“Manila Gothic” begins its narrative in the disquiet of what appeared to be a brief pause in the Philippine President Duterte's brutal war on drugs through the lens of the impoverished men, women, and children who violently lost loved ones via extrajudicial killings. Along with handwritten letters from the victims, ephemera, and site-specific street art, the series revisits former murder sites while weaving in scenes of daily life and the country's customs.
Hence, this story doesn’t traffic in spectacle, but hopes to interpret trauma and its portrayal in a personal light and different spectrum. Using a forensic camera and a filter that captures a mixture of IR and UV light, the resulting duotone shows the netherworld that the society currently exists in, where the drug war has metastasized into a conflict where neighbors are seemingly exacting grudge killings and human connection has fully broken down into two shades.
The invisible scourge of addiction extends far beyond the alleged drug abuse. As a series of altered states, the story concerns itself with the contagion and culture of violence afflicting the Philippines, its people, and its perception.
- Rencontres d’Arles
- Global Journalist
- Fisheye Magazine