HABI: Weaving Stories of Migrant Labour and Indigenous Resurgence
June 1 - June 29
Exhibition Dates: June 1 – 29, 2019
Opening Reception: June 1, 2019 | 1-4 pm
Referencing the history of gendered labour in the Small Arms Inspection Building, Kwentong Bayan’s exhibition and month-long programming series continues the collective’s ongoing project of working with caregivers, advocates and community allies, to capture the real life stories of Filipinx migrant caregivers.
In the Filipino language, “habi” means “weave”; the method or pattern of weaving; the process by which something is kept together to construct into a whole.
Kwentong Bayan is a collective of two Toronto-based artists, Althea Balmes and Jo SiMalaya Alcampo. Their artistic mandate is to explore a critical and intersectional approach to community-based art, labour, and education.
Kwentong Bayan Collective have completed artist residencies with Art City St. James Town, SOY’s Art & Mentorship Program for LGBTQ2S* Spectrum Youth, and the Artists in the Library Program at the Toronto Public Library. Kwentong Bayan has organized self-defense workshops for Live-in Caregivers that promote personal safety in their home and workplace in partnership with Guro JB Ramos of Combat Science: Warrior Arts of Asia.
Althea and Jo are currently developing the comic book, Kwentong Bayan: Labour of Love in collaboration with migrant caregivers, who work in Canada under the Caregiver Program (formerly known as the Live-in Caregiver Program). Excerpts have been published in The Peak, Our Times, Briarpatch, and Ricepaper Magazine 19.4 on Asian and Asian Canadian activism, and featured in the Imaginings Project: Comics and the Anthropological Imagination curated by the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography.