It’s one thing to capture a thing of beauty. It’s a completely different thing to capture it as markings to the beginnings of ends. As the world battles conservation on two fronts -- the loss of the natural world as we know it and the loss of facts as universal truths -- images become even more essential to put real issues back into focus.
This not only holds true in the act of documentation -- capturing the beauty and demise of nature as is, but also in capturing the sense of what is missing, and what will be left. For decades, Filipino photographers and visual artists alike have derived inspiration from landscapes, wildlife, and nature. From the pastoral artworks of National Artist Fernando Amorsolo to the Filipino New Wave photos of fellow National Artist Kidlat Tahimik (“Silent Lightning”), images have maximized what the planet has always given.
It’s only of late (call it a supply-demand fit) that these tried-and-true artforms have taken on a new mission: to preserve and promote what were ordinarily commonplace decades ago. Mountains without highways. Virgin beaches without commercial shacks. Bioluminescence on clear water. Dragonflies on lichen-laden trees. Wild hawks flying up on an unpolluted sky.
This we know: you can’t save what you can’t see. In order to return to the natural, we need to put an eye on them. At Atlas, we believe photographers and visual artists from all spectrums -- from painters to sculptors, installation makers to graffiti activists -- have the power to augment a better reality. Serving as social commentaries, each interpretation also becomes, as photographer Aaron Palabyab puts it, “a meditation on the forces that move our planet.” We call them our Atlas Vanguards -- a group of creatives leading the way in new developments or ideas for the home planet.
If you are a photographer, videographer, artist, creative professional, or anywhere in between, we want to hear from you. We offer microgrants for projects or pieces you might want to publish on our platform. Send us a message. It’s time to visualize a new reality.