Her work is deeply affected by her experience of injustice, political and military brutality and violence. Not only as an artist, Dalena is primarily concerned with issues of unfreedom and social injustice in the Philippines. Among her best-known works are Erased Slogans, a series of photographs from the Manila protests against the Marcos regime in the 1970s, from which Dalena removed the signs on the protesters' banners. The empty banners symbolize not only the silencing of dissent, but also the omnipresence of injustice and protest in time and space. At the same time, according to Dalena, "blank placards offer a silence that is necessary for reflection." At this year's Documenta in Kassel, Germany, she exhibited works reflecting on Duterte's war on drugs and the daily realities of food shortages during the lockdown that lasted 18 months in the Philippines.
Artist, documentary filmmaker and human rights activist