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Kwentong Bayan: BALIKBAYAN

January 24 - April 21

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  • KBC_photo credit_Toni Hafkenscheid

Join us for our Winter 2018 exhibition, BALIKBAYAN by the Kwentong Bayan Collective (Jo SiMalaya Alcampo and Althea Balmes).

Opens January 24th, 2018. Join us for the opening reception on Friday, February 9th, 7 – 9 pm; artists will be in attendance.

The exhibition BALIKBAYAN features a visual timeline of the 150+ year history of caregiving in Canada by racialized women, and Balikbayan boxes that contain migration and labour stories.

In the Filipino language, “balik” means “to return” and “bayan” can mean “country, place, home, or town”.

Since the 70’s, the labour export policy of the Philippine government has forced Overseas Filipino Workers to work abroad to provide for their families. An average of 6,000 workers leave the Philippines each day. One way they maintain a connection with their loved ones is to send home balikbayan boxes home packed with items that symbolize their labour and care.

BALIKBAYAN will transform WAHC into a gathering place to listen to migrant worker stories. In a series of gatherings, workers from Hamilton and Toronto will participate in a healing soup circle, create storytelling wearables, and plant native seeds. At each gathering, folks can create their own pasalubong (gifts) to take home and share with others.

This exhibition will be accompanied by an exhibition essay by feminist and trade union activist Zenee Maceda.

Visit our website, Twitter and Facebook pages for updates on program offerings presented alongside BALIKBAYAN over our winter season, including two PA Day camps, a comic jam for ages 12 and up and much more.

About the Kwentong Bayan Collective:

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.

Althea Balmes is an artist-educator rooted in community work. She uses her strong connection to her culture and her place as a diasporic Canadian woman of colour to inspire her work and as a way to connect to others. Althea is pursuing a Master of Information degree in User Experience Design at the University of Toronto.

Jo SiMalaya Alcampo is an interdisciplinary artist whose art practice includes community storytelling, interactive installations, and electroacoustic soundscapes. Jo volunteers with Caregiver Connections, Education and Support Organization (CCESO) – an organization that support migrant caregivers and is a member of the Kapwa Collective – a mutual support group of Filipinx Canadian artists, critical thinkers, and healers bridging narratives between the Indigenous and the Diasporic.

For more information about this exhibition and its auxiliary programming, contact Tara Bursey, Program Coordinator, Workers Arts & Heritage Centre at (905) 522-3003 ex. 29 or tara@wahc-museum.ca.

This exhibition and its auxiliary programs are generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Hamilton Community Foundation.

51 Stuart Street, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8L 1B5       905.522.3003       Public Hours: Wed to SAT > 10am—4pm