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Description

Presenter: Althea Balmes

Notes

Video Recording

  • Komik (comics)
  • long history of komiks in the Philippines
  • many American influences on the comics
    • partially due to American GIs who came to the Philippines
    • made stories that by nature of the situation in the politics and economy of the Philippines, it has always been a political act — celebrating the culture and telling their stories but also criticising foreign powers
  • Kwentong Bayan: Labour of Love
    • literal translation: community stories
    • tell stories and have political awareness
    • tell stories about caregivers in a way that hasn't been told before
    • empowering caregiver workers in Canada
    • had to learn the ins and outs of the caregiver program
      • had to challenge assumptions and biases about the program and migrant workers
    • gathering of elders
      • meet with caregivers and allies who will provide support and guidance on how these stories are told
      • collaborate on stories being told through our lived experiences and perspectives
      • reciprocal relationships, invited to and participating in each other's events
      • it's not just about the subject or the researcher, but building a community with different types of people, also crossing intergenerational boundaries
      • learn about issues that matter to them and to the community and the reasons why they matter – and when we can, help out
    • workshops and clinics
      • workshop covered
        • why should they support refugees
        • why is their situation as migrant workers different from someone who is coming as a refugee
      • clinics
        • tax clinic
        • self defence class
          • in partnership with Combat Science: Warrior Arts of Asia
          • useful for caregivers who live with their employer and who's home/work becomes a dangerous place
      • lots of power in learning about how they build community
    • Advocacy and Leadership training at George Brown
      • for caregivers
      • helping caregivers transition to another job/career
      • caregivers have a hard time getting education or getting Canadian credentials
      • practical and theoretical curriculum
    • Community presentations
      • fun community events
        • June 12 is Philippine independence day
          • takes place in Earl Bales Park
          • one activity is street theatre where they'll put on a skit that covers an issue that a caregivers may face
            • e.g. a caregiver who paid an agency to come to Canada but had no job when they came
      • Marching in the Pride parade
      • Labour+Love: A Celebration of Caregivers
        • provided another opportunity for caregivers to perform their street theatre to cover issues they face
    • learning community history to tell the stories in the comics
      • learn the stories, reflect, and collaborate on them
      • understand that they aren't from the caregivers perspectives, but from the perspective of someone who has inside and outside perspectives about the caregiver program and the Filipino community
      • weave facts into narrative and reflect on the consequences of leaving the country
      • have learned a lot of history about caregivers in canada. This is shared through their comics.
      • One of the their comics on the history of caregivers was turned into wall murals displayed at various galleries
    • poster included in http://graphichistorycollective.com/projects/remember-resist-redraw
    • Contributed to "Drawn to Change Graphic Histories of Working-Class Struggles"
    • Balakbayan exhibit at the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre in Hamilton
      • https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/kwentongbalikbayan/
      • also providing workshops for caregivers
      • there's always a community engagement presentation or aspect to it
      • at A Space Gallery, it became a community hub for those who wanted to use the space to hold their own events during the reception
    • Part of her job as an illustrator is to show all the emotions that one would feel as the mother/caregiver or her child, and to represent all of the different actors in these stories
    • Part of their work as storytelling is not judging people of their privilege, and sometimes it is hard to not have a moralistic story being told; there has to be a holistic understanding of the community
    • Main work is to celebrate this Filipino-Canadian culture because of their situation here, that different things can happen in a racialised community but talk about why that happens with compassion and empathy; it is not just about statistis or the difficulties or struggles that the individual characters face, it's about everything else about it that influences it
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