martin san diego
filipino documentary photographer

Youth of the Nation Within / Seeds of Insurgency (2018 – )

Youth of the Nation Within is an ongoing personal project that explores and visualizes the role of identity among Filipino-Muslim youth in Mindanao, Southern Philippines, amid years of armed conflict and the lingering shadow of militancy.

400 years of resisting colonizers followed by 40 years of an armed struggle against the Philippine government itself, have given birth to a generation of youth slowly rising to take their place in the world.

Despite carrying trauma from several years of conflict, these young Moros continue to work tirelessly for others, dedicating themselves wholeheartedly for their nation.

A deep sense of patriotism for the Bangsamoro — the term coined for their identity and homeland in Mindanao — emanates vividly in the way they speak about and work on advocacies they believe in. Unfortunately, the same patriotism — compounded with a shared frustration for historical injustices done onto their people — is being capitalized on by violent extremists like Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to widen foothold in the region.

Through intimate portraits and conversations taken over the course of several years, Youth of the Nation Within documents the lives of the Moro youth, and investigates the invisible forces, be in it in militancy or diplomacy, that continue to shape their future.

Publications: | Seeds of insurgency: The youth of Marawi | A new jihad: Helping Marawi | The Doctor Healing the Wounds of War in Basilan
GRID Magazine | What we Talk About When We Talk About Mindanao
The Wildcast | Martin San Diego: Telling the Stories of Moro Philippines

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