General Anthropology Division
Group Flash Presentation Session
When mothers leave their homes in the Philippines to perform domestic work abroad, what kind of gaps in care do children register and fill in the meantime? How is the work of these young people invisibilized in ways that are like and unlike the domestic work of their mothers? How can youths’ engagement with multimodal ethnographic methodologies bring their unseen labor to the foreground, making visible how they work on the margins of capitalism to maintain their families in difficult times? Inspired by the photography, poetry, and prose of Filipina/o-Canadian youth research participants, this flash presentation explores the interruptions and continuums of care in their transnational families. It centers the perspectives of youths who lived apart from and later reunited with their migrant mothers. In the meantime, these young people took up new responsibilities in their mother-away homes as they cared for themselves, their siblings, and their parents in novel and dynamic ways. Through ethnographic and participatory methods, they later captured their efforts and struggles in images and text to make them known. Their stories reveal what I call tender labor that reflects their dedication, pain, agency, and hope surrounding their determination and their family members’ dreams to collectively build a better life.