The Philippines is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for human rights defenders. Women activists are frequently targeted for their participation in resistance struggles, and as of May 2018, seventeen women defenders have been killed since the current president, Rodrigo Duterte, rose to power in 2016.
In this “Beneath the Surface” installment, we meet the women who lead the anti-mining resistance movement in the Cordillera region of the Philippines. For decades, these women have risked their lives to protect their homes and ways of life. To sustain their struggle over time, female leaders pass their knowledge and experience on to the younger generation, who learn about the struggles of their elders through performance and storytelling. Young and old are united as they protest the use of force against them, and as they dedicate their lives to educating other communities.