Sunday, April 24, 2011

Homeschool x 10: Longos, The Garbage Dump

In a decaying society, art if it is truthful, must also reflect decay.
And unless it wants to break faith with its social function,
Art must also show the world as changeable.
And help to change it.
-Ernst Fischer

Driving on the highway passed south of Manila, I caught this place out of the corner of my eye.
Determined to see what it was like I returned a week later to explore the entire garbage dump.
Needless to say I left this place being thankful for so many things in my life.

The people were polite and interested in what I was doing. I thank them for
letting me into their lives and showing me the conditions they live in.

When a fresh load of trash comes, people get right down to business and try and find the best materials for resale.

Some of the houses the people live in. During the day it can get over +35. These makeshift houses provide the only protection from the heat.

After a long day of working these two young girls make the trek back to their homes.

A small portion of the people who live and work at the dump.

I gave this kid a polaroid picture of himself. He was quite pleased and confused at what he saw.

There is only one way other than a boat to get to the garbage dump from the mainland. This raft is made out of discarded pieces of styrofoam tied together with plastic. A rope is used to guide the captain of the raft across the water. In the lower right hand corner is a present awaiting an unlucky passenger.

Rove was all up in the class, but no Theory
Anything and everything was used to draw on, including hoods of vehicles

The class. Very well behaved and artistically gifted.

The spaghetti was a hit once again

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pictures for the People

I have found over the years that when I photograph someone, I try to give something back. If they give me their email, I will send them their portrait. But for most of these people I have photographed on the streets of Manila, they have little access to computers and the Internet. Most of these people I have enjoyed meeting and getting an opportunity to talk about their lives. In return I try and come back with a framed picture of them to show my appreciation for granting me access into their lives.

A framed picture is a small gesture, but I think it can enable people to see themselves in a positive way. I hope it can enhanced self-confidence, self-esteem and provide the individual with positive outlook on the next day. Maybe that's all in my mind, but the people here were very happy to receive a picture of themselves. A big shout out to each and every one of them for letting me get to know them first and foremost and allowing me to take their picture.

I found this kid begging outside of a market. I asked him for his picture and at first he was shy, but allowed me to take it anyway. I was in a neighbourhood where I knew I wasn't likely to return and he was sort of a nomad, homeless roaming the streets with his family. So, I took the picture ran to a store got it developed, framed and found him.

Jenny and her mom

It took me two separate trips back to this location to find the future Michael Jordan, word got around the neighbourhood that I was there and he found me.

Raymart, outside his home

His niece
Inside Raymart's home. My pics made it onto the family wall! 7 people live in this tiny room on the fifth floor of the Paco Project building. Cramped quarters for most, but as he explained, at the end of the day you are surrounded by family.

The family outside of their place on Roxas Blvd.

Jonny and Bing

This pic doesn't do this kid justice, he and his family live in a cemetery (more to come from there) he was so full of life and had so much charisma, if anyone knows a child talent agent this kid could be the next Home Alone star!

At the garbage dump. Someone told me this boy had never seen an image of himself, I don't know about that. I believe maybe a picture of himself, regardless he now has a photo to remember the day.

Blaring outside the fence on the opposite side of an art class I was teaching, this guy was belting out Lady Gaga on the microphone. I went to see what the hell was going on. It was his birthday, what better way to celebrate it than a little karaoke for the boys. Poker face.

This guy was on a makeshift boat that was comprised of old plastic barrels tied together. He was using a long wood stick with an old kitchen strainer fastened to the end of it to collect the garbage out of the river. I asked him some questions and he told me he makes around 50 pesos a day, about a dollar to feed his children. Very friendly and outgoing guy.

Homeschool x 9 The Paco Projects

The Paco Projects.
It has a reputation for violence and because it is set next to a highway with traffic that is almost always congested, they are also know for carjackings.
I have been there almost 10 times now and have been shown nothing but respect and kindness. They help me put up some of these photos and I promised to return to teach the children.
Raymart, the guy in all red, is the guy you need to know in these parts. He was very excited that the children were going to be taught.
Unfortunatly for me he also had his game face on later in the day and
hit the game winning shot on me. Nash is getting old.

The front of the projects

Thug Life and Homer Simpson shorts

Entrance to the back. It took some courage the first time I entered. Many of the people who were there playing pool were also on meth and didn't really know what to think of the white dude with the goofy smile on his face. Broke the ice with some jokes then it was all good.

Showin love

Raymart and his crew came early to set up and left late. Really good people who explained to me that they just want to see the next generation reach their full potential.

Despite the rainy day, the kids were not detoured and found plastic to sit on and draw.

Raymart and the crew. I often get text messages from these guys early in the morning wishing me a good day and God bless.

Paco Projects Tropa

5 kgs of spaghetti and....

They devoured it!