Hannah Reyes Morales

Roots from Ashes

"Malaya Lolas," or "Free Grandmothers," are a group of survivors of mass rape in the Philippines that happened during the Second World War. Seven decades later, the surviving women remain in the same vicinity of the house where they were held and repeatedly assaulted. Though the majority of women who formed the group have now passed away, those who are alive still seek reparations from the Japanese government.

Marta poses for a photograph with her husband Apolinar in their home in Pampanga, Philippines. She describes her husband's support as instrumental to her healing.

Juvita holds a dragonfly before letting it go again in her home in Pampanga, Philippines.

Sisters Emilia and Lita walk to the remains of the house where they were assaulted by Japanese soldiers more than seven decades ago. After the assault, their family became caretakers of the home for a time period. Here they are seen going back, and they often go to take fruit from the house.

Emilia sits on a swing outside her home in Pampanga, Philippines.


See more work by 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass participants here