Born 1981 Manila, the Philippines
Lives and works in
Bantayan Island, the Philippines and in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Born into a family of seafarers, Martha Atienza creates video, sound and installation works that explore the experience of being at sea and address histories of migration, labour, environmental degradation and identity. More than 400 000 Filipinos work on board some type of vessel, making them the largest group of seafaring people in the world. Atienza uses art as a tool for social change by working directly with the community of Madridejos on Bantayan Island, where her family is from, to address the problems this small fishing community faces due to poverty, environmental change, and the long absence of family members at sea. Atienza’s work, while based on specifically local concerns and culture, has global significance and highlights common issues shared across the more than 7000 islands of the Philippines.