Squatter Shacks in Manila: 11 Million People Live Thusly in Greater Manila

In many years shooting photos of buildings, I’ve developed an appreciation of shacks in squatter settlements. Considering that they’re built out of trash by people with no money, some are remarkable. Talk about recycling! I’ve always been too shy (or scared) to shoot in the slums. There’s a settlement in Tijuana on the banks of a toxic-looking gulch I’ve always admired.

Kevin Kelly just sent me link to a website in Frankfurt of the L.A. Galerie, which is having an exhibition of the photos of Peter Bialobrzeski and Oliver Boberg. The exhibit opens today and runs for 2 months. Here are some of Bialobrzeski’s photos.

The following description is from art-in.de website:

Peter Bialobrzeski shot the Case Study Homes series at the Baseco compound (“Bataan Shipyard Corporation Compound”), a squatter camp located at the mouth of the River Pasig near the Port of Manila, in February 2008. This neighbourhood, 300 ha of unsafe, unstable subsoil of a former dump site, is home to an estimated 70,000 people. Around 45 per cent of the more than 11 million inhabitants of Greater Manila currently live in such squatter camps and slums. … The pictures of this photographic investigation follow a strict composition. The self-made shacks of old slats and posts, covers, roofing cardboard, corrugated metal and all kinds of cloth fill out each picture in its entirety, like in a portrait. In many cases the photographer chose a slanted front view, displaying both the front and one side wall of the house. Pure front perspectives are rare, as are two or more buildings in one picture. …

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

2 Responses to Squatter Shacks in Manila: 11 Million People Live Thusly in Greater Manila

  1. Shack living and/or architecture is appreciated by very few. People do some amazing things with the resources that are available to them. I am in process of writing a book about that very subject and am glad to see someone else can look past the gloom and see something else.

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