipinos through her work : « I am very happy to be partnering with the FP-UA Foundation on this auction. This project shows the solidarity of the French community with Filipinos that are in need and I am very grateful that I am able to contribute to my country through my artwork. »
This will be the 26th edition of the Soiree Beaujolais which shows how deep the French community’s roots go in the country. This event will not only be a celebration of French food and wine but, via this silent auction, a testament to a relationship which has always been supportive in times of hardships.
The artwork, created by French and Filipino artists for this project is indeed a reminder that, together, we can build back better.