While the battle to differentiate street art from vandalism still wages, more and more people are warming up to this art form that adds color and provokes thought in the world’s densest city - Manila, Philippines. But in this quickly developing nation, the street art scene is doing more than beautifying a chaotic urban space; it’s becoming an outlet for young, educated voices speaking out against corruption and human rights abuses, discussing the country’s complex identity, and pushing back on the perception of the Philippines as a third world country.
While most Westerners don't know much about the Philippines, economists certainly do: it’s predicted to be the 6th fastest growing economy in the world over the next 30 years, and in 2013, outpaced even China as the fastest growing economy in Asia. This unprecedented growth is causing many social and political issues that have festered under a historically corrupt government to come to a head. As the country is preparing to step onto the international playing field, the street art scene is coming of age and artists are taking on these issues in their work.
The street artists we work with now have the chance not only to make their voices heard, but to make a real and lasting impact on the ways that Filipinos themselves — and the rest of world — view the Philippines.
Starting with these artists’ stories, the Filipino Street Art Project works across many forms of media to document the street art scene and its growth, use art as a way to spark discussions about larger, often global issues, and give these incredible artists the international attention they deserve. TO SUPPORT THIS PROJECT VISIT: MANILENOS