Radio — Community comics with, about and for migrant domestic workers

On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, Althea Balmes and Jo SiMalaya Alcampo — artists, writers, community organizers — talk about their work on Kwentong Bayan: Labour of Love, a community comic book made in collaboration with Filipina migrant workers in the Live-in Caregiver Program.

The Live-in Caregiver Program is one of a number of federal programs that significantly restrict the rights of certain workers in Canada on the basis of citizenship. It is a program designed to meet the childcare and domestic labour needs of some middle-class and wealthy Canadian families through granting restrictive, temporary permits to non-Canadian women — mostly women of colour, many in recent years from the Philipines — to do that labour. Over the years, women in the Live-in Caregiver Program have demonstrated amazing capacity to survive and thrive in the face of difficult conditions, and with their allies have waged important struggles to make their circumstances more just. Important victories have included winning a path to landed immigrant status and ultimately citizenship under limited conditions. Nonetheless, the program retains many unjust features, and struggle by the workers and their supporters is ongoing. Balmes and Alcampo talk about their long process of listening and dialogue with Live-in Caregivers and advocates, and their work to produce an account that will be accessible, focused on the lived experiences of women in the Live-in Caregive Program, grounded in the agency and resilience of the women, and useful to them as a resource.

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To learn more about Kwentong Bayan: Labour of Love, click here.

Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada through in-depth interviews that concentrate not on current events or the crisis of the moment, but on giving people involved in a broad range of social change work a chance to take a longer view as they talk about what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. To learn more about the show in general, click here.

You can also learn more about ways to listen or go to the show’s page on rabble.ca. To learn more about suggesting grassroots groups and organizations for future shows, click here. For details on the show’s theme music, click here.

Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.

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