Phil America: Slum Vacation by PhilAmerica published on 2013/11/10 18:47:55 +0000 Slum Vacation is a performance project by American artist Phil America, in which he moved to Thailand’s largest marginal settlement area (slum) and had a home built to match the local architecture of the local homes by a carpenter who works on the active train tracks. He lived for one month and tried to integrate himself into the local community, to bring both local and global awareness to the 1⁄3 of the world’s urban population living in slums. Khlong Toey, one of the largest slums in Asia, is located in a central district of Bangkok with an estimated population of 120,000 inhabitants. It also houses the Bangkok University International College and its Art Gallery in which Phil America’s home is displayed alongside a sound and video installation. The sound and lighting is adjusted to match the ambiance of an evening setting in the slum in the most dangerous, mafia-controlled area, where Phil’s home was situated during his stay. The works aims at bringing about some engagement, exceeding the exhibition, with the neighborhood and its inhabitants and takes on an ongoing dialogue on social cohesion. Through a partnership with Mercy Centre, an organization in Khlong Toey operating schools for slum children as well as protecting their rights and giving them shelter, the work aims to bring attention to a side of the world long since ignored. The 30 second audio clip is a brief moment in time in the Mercy Center during a busy day, sitting along side its founder Father Joe.