Michaela Lola Abrera
Children of Neon
Set in Olongapo City, Philippines, a former US Army Base and an area rife with poverty and sex tourism, three segments of vulnerable children (children of bar girls, child victims of sex trafficking and sexual abuse, and street children and children in conflict with the law) use video, audio, and still images to answer the question: What matters most? The work of the children – each segment representing lives eclipsed and defined by oppression, marginalization, abuse – is presented as an installation featuring still images and three separate film chapters created during a visual storytelling workshop. These chapters represent and provide insight into the ‘world’ – the sense of self, the sense of place, and the lived and shared experiences – of those whose lives, whether directly and indirectly, are marked and shaped by the socio-economic and political conditions that breed corruption, violence, and injustice.