Sitio Damayan a place the locals call “Smokey Mountain”. It was named after the thick, white soot that filled the air. There was a highly compacted muddy road condensed with huts on each of side of it, leading me to a community of huts made with abandoned materials. The people of Smokey Mountain have been forced to live around the dump site to search through trash to find recyclables as a means of income. Surrounding the homes were a large row of charcoal shanties, where these men, women and children from the age of six worked 24 hours a day. These huts had no foundation and could have collapsed at any time. The smoke from the charcoal billowed into the air, leaving a burning sensation in the back of my throat from which I could only describe as acrid. The children did not know anything more than this isolated place of poverty. They try to live a normal childhood, playing in the waters that flowed next to a shipping harbor.
Chris Rusanowsky b.1990 in Killeen, Tx started photography when he moved with his mother and sister out to California in the early 90`s. Growing up Chris's grandmother gave him his first camera, she would later take him on trips to channel islands in California to photograph their adventures. Chris began to pursue photography as a profession in his teenage years working as a portrait photographer for his local community. Traveling each year to different states and countries cemented Chris to pursue a different approach in his work as an artist. Photojournalism gave Chris the necessary tools to reflect on the world around him and to share the stories and people he had encounter. In February of 2012, Chris reported on his first humanitarian project about Filipino Children living in poverty in Manila, Philippines. His work has been published in a number of online publications and has been showed in 3 solo exhibits. Chris believes that photography plays a major role in our lives, that a single picture captures our exists as a culture and species. Striving everyday, Chris creates images to show a truthful visuals of our lives as people.