Having spent her years as the First Lady of the Philippines on a heady monopolistic rampage, buying up European jewellery shops and iconic New York skyscrapers, Imelda Marcos is looking for a way to regain political control.
As first lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos earned a reputation for opulence, filling palaces with art and famously owning more than 3000 pairs of shoes. Nearing 90, she is determined to restore her family name and is supporting her son’s campaign for vice-president.
Many Filipinos clearly love Marcos – and the bank notes she regally dispenses from the back of her limousine. But the scars of the Marcos era run deep. Not only can you see them on the island where she imported and then abandoned a private zoo, but they are also vivid amongst activists who endured eight years of martial law, brutally imposed by President Marcos.
With the election of ally Rodrigo Duterte, Marcos’ dreams of a comeback might come true, in a story which reflects all too well the impulses driving today’s rise in global authoritarianism.