Digital Sex Crimes in Asia
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
Art Direction, Editorial Illustration
Illustrations for a series of reports on worsening crime amidst the pandemic.
I decided to use predators as a visual metaphor for these illustrations. The visual style adds a thoughtful layer to an already harrowing subject.
This series is in collaboration with ABS-CBN News, South China Morning Post, The Korea Times, and TEMPO Media, as part of Asian Stories via Judith Neilson Institute.
Online sexual exploitation of children surged during the pandemic
I love wolves. Unfortunately, they tend to get a bad rap, and they evoke such strong emotions–one of my early references for this project was Little Red Riding Hood. Wolves are endangered, so I took measures to make the predators in this image look more like horror-movie werewolves than actual wolves.
End-to-end encryption and VPNs make it harder to fight online sexual abuse of young girls
Scorpions are predators, too. I initially used only one scorpion to represent a venomous and vindictive individual, but we decided on a nest of them to show the concept of pinagpiyestahan–the wholesale, nonconsensual sharing of someone’s images among a large group.
kids in secret rooms
I used donkeys, who are infamous for their stubbornness. Here, they represent the lack of cooperation among agencies who have pledged to stop online sexual crimes. (I learned that donkeys aren’t really stubborn. They just have a strong instinct for self-preservation, which means that if they feel you’re overworking them, they will not budge. I think that reading works just as well here, as these agencies could be putting themselves first.)
‘The whole internet can be a watchdog’
The use of the muzzle drives home their beastliness.