Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines—Last May 6, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Tacloban City, thanks to my ongoing art residency with Plan International. Tacloban was a city that was devastated by Supertyphoon Haiyan / Yolanda in 2013. I founded The Apocalypse Project around the same time, and this city figures well in my talks.
Four years later, the city has shown amazing physical recovery. A ship that ran aground has been turned into a memorial:
I hopped on a tricycle and paid my respects to one of the mass graves for Haiyan victims:
I was a bit alarmed at people who rebuilt their houses by the sea:
Resilience involves adaptive design. Here is a new sign that alerts for storm surges, which is a new term the residents learned, as the waves had never been that high before:
I tried to put myself in the position of people who lost their houses. Even the big ones didn’t stand a chance:
The next day was my workshop on art and climate change. I was a bit nervous—for the past years I had to encourage people to widen their imaginations on climate change events, and here I was with young people who had experienced way more than I had:
We made some perfumes for The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store:
And made science fiction shadow puppet theater:
We also made sculptures for a new project I’ll be releasing in a few months:
The kids’ favorite activity was building resilient communities using paper:
It was a true honor to work with these young people. I can’t wait to turn these outcomes into a proper exhibition! Stay tuned.
Thank you to Plan International Tacloban staff and Kim Junmookda! As always, this was super fun!