Cultural workers have a vital role in making social change accessible to marginalized communities, through whatever art form. People may not connect with a theory-dense book on social change, but they will instantly connect to a song, a poem, or a visual art piece concerning social change. Art has the capacity to connect people, and the art cultural workers produce is passionately rooted in peoples’ struggles and hopes. It also gives relevance to marginalized communities’ struggles in ways that are accessible to them because they can identify with the stories and gives their struggles a voice.
Cultural workers view themselves as being deliberate in creating culture as an act of resistance to neocolonialism and imperialism, and much of the stories they tell though their creative work are not revealed in literature, society, and mainstream media. The concept of “cultural workers” is also to deconstruct the myth of artists working in isolation from the community. Cultural workers are not just artists, but more importantly are community organizers who are of and with the communities they work with.
One of the objectives for writing this chapter is to show how cultural work brings political consciousness to marginalized populations who do not have access to education, in other words, how cultural workers become educators of marginalized communities beyond the limitations of the classroom. Another objective is to show how cultural work is a tool for social change in the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines, a social movement that goes beyond the borders of the Philippines.