James Chance photographs Manila's cemetery dwellers

Image from James Chance's "Living with the Dead," used with permission

The intersection of poverty and overcrowdedness means the world's poorest are often pushed into unlikely and surprising living environments, from shantytowns and favelas to massive landfills like Jakarta's Bantar Gebang (where children of ragpickers run a radio station) and Manila's Smokey Mountain. In his recent series, photographer James Chance looks at another unexpected community, Manila's North Cemetery, where more than 2,000 people live among the graves of presidents and paupers alike. Photo District News, which reports that 40 percent of Filipinos live below the poverty line, offers a stunning presentation of Chance's "Living with the Dead" series.

Update: As a winner of a $10,000 POYi Emerging Vision Incentive award, Chance will be continuing the project. He plans on focusing on individuals who live and work in the cemetery, including Rodolfo "Rody" Villenueva, the caretaker, and a squatter named Bobby.

No comments: