topic

Care work

In “Servicing the World: Flexible Filipinos and the Unsecured Life” (2010), anthropologist Martin F. Manalansan IV argues that, because of their supposed innate talent for carework, “Filipinos have become synonymous with the care industry across the world. Maid, nanny, waiter, cook, nurse, janitor, clerk, entertainer, prostitute ... the list of occupational roles played by Filipinos in the transnational labor market goes on and on like a painful litany of expendable characters” (215).

 

As the ambiguity of the term “carework” suggests, Filipinos and Filipinas in the transnational circuits of care-taking attend not only to the physical and material well-being of their employers but also to employers’ emotional and psychic lives. As careworkers, Filipinos are both inside and outside the family in a position of strained intimacy, paid to do  work supposedly outside the commercial realm. Simultaneously, the emotional economy of the globalized family, in which Filipino families are spread across the world caring for others, is frequently at odds with the care for the self that an individual must (and may struggle to) sustain in order to endure his/her life in foreign and frequently unwelcoming settings.

 

The works in this topic reflect upon the historical and structural conditions that "make" Filipinos into careworkers, the specific locations in which Filipinos do this work, and Filipinos’ diverse responses to those demands.

Point of Departure Excerpt (Rooftop)

Jenifer K. Wofford

2007 Gouache, acrylic and ink on paper from the Point of Departure series

contributor

X

Jenifer K. Wofford

Jenifer K. Wofford is a Filipina-American artist and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also one third of the manic, brilliant, highly delusional artist trio Mail Order Brides/M.O.B. She was born in San Francisco, California and raised in Hong Kong, China, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia. She received her B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute, and her M.F.A. from University of California, Berkeley.

Her work has been exhibited in California’s San Francisco Bay Area at the Berkeley Art Museum, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Oakland Museum of California, Southern Exposure Museum/Art Gallery, and Kearny Street Workshop; nationally at New Image Art (Los Angeles, California), DePaul Museum (Chicago, Illinois), thirtynine hotel (Honolulu, Hawai’i), and internationally at Future Prospects (Philippines), Galerie Blanche (France), and Osage Gallery Kwun Tong (Hong Kong, China).

Her awards include the Eureka Fellowship and the Murphy Fellowship, and grants from the Art Matters Foundation, the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, and the Pacific Rim Research Program. She has also undertaken artist residencies at The Living Room, Philippines; KinoKino, Norway; and Bogliaso Foundation, Italy. Wofford was also honored with a 2007 “Goldie” (Guardian Local Discovery) Award from the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Happily, I have no quick, one-word answer to the “what kind of art do you make” question: the questions that provoke my projects necessitate varied approaches, from visual and performance strategies to teaching and curatorial work. My work often plays with notions of difference, hybridity, liminality and authenticity. It’s often governed by the creative slapstick that occurs when aesthetic values blunder into cultural frictions and global inequities. I do what I can to make work that is absurd, irreverent, imaginative, honest and political, employing as many strategies as seem appropriate.

Most of my creative logic is governed by a global positionality that’s the result of a mixed Filipino/American family, a Third-Culture childhood in Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia; an adulthood in diverse California; and a lifetime of international and intercultural experience. It’s also shaped by years as an educator, working with a tremendous diversity of students and communities. For all of these reasons, I am committed to a practice that engages a multiplicity of voices often unheard or under-represented in the arts.

Collaboration and camaraderie are integral parts of my practice: my projects often involve friends and strangers in all manner of creatively weird situations. I do not particularly consider myself an artist in isolation: the most satisfying work I’ve made has involved exchange, sharing, joking, and cooperation. It makes things more relevant, and more fun, immediately.

location

X
  • Born: San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Based: San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Also Based in: Los Angeles, CA, USA
    Oakland, CA, USA

comments

X

Point of Departure (Cap)

Jenifer K. Wofford

2007 Gouache, acrylic and ink on paper from the Point of Departure series

contributor

X

Jenifer K. Wofford

Jenifer K. Wofford is a Filipina-American artist and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also one third of the manic, brilliant, highly delusional artist trio Mail Order Brides/M.O.B. She was born in San Francisco, California and raised in Hong Kong, China, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia. She received her B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute, and her M.F.A. from University of California, Berkeley.

Her work has been exhibited in California’s San Francisco Bay Area at the Berkeley Art Museum, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Oakland Museum of California, Southern Exposure Museum/Art Gallery, and Kearny Street Workshop; nationally at New Image Art (Los Angeles, California), DePaul Museum (Chicago, Illinois), thirtynine hotel (Honolulu, Hawai’i), and internationally at Future Prospects (Philippines), Galerie Blanche (France), and Osage Gallery Kwun Tong (Hong Kong, China).

Her awards include the Eureka Fellowship and the Murphy Fellowship, and grants from the Art Matters Foundation, the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, and the Pacific Rim Research Program. She has also undertaken artist residencies at The Living Room, Philippines; KinoKino, Norway; and Bogliaso Foundation, Italy. Wofford was also honored with a 2007 “Goldie” (Guardian Local Discovery) Award from the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Happily, I have no quick, one-word answer to the “what kind of art do you make” question: the questions that provoke my projects necessitate varied approaches, from visual and performance strategies to teaching and curatorial work. My work often plays with notions of difference, hybridity, liminality and authenticity. It’s often governed by the creative slapstick that occurs when aesthetic values blunder into cultural frictions and global inequities. I do what I can to make work that is absurd, irreverent, imaginative, honest and political, employing as many strategies as seem appropriate.

Most of my creative logic is governed by a global positionality that’s the result of a mixed Filipino/American family, a Third-Culture childhood in Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia; an adulthood in diverse California; and a lifetime of international and intercultural experience. It’s also shaped by years as an educator, working with a tremendous diversity of students and communities. For all of these reasons, I am committed to a practice that engages a multiplicity of voices often unheard or under-represented in the arts.

Collaboration and camaraderie are integral parts of my practice: my projects often involve friends and strangers in all manner of creatively weird situations. I do not particularly consider myself an artist in isolation: the most satisfying work I’ve made has involved exchange, sharing, joking, and cooperation. It makes things more relevant, and more fun, immediately.

location

X
  • Born: San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Based: San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Also Based in: Los Angeles, CA, USA
    Oakland, CA, USA

comments

X

Nurse (Wedged)

Jenifer K. Wofford

2006 - 2007 Ink on paper from the Nurse Series

contributor

X

Jenifer K. Wofford

Jenifer K. Wofford is a Filipina-American artist and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also one third of the manic, brilliant, highly delusional artist trio Mail Order Brides/M.O.B. She was born in San Francisco, California and raised in Hong Kong, China, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia. She received her B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute, and her M.F.A. from University of California, Berkeley.

Her work has been exhibited in California’s San Francisco Bay Area at the Berkeley Art Museum, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Oakland Museum of California, Southern Exposure Museum/Art Gallery, and Kearny Street Workshop; nationally at New Image Art (Los Angeles, California), DePaul Museum (Chicago, Illinois), thirtynine hotel (Honolulu, Hawai’i), and internationally at Future Prospects (Philippines), Galerie Blanche (France), and Osage Gallery Kwun Tong (Hong Kong, China).

Her awards include the Eureka Fellowship and the Murphy Fellowship, and grants from the Art Matters Foundation, the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, and the Pacific Rim Research Program. She has also undertaken artist residencies at The Living Room, Philippines; KinoKino, Norway; and Bogliaso Foundation, Italy. Wofford was also honored with a 2007 “Goldie” (Guardian Local Discovery) Award from the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Happily, I have no quick, one-word answer to the “what kind of art do you make” question: the questions that provoke my projects necessitate varied approaches, from visual and performance strategies to teaching and curatorial work. My work often plays with notions of difference, hybridity, liminality and authenticity. It’s often governed by the creative slapstick that occurs when aesthetic values blunder into cultural frictions and global inequities. I do what I can to make work that is absurd, irreverent, imaginative, honest and political, employing as many strategies as seem appropriate.

Most of my creative logic is governed by a global positionality that’s the result of a mixed Filipino/American family, a Third-Culture childhood in Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia; an adulthood in diverse California; and a lifetime of international and intercultural experience. It’s also shaped by years as an educator, working with a tremendous diversity of students and communities. For all of these reasons, I am committed to a practice that engages a multiplicity of voices often unheard or under-represented in the arts.

Collaboration and camaraderie are integral parts of my practice: my projects often involve friends and strangers in all manner of creatively weird situations. I do not particularly consider myself an artist in isolation: the most satisfying work I’ve made has involved exchange, sharing, joking, and cooperation. It makes things more relevant, and more fun, immediately.

location

X
  • Born: San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Based: San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Also Based in: Los Angeles, CA, USA
    Oakland, CA, USA

comments

X

Nurse (Toreador)

Jenifer K. Wofford

2006 - 2007 Ink on paper from the Nurse series

contributor

X

Jenifer K. Wofford

Jenifer K. Wofford is a Filipina-American artist and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also one third of the manic, brilliant, highly delusional artist trio Mail Order Brides/M.O.B. She was born in San Francisco, California and raised in Hong Kong, China, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia. She received her B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute, and her M.F.A. from University of California, Berkeley.

Her work has been exhibited in California’s San Francisco Bay Area at the Berkeley Art Museum, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Oakland Museum of California, Southern Exposure Museum/Art Gallery, and Kearny Street Workshop; nationally at New Image Art (Los Angeles, California), DePaul Museum (Chicago, Illinois), thirtynine hotel (Honolulu, Hawai’i), and internationally at Future Prospects (Philippines), Galerie Blanche (France), and Osage Gallery Kwun Tong (Hong Kong, China).

Her awards include the Eureka Fellowship and the Murphy Fellowship, and grants from the Art Matters Foundation, the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, and the Pacific Rim Research Program. She has also undertaken artist residencies at The Living Room, Philippines; KinoKino, Norway; and Bogliaso Foundation, Italy. Wofford was also honored with a 2007 “Goldie” (Guardian Local Discovery) Award from the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Happily, I have no quick, one-word answer to the “what kind of art do you make” question: the questions that provoke my projects necessitate varied approaches, from visual and performance strategies to teaching and curatorial work. My work often plays with notions of difference, hybridity, liminality and authenticity. It’s often governed by the creative slapstick that occurs when aesthetic values blunder into cultural frictions and global inequities. I do what I can to make work that is absurd, irreverent, imaginative, honest and political, employing as many strategies as seem appropriate.

Most of my creative logic is governed by a global positionality that’s the result of a mixed Filipino/American family, a Third-Culture childhood in Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia; an adulthood in diverse California; and a lifetime of international and intercultural experience. It’s also shaped by years as an educator, working with a tremendous diversity of students and communities. For all of these reasons, I am committed to a practice that engages a multiplicity of voices often unheard or under-represented in the arts.

Collaboration and camaraderie are integral parts of my practice: my projects often involve friends and strangers in all manner of creatively weird situations. I do not particularly consider myself an artist in isolation: the most satisfying work I’ve made has involved exchange, sharing, joking, and cooperation. It makes things more relevant, and more fun, immediately.

location

X
  • Born: San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Based: San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Also Based in: Los Angeles, CA, USA
    Oakland, CA, USA

comments

X

Nurse (Curtain)

Jenifer K. Wofford

2006 - 2007 Ink on paper from the Nurse series

contributor

X

Jenifer K. Wofford

Jenifer K. Wofford is a Filipina-American artist and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also one third of the manic, brilliant, highly delusional artist trio Mail Order Brides/M.O.B. She was born in San Francisco, California and raised in Hong Kong, China, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia. She received her B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute, and her M.F.A. from University of California, Berkeley.

Her work has been exhibited in California’s San Francisco Bay Area at the Berkeley Art Museum, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Oakland Museum of California, Southern Exposure Museum/Art Gallery, and Kearny Street Workshop; nationally at New Image Art (Los Angeles, California), DePaul Museum (Chicago, Illinois), thirtynine hotel (Honolulu, Hawai’i), and internationally at Future Prospects (Philippines), Galerie Blanche (France), and Osage Gallery Kwun Tong (Hong Kong, China).

Her awards include the Eureka Fellowship and the Murphy Fellowship, and grants from the Art Matters Foundation, the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, and the Pacific Rim Research Program. She has also undertaken artist residencies at The Living Room, Philippines; KinoKino, Norway; and Bogliaso Foundation, Italy. Wofford was also honored with a 2007 “Goldie” (Guardian Local Discovery) Award from the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Happily, I have no quick, one-word answer to the “what kind of art do you make” question: the questions that provoke my projects necessitate varied approaches, from visual and performance strategies to teaching and curatorial work. My work often plays with notions of difference, hybridity, liminality and authenticity. It’s often governed by the creative slapstick that occurs when aesthetic values blunder into cultural frictions and global inequities. I do what I can to make work that is absurd, irreverent, imaginative, honest and political, employing as many strategies as seem appropriate.

Most of my creative logic is governed by a global positionality that’s the result of a mixed Filipino/American family, a Third-Culture childhood in Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia; an adulthood in diverse California; and a lifetime of international and intercultural experience. It’s also shaped by years as an educator, working with a tremendous diversity of students and communities. For all of these reasons, I am committed to a practice that engages a multiplicity of voices often unheard or under-represented in the arts.

Collaboration and camaraderie are integral parts of my practice: my projects often involve friends and strangers in all manner of creatively weird situations. I do not particularly consider myself an artist in isolation: the most satisfying work I’ve made has involved exchange, sharing, joking, and cooperation. It makes things more relevant, and more fun, immediately.

location

X
  • Born: San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Based: San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Also Based in: Los Angeles, CA, USA
    Oakland, CA, USA

comments

X

Nurse (Floater)

Jenifer K. Wofford

2006 - 2007 Ink on paper from the Nurse series

contributor

X

Jenifer K. Wofford

Jenifer K. Wofford is a Filipina-American artist and educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also one third of the manic, brilliant, highly delusional artist trio Mail Order Brides/M.O.B. She was born in San Francisco, California and raised in Hong Kong, China, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia. She received her B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute, and her M.F.A. from University of California, Berkeley.

Her work has been exhibited in California’s San Francisco Bay Area at the Berkeley Art Museum, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Oakland Museum of California, Southern Exposure Museum/Art Gallery, and Kearny Street Workshop; nationally at New Image Art (Los Angeles, California), DePaul Museum (Chicago, Illinois), thirtynine hotel (Honolulu, Hawai’i), and internationally at Future Prospects (Philippines), Galerie Blanche (France), and Osage Gallery Kwun Tong (Hong Kong, China).

Her awards include the Eureka Fellowship and the Murphy Fellowship, and grants from the Art Matters Foundation, the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, and the Pacific Rim Research Program. She has also undertaken artist residencies at The Living Room, Philippines; KinoKino, Norway; and Bogliaso Foundation, Italy. Wofford was also honored with a 2007 “Goldie” (Guardian Local Discovery) Award from the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Happily, I have no quick, one-word answer to the “what kind of art do you make” question: the questions that provoke my projects necessitate varied approaches, from visual and performance strategies to teaching and curatorial work. My work often plays with notions of difference, hybridity, liminality and authenticity. It’s often governed by the creative slapstick that occurs when aesthetic values blunder into cultural frictions and global inequities. I do what I can to make work that is absurd, irreverent, imaginative, honest and political, employing as many strategies as seem appropriate.

