Fire Notes 01 — 06.06.2020
Green Papaya's archives are a community's archives. Our collection is not just confined to memories within Papaya's lifetime, some date much older. This wasn't always so deliberate; it happened organically as our practice and interest encouraged it, and friends sometimes shared or forgot materials with us.
Before VIVA ExCon Iloilo in November 2016, Merv Espina and Lesley-Anne Cao started working on Roxlee's archives with David Teh and Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin for the MISFITS exhibition in 2017. Had the Iloilo vote to host VIVA ExCon 2018 not gone to Capiz (Peewee's province), Papaya might have focused on a project with Rox's journals and comics from the '80s-'90s.
Rox's comics range from the stuff he published with the iconic Jingle Magazine in the late '70s, indie zines ca. '80s and '90s, and to drafts from the early '00s that didn't make it into his book Cesar Asar in the Planet of the Noses that Khavn published in 2008.
Rox's archives are veterans of the 2009 Typhoon Ondoy as floods reached the 2nd floor of the home he shared with his brother Romeo. Since Rox's archives were scant, we had to source from other friends. Through this act of borrowing, we inadvertently saved some copies of Maghiar Tuason and Jing Garcia's Red Racket--the fanzine for Red Rocks, later known as the legendary Club Dredd--from a fire that nearly ravaged Maghiar's house.
The fire that razed Papaya and Catch272 last June 3 decimated the backroom where we stored a lot of Rox's stuff along with various artworks and archival objects. Some got charred beyond recognition, others barely made it.
While sorting through the surviving materials, we were happy to discover that some of Rox's and Maghiar's materials were intact. Narrowly escaping fire and flood, calamity seems to be following them. Or they're just very lucky.