Manila and Its Global DiscontentsEdited by Martin F. Manalansan IV, Robert Diaz, and Rolando B. Tolentino
Beauty and Brutality provides an exciting, original, and critical encounter with this labyrinthine city’s imagined and material landscape. The authors and contributors investigate the “messy, fleshy, recalcitrant, mercurial, and immeasurable qualities of the city,” examining Manila’s sensorial qualities, its representations in the visual and sonic arts, and digital technology, and its engagement with the legacies of colonialism and neoliberalism.
The first volume to offer a cultural and urban studies approach to Manila, Beauty and Brutality considers the tensions of the Filipino diaspora as they migrate and “re-turn,” as well as the citizens’ responses to the Marcos (and post-Marcos) dictatorship, President Duterte’s authoritarianism, and “Drug War.” Essays also map out geographies of repression and resistance in the struggles of classes, genders and sexualities, ethnicities and races, and generations.
Ultimately, Beauty and Brutality frames Manila as a vibrant and ever-evolving metropolis that, even in the face of its difficulties, instills hope and aspirations for a vital future.
Contributors: Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza, Christine Bacareza Balance, Vanessa Banta, Rosa Cordillera A. Castillo, Roland Sintos Coloma, Gary C. Devilles, Faith R. Kares, John B. Labella, Raffy Lerma, Bliss Cua Lim, Ferdinand M. Lopez, Paul Nadal, Jema M. Pamintuan, Oscar Tantoco Serquiña, Jr., Louise Jashil R. Sonido, and the editors.
“Beauty and Brutality is a carefully curated, original, and sophisticated collection of essays that explores Manila in all of its complexity, possibility, and potential. Readers will engage with Manila through multiple senses—from the snarl of traffic and the density of the city’s air to its stunning display of cultural forms of resistance and persistence amid national and transnational violence. Beauty and Brutality provides key historical and contextual information, serving as an invaluable orientation to the city, what it represents, and its significance both within the Philippines and abroad.”—Denise Cruz, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and author of Transpacific Femininities: The Making of the Modern Filipina
“Metro Manila has long served as one of the world’s poster cities for uneven and unequal development. These exhaustive studies in Beauty and Brutality explore the vast complexity and manifold contradictions of Manila as a space of dense inhabitation and a place of conflicting affections. The editors and contributors attend, with criticality and care, to the irrepressible desires and hopes of its citizens, inveterate survivors of Manila’s long history of beautification and brutalization by capitalists and colonizers. To such ‘beauty’ and ‘brutality,’ contributor Ferdinand Lopez adds ‘blood,’ with its paradoxical connotations of vitality, vigor, and violence. Bloody, not just beautiful and brutal, this incomparable city is, indeed!”—Oscar V. Campomanes, Professor of English at Ateneo de Manila University
"An essential anthology.... Beauty and Brutality presents an indispensable addition to the growing body of contemporary and historical works that seek to creatively document the fascinating shifts and spaces in a rapidly changing Manila."—Journal of Urban Affairs