Han Nefkens Foundation Production Grant
Adlaw sa mga Mananagat/Fisherfolks Day 2022
by Martha Atienza
at the 17th Istanbul Biennial 2022
17 September – 20 November 2022
© Martha Atienza, Adlaw sa mga Mananagat/Fisherfolks Day 2022, Installation view at the 17th Istanbul Biennial, photo by Sim Chi Yin. Produced by the Han Nefkens Foundation, with the support of Shane Akeroyd and Mondriaan Fund. Commissioned by the 17th Istanbul Biennial (2022).
We are glad to announce that Adlaw sa mga Mananagat/Fisherfolks Day (2022) by artist Martha Atienza (b. 1981, Manila, Philippines), and produced by the Han Nefkens Foundation, in collaboration with the 17th Istanbul Biennial, will be presented at Müze Gazhane on occasion of this year's Bienniale, opening to the public from September 17th to November 20th 2022.
Adlaw sa mga Mananagat/ Fisherfolks Day (2022)
In the Visayas region of central Philippines, Bantayan Islands' fishing communities have for decades bore the brunt of detrimental government-endorsed commercial enterprise. Under the guise of promised economic prosperity, the group of islands of Bantayan has in recent years been increasingly subject to the interests of the private sector. Whether it's a bill removing Bantayan's Wilderness area, making available the privatization of land, the North Cebu Economic Zone, or the push to allow foreigners to have 100% ownership of assets, a neoliberal agenda imposes coercive ways of dispossession. The island of Mambacayao Dako is one of a handful of islets of Bantayan. Home to fisherfolk for generations who are forcibly relocated to public and private housing projects, alongside over 9000 fisherfolk on the main island of Bantayan, away from valuable real estate - their coastal homes. While tourism is pushed as an alternative livelihood, it sustains inequality and further marginalizes fisherfolk who already are indigent communities. This process of dispossession turns the fisherfolk into workers who eventually will be left with hardly any choice other than to work for resort owners.
Adlaw sa mga Mananagat comprises three video works that came forth out of the last 3-5 years that Martha Atienza has, collaboratively, been working to ensure that Bantayanons have a say in the future of their islands. From this process, GOODLand has emerged as an organization through which Atienza works with collaborators and engages the local government. In this process, they have worked to establish Resolution No. 27, a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Mambacayao Dako and an ordinance declaring a yearly Bantayan Fisherfolks' Day, or Adlaw sa Mga Mananagat. The three works are Adlaw sa mga Mananagat (Fisherfolks Day 2022), Sugdan Ko (2021), and Way pag Otro (2022).
The work, Atienza says, shows what can be accomplished when a community organizes. Participation in key decision-making becomes possible, evident in initiating the drafting and passing of resolutions that represent the voice of fisherfolk and other indigent communities, rather than commercial interests.
Martha Atienza (b. 1981, Manila, Philippines) lives and works in Bantayan Island, Philippines. She has moved between the Netherlands and the Philippines throughout her life. Constantly oscillating between these two cultures has had a profound influence on her focus as an artist. Her practice explores installation and video as a way of documenting and questioning issues around environment, community and development. Atienza's selected solo exhibitions include Our Islands, Art Basel Statements, Basel, Switzerland (2017); Mind Set Art Center, Taipei, Taiwan (2017); Equation of State, Silverlens, Manila, Philippines (2019) and Free Jazz IV – Geomancers, Singapore Art Week, Singapore (2022). Her recent group exhibitions include Honolulu Biennial, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA (2019); Bangkok Art Biennale, Bangkok Art and Culture Center, Bangkok, Thailand (2020); Anticipating the Day, Silverlens, Manila, Philippines (2020); Construction of Truths, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila, Philippines (2020); INUNDATION: Art and Climate Change in the Pacific, University of Hawaii, Manoa Art Gallery, Hawaii, USA (2020) and SOUTH SOUTH VEZA, SOUTH SOUTH Platform (2021).