about the poster:
This poster evolved out of conversations and stories unfolding along Bathurst Street, an important landmark for the Filipino community and the people who now call this part of the city their home. The Filipino community is comprised of mostly working class immigrants, professionals and their growing family. These men and women came to Canada invited by the government to work in health care and a diverse range of fields. They accepted hoping to take advantage of what Canada's offered them, a better life.
But immigration stories of working class struggles are never that simple.
The invitation sugar coats the systemic barriers immigrant workers face once they come to the country. The requirement of “Canadian experience” in order to practice in the field of their choice or simply to land their first job is not a way to acclimate immigrants in their new home but deter them from achieving what Canada had promised them. It is a discriminatory double standard that creates second class citizenship and animosity in the work place and on the streets.
about the artist:
Althea Balmes is a Filipino-Canadian Multidisciplinary Visual Storyteller and Artist-Educator in the Community. Her work is informed by her Filipino heritage, her place as a diasporic woman of colour, labour, migration, anthropology, and cultural studies. She is currently working on the community based comic book project, Kwentong Bayan: Labour of Love. Visit www.altheabalmes.com to see more of her work.