This series is composed of photos taken in the Philippines during a heritage festival in 2016, as well as the photographer’s family pictures, overlaid with the images of contemporary mining maps. Known as the Pearl of the Orient Sea, the Philippine archipelago is mineral-rich and has consequently been mined for centuries by both locals and foreigners.
During the 16th century, the Spanish king directed the conquistadors in the Philippines to conduct geologic studies of various regions that had an abundance of minerals. Thus, the first mineral maps of the Spanish colonial era were produced. When a new colonial power took control of the Philippines from Spain—the Americans—they used the maps created by the Spaniards to initiate mining operations in the country. It is this framework that allows present-day multinational corporations to operate in the Philippines, both legally and illicitly.