The Sta. Mesa Diaries is comprised of two bodies of work photographed in Santa Mesa, a slum region that snakes along the tracks of the metro Manila train line in the Philippines.
David Griggs' series New York London Paris Rome Manila City Jail was shot over a two-month period when Griggs was allowed entrance into Manila City Jail to work with gangs to photograph and research their gang tattoos. This suite of images depicts members of Bahala-na Gang, Sigi-Sigi-Sputnik Gang, Commando Gang and Batang City Jail Gang. The photographs acknowledge the unofficial fraternities of convicts serving their sentences for various crimes. Inside the cramped prison compound, these coat-of-arms tattoos serve to mark territories and are also a source of pride and dignity.
Poklong Anading enlisted the participation of friends, acquaintances, and strangers for his series Anonymity. Individuals posed holding a circular mirror in front of their faces, reflecting the blinding glare of the sun directly into the camera lens. The heads of these subjects explode in a corona of light so that their locale, clothes, and the objects that surround them become the only legible signs of identity. Anading directs the viewer's attention to the background or 'field of forces' that configure the encountered 'other' and transforms the face from a place of recognition into a vanishing point.
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Seven nights after dark