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Manila - Olandes Marikina 2 | From The Street To Exhibition

In November 2017 the second project in Olandes Marikina began. Upon our arrival in Olandes, we were given a very warm welcome. Since the structures (partnerships with the school as well as Barangay Hall) were already in place due to our first project, we were able to begin work on the second project right away. Together with the help of teachers at the school, our project manager Timothy and field worker Ate Olive were able to compile a list of twenty children, who were either at risk of dropping out of school or who were not even able to be enrolled yet – both being due to financial reasons. It was an emotional challenge to decide which ten children needed outside help the most. All families, with whom we spoke to, had unique and, to a certain extent, sad stories to tell, for which we were very grateful for them to have shared with us. However, after extensive conversations with the individual families, we were able to determine with relative ease, which children were living in the most precarious economic situations and therefore in need of receiving priority.

At a camera workshop, the children were hardly able to contain their excitement as they learned about handling a camera as well as its technical aspects. During this creative phase, the children had one week for taking pictures of motifs found in their everyday life in the streets of Manila. It is important to us that the children during this phase remain free from outside influences and pressures. This means having no boundaries to their creativity when choosing their motifs. Following their week-long shooting, the film rolls were taken to a small photo laboratory and developed, where they were viewed by the children and approved by the parents and authorities.

Despite the large distances separating the buyers from the artists, we hope to establish a sense of proximity between the two by performing interviews with the young artists. We seek to gain a glimpse into their everyday lives, to find out what motivates them, what they enjoy doing, what their dreams are. By getting to know the artists, we hope to be in a better position of understanding their works. As was visible in the first project, the inner compasses of the young artists in our second project are expressed via a common theme in their works. The naive creativity of the children is recognizable in each and every one of their photographs. Furthermore, it is this naive creativity which creates special works of art that are freed from societal norms and rules. The photographs mirror their imaginative ideas, inner impulses, and playful experimental nature. The magic of reality is captured in such an honest way – a way that only a child could manage to do.

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