Each installation in the DIALOGUES series brings together a selection of artists, writers, and scholars for a sustained, thematically-driven conversation. Taking place over an extended period and moving between email, Facebook messaging, and other electronic forms of communication, the interlocutors bring their academic, artistic, and personal knowledges to bear on questions and dynamics relevant to the Philippines, the Filipino diaspora, the arts and literature, and beyond. 

ISSN 2328-9074

Filipino Workers in the Middle East: Frictive Histories and the Possibilities of Solidarity

The next installation of the DIALOGUES series, Filipino Workers in the Middle East brings together the anthropologist Nadine Naber and literary critic Allan Punzalan Isaac to talk about the many ways in which Filipinos as caregivers have become part of the national family throughout the Middle East. As Naber’s experiences with Filipino nannies on the cusp of the Arab Spring and Isaac’s analysis of the Israeli documentary Paper Dolls reveal, Filipinos’ incorporation into the family is frequently ambivalent and always strategic. Drawing on the work of anthropologist Martin Manalansan, they consider how “frictive histories”—the distinct histories and experiences that trail migratory bodies into sometimes uncomfortable contact—mediate and complicate the possibilities for worker solidarity between Filipinos and Palestinians who are variously and unequally deployed by the Zionist state in its construction of racial and geographic hegemony.


UPDATE: On March 23, 2014, Dr. David Lloyd interviewed Dr. Allan Isaac and Dr. Nadine Naber about the situation of Filipino and Filipina guest workers in the Middle East and Israel. The interview was broadcast by SWANA Region Radio (KPFK 90.7fm in Los Angeles, CA).

You can listen to the interview here

Migrant Musicians: Filipino Entertainers and the Work of Music Making

Migrant Musicians: Filipino Entertainers and the Work of Music Making brings together Theodore S. Gonzalves, R. Zamora Linmark, and Karen Tongson in a conversation moderated by Sarita Echavez See. Informed by their creative and scholarly work and by their own histories and experiences, they reflect on how Filipino musicians have circulated as part of a global entertainment industry. Their discussion ranges from their family memories and mythologies about music’s transportative power to their encounters with the legal realities of Filipino musicians’ experiences as overseas contract workers. As See remarks, the processes of migration and survival transform “living song into living labor” — a process that can disguise and deny the work that undergirds the making and feeling of music.