Resilient Cities

Manila: Creating In Spite of Fear

Manila, a giant Asian metropolis with traffic-laden roads, towering skyscrapers and sprawling informal settlements, has become a dangerous place. Rodrigo Duterte was elected president of the Philippines in June 2016, vowing to crack down on the drug trade. Since then, extrajudicial killings have led to the deaths of over 3500 people by vigilantes; his approach is reminiscent of the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled from 1965 to 1986. In this climate of terror, artists find ways to create and survive, at times adopting subtle artistic techniques to address the political realities facing the country. In this episode, we see: Russ Ligtas, a performance artist using alter egos to channel social concerns; Christina Dy, a pole-dancer challenging mainstream taboos on women’s sexuality; Patrick Cruz, a Canadian-Filipino painter and sculptor seeking to bridge identities; Marlon "Loonie" Peroramas, a renowned battle rapper with politically charged word rhymes; and Nikki Luna, a visual artist whose provocative work challenges notions of femininity. All are struggling to survive and to continue engaging with the residents of Manila as they face an increasingly uncertain future.

Available until

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Mexico City: Artists Breaking Apathy

Mexico City, a massive, sprawling metropolis and home to over 21 million inhabitants, is the capital of a country that has become notorious for drug-­‐related violence. The ‘drug war’ as it is widely known, officially launched in 2006, had initially the support of communities who were tired of gun battles, execution-­style murders and police corruption.

Nairobi: Art Disrupting Corruption

In Nairobi, a political cartoonist, a hip-­hop drummer queen, a filmmaker and a disabled contemporary dancer challenge the corruption of an ossified political class.

Jakarta: Art Defying Moral Conservatism

In Jakarta, a feminist singer, a visual artist, a transgender performance artist and the country’s first female Muslim stand-­‐ up comedian, all struggle to preserve the increasingly restrictive space for free expression.

Chicago: Artists Fighting Segregation

In Chicago, a poet/rapper, a mural artist, an actor/writer and a footwork dance crew empower their communities to fight the city’s segregation problem.

Karachi: Creating Art Amid Terror

In Karachi, an illustrator, a graffiti artist, a video artist and an underground rap group defiantly persist in reclaiming their city despite the ongoing terror.