Most of my creative logic is governed by a global positionality that’s the result of a mixed Filipino/American family, a Third-Culture childhood in Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia; an adulthood in diverse California; and a lifetime of international and intercultural experience. It’s also shaped by years as an educator, working with a tremendous diversity of students and communities. For all of these reasons, I am committed to a practice that engages a multiplicity of voices often unheard or under-represented in the arts.

Collaboration and camaraderie are integral parts of my practice: my projects often involve friends and strangers in all manner of creatively weird situations. I do not particularly consider myself an artist in isolation: the most satisfying work I’ve made has involved exchange, sharing, joking, and cooperation. It makes things more relevant, and more fun, immediately.

location

X
  • Born: San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Based: San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Also Based in: Los Angeles, CA, USA
    Oakland, CA, USA

comments

X

contributor

X

Catherine Ceniza Choy

Catherine Ceniza Choy is Professor and Department Chair of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of the award-winning book Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History (Duke University Press, 2003) and the forthcoming book Global Families: A History of Asian International Adoption in America (New York University Press, 2013).  Catherine is a second-generation Filipino American born and raised in New York City. She received her Ph.D. in History from UCLA.

location

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  • Born: New York, NY, USA
  • Based: Berkeley, CA, USA

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Daniel Miller

b. 1954

Daniel Miller was born in London in 1954. He is currently based at the Department of Anthropology with University College, London. He is the author or editor of thirty-five books dealing with different aspects of the anthropology of consumption, material culture and new media.

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Mirca Madianou

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Mirca Madianou is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication, University of Leicester. From 2004 to 2011, she was Newton Trust Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College. She holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. She has published extensively on the social consequences of new media and mediation especially in relation to processes of migration, transnational relationships and networks. She is the author of Mediating the Nation: News, Audiences and the Politics of Identity (Routledge, 2005) and Migration and New Media (with Daniel Miller, Routledge, 2011) and co-editor of Ethics of Media (with Nick Couldry and Amit Pinchevski, 2013). Between 2007 and 2011, she was Principal Investigator on the Economic and Social Research Council-funded project "Migration, ICTS and transnational families," a comparative ethnographic study of Filipino and Caribbean transnational families and their uses of new communication technologies. She continues to work on Philippine migration and the role of digital media in transforming migrant networks.

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  • Born:
  • Based: Leicester, England, UK

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Queering the Chain of Care Paradigm

Martin F. Manalansan IV

2008 Criticism Courtesy of Barnard Center for Research on Women and Martin Manalansan I.V.

Scholar and Feminist Online Summer 2008.

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Martin F. Manalansan IV

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Born and raised in the Philippines, Manalansan studied philosophy and anthropology at the University of the Philippines and did graduate studies in sociocultural anthropology at Syracuse University and the University of Rochester, both in New York State. He is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, and he lives in the windy city of Chicago. 

Interested in the intersection of media, popular culture, everyday life, emotions, and forms of bodily experiences, he enjoys the freedom of tenure by indulging in broad undisciplined pedagogical pursuits and research trajectories.  From food to queer issues, urban space to movies, his shifting archives reflect his non-allegiance to disciplinary concerns, although he maintains a deep seated and long-standing admiration for and dedication to the ethnographic method.

He is the author of Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora (Duke University Press, 2003; Ateneo University Press 2006) and editor or co-editor of four anthologies, most recently Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader (New York University Press, 2013), as well as several journal special issues. His forthcoming book entitled Queer Dwellings examines the affective landscapes, ethical lives, and embodied experiences of undocumented queer immigrants living under precarious conditions. The enduring issues that animate and fuel his intellectual pursuits include social justice, embodiment, quotidian life, ordinary meanings, modes of desire and habitation.

While based in the Midwest, Manalansan maintains emotional and intellectual ties to two other cities: New York and Manila. One day, he hopes to find himself in a position to be able to live in both cities at different times of the year. In the meantime, he is content to question, marvel and ironically enjoy the fictions and myths of the American heartland.

location

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  • Born: The Philippines
  • Based: Chicago, IL, USA

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