Youth of the Nation Within / Seeds of Insurgency (2018 – )
‘Youth of the Nation Within’ is a long-term personal project which explores and visualizes the role of identity admist the lure of militancy among Filipino-Muslim youth in Mindanao, Southern Philippines.
40 years of a bloody armed struggle against the Philippine government itself, preceded by 400 years fending off colonizers, have given birth to a generation of deeply patriotic yet fragile and vulnerable youth. A deep sense of patriotism for the Bangsamoro – the term coined to describe their identity and homeland in Southern Philippines – emanates vividly in the way young Filipino-Muslims decide paths for their future. This very same patriotism, compounded with frustration brought by historical injustices and poor governance they have gone through as a people, is what violent extremists like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) capitalize on to widen foothold in Mindanao.