Matthew Miller
Jan 15, 2015

BBDO Guerrero recreates Philippines massacre site to fight apathy

PHILIPPINES - A haunting installation of newspaper-clad 'bodies' recently recreated the scene of a politically motivated mass murder in order to ask the public to '#keepthestoryalive'.

BBDO Guerrero recreates Philippines massacre site to fight apathy

Client: National Union of Journalists of the Philippines

Agency: BBDO Guerrero 

Market: Philippines

Campaign scope: The agency built a sculptural installation commemorating the five-year anniversary of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, where 58 people, including 34 journalists, were murdered and buried in a mass grave. To date, 84 suspects remain at large, four witnesses have been murdered, and zero convictions have been made, while the media is banned from covering the trial, according to BBDO Guerrero. 

Held in Quezon City on 23 November (the date of the massacre), the installation drew attention from members of the local and foreign press, representatives of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and the International Federation of Journalists, as well as family members of the massacre victims. The hashtag #keepthestoryalive gathered reactions.

Press release quote: David Guerrero, chairman and chief creative officer, BBDO Guerrero: "Recent events have brought home just how serious this issue has become. And for the NUJP the need to defend press freedom from violent attacks on journalists has never been more urgent. We are proud to be able to help them in any way we can."

Campaign Asia-Pacific's comments: Even photos of the installation make the horrifying event seem more tangible, so we can only guess how powerful it was in real life. The use of newspaper, according to artist Leeroy New, was meant not only to refer to the journalists' work but also to evoke the transience of news—exactly the factor the initiative aims to counteract.  

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