cemetery photography in Manila

I wanted to share the beautiful work of Hungarian-born photographer Roland Nagy.

Living in the Cemetery is a fantastic piece of visual anthropology. About this collection of photos, he writes:

“Metro Manila  has a population of around 11 million. Manila ranks as the world’s eleventh largest metropolitan area and the fifth largest urban area by population. It is also ranked as one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

This dense population has made some families find some alternative place to live. Accordingly, data shows that there are around 2.7million residents who live in slums or informal settlements such as along the railroad, within dumpsites, inside cemeteries, among others.

A significant number of these informal settlers live inside a cemetery among which is the Manila North Cemetery. It is the largest and oldest public cemetery in the Manila. This place for the dead is inhabited by more than 3,000 living persons who have made their homes amongst the graves and mausoleums.

People have lived there for generations in the cemetery with their great grandparents initially working to maintain the mausoleums of the rich families of the city.

Nowadays, the inhabitants are also immigrants from nearby provinces who went to Manila in search of job opportunities.  Most earn their living taking care of tombs and mausoleums and have managed to build a small community where they have shops, raise their children, and keep their animals such as pigeons and chicken.”

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