This is part of a series of pictures of my stay in Miarayon, Bukidnon, Mindanao with the Tala-andig people: Miarayon and the Tala-andig
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The military have been present in the area for a few months now. Beyond problems with economy, education, gambling, and culture there is also the question of security.
The area was designated tribal land in 2003, but this doesn't mean that outside forces don't want pieces for themselves. In April last year there was an incursion by people claiming to have land rights. That escalated into an armed conflict involving knives and single shot arms on one side, vs automatic weapons and mortars on the other. Miarayon Centro was evacuated displacing over a thousand.
When it went to the courts hostilities relaxed and the outsiders left the area pending court action. In mid-March this year they won a temporary restraining order against the tribe coming into the disputed land (though land ownership has yet to be decided). They are expected to return to the area any day.
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About these soldiers though. This was taken at one of the two local kareoke joints where they were enjoying a brew or two. Nice guys (albeit nice guys with loaded guns). They offered to share drinks with me and we chatted about their previous missions throughout the country. They liked their current assignment here because it was quiet and uneventful.
Critiques | Translate
annagrace (2467) 2005-04-28 22:03
Kind of a moody, dark picture. It's strange to see the women going about their business walking by the soldiers with guns. A good subject for black and white.
Aazragi (1927) 2005-04-28 22:40
Nice shot, looks great in b&w. well done.
Galeota (10338) 2005-04-29 0:35
This scene reminds me of one I once saw in vietnam, where they'd put several military with loaded guns "securing" a playground for children. The problem is that instead of feeling safe we rather feel uncomfortable with their presence. Well seen and I like their position in the frame, which lead our attention to the children in the background.
AnimeshRay (9083) 2005-04-29 0:56
This is classic journalism! The two girls' relaxed pose contrast sharply with the stiff menace of the headless-faceless guards. The half-open fence is a very strong graphic element, as is the view through it. Great depth and wonderful tone. Great image.
efimoore (2126) 2005-04-29 2:34
Overall Strong picture.
Well, never seen soldiers on duty barefoot / with shorts. Good dynamics in the shot, I keep looking at the gun pointing to the left soldier sandal, then to the open gate, to the girls and back again.
I agree with Gal there is some uncomfortable felling about this picture. The fact that you need armed man to watch over civilians as a regular daily routine is disturbing. Sure the girls feel much safer having them around, but for an outside viewer the question comes why they are in this situation in the first place. The sad fact is that this is the situation in many places around the world – and that is what makes it so disturbing.
gringofil (0) 2005-04-29 9:51
Excellent photojournalism. If you had presented this shot without a comment I would assume this was taken in the middle of a war zone somewhere in South East Asia. Your composition is just amazing with the two sildiers flanking each side of the frame (and the two girls in the middle of it all). Your tones are just excellent as well. Nothing to nit pick here, Alex. One of your best B&W images from the Phils. Good work.
- Copyright: alex felipe (RandomCameraGuy) (3069)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Black & White
- Date Taken: 2005-03-24
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Canon 20D, Canon EF-S 10 - 22 mm F3.5 - F4.5
- Exposure: f/4, 1/60 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Miarayon and the Tala-andig [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2005-04-28 21:35