A still from "Our Islands, 11°16`58.4" 123°45`07.0"E" (2017) by Martha Atienza, which debuted at Art Basel 2017.
Dutch-Filipino artist Martha Atienza's work uses art to address social change and development. Her recent work focuses on the relationship between the sea and island communities.
Atienza collaborated with the community on Bantayan Island to create "My Navel is Buried in the Sea". The project won 2012's Ateneo Art Award.
"My Navel is Buried in the Sea" (2011) is a three-paneled video which began with Atienza filming compressor divers. "Compressor diving is a dangerous way to make a living," she says. "Makeshift equipment is used to dive to extreme depths. It is a result of extreme damage to the sea by man and nature. Men must go deep to make a catch."
In "My Navel is Buried in the Sea" (2011) divers breathe through plastic hoses pumped with air from an industrial low-pressure air compressor. The air runs through a bottle of Sprite to improve the taste.
"My Navel is Buried in the Sea" (2011) documents how the sea is a source of life for the people and wildlife around it.
Since 2010, Martha Atienza has shot footage of the traditional Ati-Atihan Festival in her hometown on Bantayan Island. The annual feast takes place across the Philippines in honor of Santo Niño, the infant Jesus.
In Martha Atienza's hometown, the Ati-Atihan Festival offers a chance for the island's inhabitants to address their problems through humor and creativity.
Young girls in pageant gowns participate in the Ati-Atihan Festival in Bantayan Island. The parade is held every year at the end of January.
In the Ati-Atihan Festival, the image of Santo Niño (the infant Jesus) is the central figure. The Santo Niño is dressed in various costumes and regalia.