To help spread a heightened awareness and insight into the experiences of Filipinos who work under Canada’s Live-in Caregiver Program, one of the streams of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program, Toronto-based artists Althea Balmes and Jo SiMalaya Alcampo are seeking to make an independent, community-engaged comic book in collaboration with these faces. I had a conversation with them this past May to learn more about their project Kwentong Bayan: Labour of Love.
Top image - The comic "Kwentong Bayan" will document the lives of Filipino live-in caregivers in Canada, and talk about how they're resisting the exploitative structure of the Live-in Caregiver Program and creating community while all of these struggles are going on. Illustration by Althea Balmes, "Kwentong Bayan: Labour of Love". www.lcpcomicbook.com
Bottom image - Some of the women who work as caregivers that Althea and Jo collaborated with for the grassroots arts project, "Kwentong Bayan". Taken at Althea and Jo’s Mayworks event this year at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Photo credit: Arturo Herrera