Bricx Martillo Dumas bagged first place among 208 entries from 58 countries at the COP26 DesignArt4Climate Contest held last November 14 at Glasglow, Scotland.
His winning artwork, Nexus, is a visual representation of how everyday lifestyle choices affect our environment and ecosystem and contributes to how we struggle to live. Nexus shows a hand holding a drink in a plastic bag with a straw—a popular sight from the sari-sari stores in the country—and a cigarette with smoke evaporating into leaves.
“Joining this competition was not only a chance to represent my country but also to champion our call for climate action that art is a powerful tool to make current issues and problems easier to understand by everyone,” Bricx Martillo Dumas said.
As a Filipino, Dumas is no stranger to the effects of climate change. In fact, according to the Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), the Philippines is visited by an average of 20 typhoons a year, five of which are considered destructive. But Dumas’ experience hits closer to home—having witnessed the wrath of climate change through one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded firsthand in his hometown.
"Eight years ago, my hometown suffered the wrath of [Super] Typhoon Haiyan [locally known as Typhoon Yolanda]. It changed my life forever. Should we wait for another typhoon as strong as Haiyan just to realize that this world is suffering from mass extinction? Or should we be the change that this world needs? Our time is now,” he shared.
While winning the competition brings great pride, Dumas knows that the fight is far from over. "This competition may come to an end, but our fight for climate justice is far from over," he said in his speech.
The winners were determined through online public voting. Dumas received the first prize of 1,500 euros. The 2nd place winners were from Iran, France, the United States, and Kenya. You may view the entries through DigitalArt4Climate’s site here.