01 March 2008

An Exciting Event in Manila!

"Living on Loring"
Art for Social Change

An exhibition by Romina Diaz, Ann Wizer
and the Wild Cat Girls.

Two women. Two artists.
One is established, while the other is just starting out.
Both have lived in Pasay
and both are global nomads.

Photographer Romina Diaz, who is half Filipino and half Italian, is able to step into the world of Loring Street as one of its main residents, while socially oriented artist Ann Wizer, a half-Norwegian/half-Lebanese American, participates in it from the periphery. But their passion is one, the social consciousness is the same. Together, they journey to the end of Loring Street, where Romina lives with her family, where their gallery (Galleria Duemila) is located, and where a large community of informal settlers have been living across from them for decades.

The project focuses on the young girls (ages 9-16) who reside in this area. Society often ignores girls like them: girls living in squalor, forced to act as full-time mothers to their younger siblings, trying to survive in the huddled mass of shanties they call home.

As a result of Diaz's 10-week intensive photography workshop with them, we will have a chance to catch glimpses of their lives. The girls of Loring Street have also made "dollhouses" out of LBC's balikbayan boxes, which are representations of their lives, their homes, and their dreams.

Together with Romina, Ann has produced Who's Sita?, a public art piece. By re-contextualizing the girl's works and photos within the locus of the female archetype of Sita (the heroine in the classic Hindu epic poem The Ramayana), they aim to make statements about the falsity of mainstream advertising, compared to the hand-to-mouth existence of the women in Manila's urban poor communities.

This exciting multi-media event will open on March 8 at 3PM at the Galleria Duemila in Pasay City, Philippines. This event coincides with the celebration of the International Women's Month. This exhibit is curated by Angel Velasco Shaw.

"It is social art: art with a conscience.
Emotions, not just colors, paint a truly human picture
of the reality of poverty"
- Romina Diaz

"In our collaboration with the girls,
we are creating new works with them
so their voices may be heard.
In doing so, we aim to illustrate
that they are entitled to the same things
as everybody else: decent shelter,
basic education, proper healthcare,
and the right to choose"
-Ann Wizer