Photo by Hannah Reyes Morales @hannahreyesmorales |
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Marta, a survivor of assault, sits with her husband, Apolinar, in their home. Marta describes Apolinar’s support as instrumental to her healing.
Marta is part of the Malaya Lolas, a group of grandmothers in the Philippines who were collectively assaulted more than seven decades ago in a mass rape during the Second World War. In the absence of working structures to seek support and reparations, they came together, formed friendships, and rebuilt their town, which was reduced to ashes. "We aren’t strong enough to protest in the streets anymore," one of the grandmothers told me. "But we want to tell our story." I worked on this story more than a decade after my own grandmother told me about her trauma from the war. She cannot form sentences anymore, but it felt necessary to try to recall what she wanted to impart. These grandmothers—and my own—showed me that the stories we are told are living histories that we all have a part to play in writing.
To see more from this project, "Roots From Ashes," follow me @hannahreyesmorales.
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