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Nuit Blanche – Our Voices: A Portrait Series

Saturday, October 3, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - Sunday, October 4, 2015 @ 7:00 am

| Free

Multimedia Art Installation portraying Filipino Canadians’ plight in building a home in Canada as part of Nuit Blanche 2015

Presented by The Philippine Women Centre of Ontario and The Magkaisa Centre

The Magkaisa Centre is proud to announce its’ “Our Voices: A Portrait Series” project in the internationally renowned arts festival, Nuit Blanche, 2015.

As part of the Magkaisa Centre’s annual arts & cultural program and continuation of the Maleta [Suitcase] Project (also featured in Nuit Blanche, 2011), “Our Voices” is spearheaded by the Philippine Women Centre of Ontario (PWC-ON), in collaboration with the Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance of Ontario (FCYA-ON) and SIKLAB Ontario, and was first launched in an exhibit that ran from May 31st to June 1st, 2014 also held at Beit Zatoun. Through a series of educational workshops on the Filipino Canadian community’s history of migration and capacity-building tutorials on art production, the culminating art exhibit was collectively produced by members of the community with the aim of showing the intimate yet social realities of Filipino Canadian youth, women and workers in Toronto.

The second installment of the exhibit revisits and deepens the themes of migration steeped in the lived-experiences and stories of Filipino Canadian women, young workers and working-class families’ ongoing challenges of successfully building a home in Canada. As the third largest and one of the fastest growing immigrant communities in Canada, the Filipino Canadian community has been faced with a collective experience of systemic racism, economic marginalization, and social exclusion that shape and inform their current realities. Due to these factors, the Filipino Canadian community’s political, cultural, social and economic participation in the broader Canadian society have gravely been hindered and hidden.

“The collective struggles of the Filipino Canadian community, as an essential facet of the working class in Canada, brings to the fore a number of long-standing issues. For instance, Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s refusal to recognize the educational accreditation of Filipino professionals has resulted in their systematic deskilling and exploitation” says Karina Francisco, a member of the PWC-ON and FCYA-ON. This has only worsened with the April 2015 expansion of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program’s so-called “4-in 4-out” rule and the changes made to the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP), now known as the Caregiver Program (CP), in December 2014. “These programs have relegated Filipinos (especially Filipina women) into low-wage, temporary, and contractual jobs which are often unsafe and lead to instability and insecurity. We see these changes as representing the persistence of systemic marginalization for Filipino Canadians as racialized workers”, Francisco adds.

Through the Magkaisa Centre’s “Our Voices” exhibit, community members express the struggles of Filipino Canadians using the arts and culture as an educational tool to candidly expose the role of immigration and labour policies in creating barriers for the genuine settlement, successful development and full participation of Filipino Canadians as part of the broader Canadian society. As a community-based arts project, “Our voices” captures the story of a community that actively engages in addressing its’ marginalization with the aim of shaping its’ future in Canada. From challenging the imposition of temporary immigration and precarious labour policies on our community, to asserting our rights for quality education, healthcare, housing and secure and stable livelihoods, “Our Voices” portrays resistance art that is expressive of social justice geared towards social transformation.

Need to know:
– Doors open at 6:50
– Free
– Accessible on demand via portable ramp; washrooms not accessible
– Please avoid using strong-scented products due to sensitivities