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Coming in late 2020…
Project Katutubong Pilipino is my long-term documentary project chronicling indigenous diversity and changing indigenous cultures within the Philippines. There are more than one hundred indigenous ethno-linguistic groups in the archipelago and despite centuries of colonization and western influence, many of these indigenous groups managed to hold onto their complex social structures, languages, and traditional belief and value systems, often through very turmoil conditions. Paramount to this was the inability of foreign occupiers to penetrate indigenous territories. The forests, mountains and seas offered sanctuary – sanctuaries where indigenous peoples continue to draw their life, livelihoods, culture and most importantly their identities from.
Forming deep relationships with communities over a decade allowed me to enter their world more freely and better understand their struggles and connections with the land and sea. It was important for me to make images that went beyond merely observing – to show beauty but also to challenge mainstream society’s understanding of what indigenous means and break down negative stereotypes.