Shanty constructed from garbage, facing the Pasig River

Shanty constructed from garbage, facing the Pasig River

Shanties near the sea wall

Shanties near the sea wall

Polystyrene rafting on the Pasig River

Polystyrene rafting on the Pasig River

Trash-fight, at the mouth of the Pasig River

Trash-fight, at the mouth of the Pasig River

Fishing boats on the Pasig River

Fishing boats on the Pasig River

Walking the riverside edge of Baseco Compound

Walking the riverside edge of Baseco Compound

Geloy Concepcion + new friends from Gawad Kalinga searching for the ulingan (charcoal factory) at Baseco 

The Phoenix project crew

The Phoenix project crew

L-R: Kaff-eine, Geric Cruz, Geloy Concepcion + Marti Salva, taken by a young Baseco resident after completing the charcoal sketches

Baseco boys draw, using Publito's uling

Baseco boys draw, using Publito's uling

Young residents living at the sea wall draw with charcoal made on-site by Tito Publito

Geloy + Geric

Geloy + Geric

Friends, artist/photographers + Phoenix collaborators Geloy Concepcion + Geric Cruz at Baseco Compound

Street-pool

Street-pool

Geric + Baseco resident Raiven play pool at Baseco's local 'pool hall' 

Making uling

Making uling

After days of careful smouldering, Publito + Lolita unearth their latest batch of uling (charcoal), expertly controlling oxygen levels + watering the smouldering charcoal to prevent ignition. Their other ulingan (charcoal factories) are visible in the background + to the left of the photo.

Sea-wall community

Sea-wall community

Young residents living near Baseco's sea wall pose together during the making of the Phoenix documentary

Merman at 'Baseco beach'

Merman at 'Baseco beach'

At the sea-wall, Baseco Compound 

Taking a break

Taking a break

The Phoenix production crew + helpers take a break while filming the Phoenix project documentary 

Basketballers at the sea wall

Basketballers at the sea wall

“Phoenix: a beautiful mythical creature which rises from the ashes of destruction”

From the ash and charcoal of Manila’s most impoverished dumpsite slums rises a striking exhibition by Kaff-eine, with friends Geloy Concepcion and Geric Cruz, featuring collaborations between Kaff-eine and Manila’s garbage-pickers and charcoal-makers. 

Kaff-eine combines her realist watercolour and charcoal portraits with the images and stories made on-site by the creative, resilient garbage-pickers and charcoal-makers from Baseco Compound and the Aroma Happyland slum. The collaborations were created with the charcoal made in these slums. These paintings are accompanied by Geric and Geloy’s photography from the area, and the Australian launch of the Phoenix documentary, which follows the intimate art-making process in the slums. 

Baseco Compound and Happyland are often described as dirty, dangerous, crime-ridden, violent and ‘godforsaken’, attracting little interest, empathy, or investment to make changes to the communities’ appalling circumstances. Phoenix invites audiences to step inside these confronting environments and recognise the nuance, pride and strength of the communities living in Manila’s literal wastelands.

Proceeds from the sale of collaborative artworks will be donated to established non-government organisations that directly support the communities in Aroma and Baseco. 

For information about the Phoenix artworks, contact Kaff-eine at kaff-eine.com

To follow Kaff-eine, Geloy and Geric's next project, go to cheeseagle.com.