Temporary Foreign Workers: The Pull of Canadian Labour and Immigration Policies & the Push of Recruitment Agencies in the PhilippinesTanya Kaur Bindra
Jan 2012 Criticism 40 pages.
Tanya Kaur Bindra
Raised in Saudi Arabia, Germany, Canada, and the United States, Tanya Kaur Bindra is a photographer and writer currently based in Mali. Tanya graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Canada in 2012 with a Bachelors of Art, double majoring in Women’s Studies and International Development Studies. She later relocated to West Africa, where she currently covers news for international media outlets and pursues long-term, documentary projects through her personal work.
In 2011, I began interning at the Immigrant Workers Centre in Montreal, Canada and organizing with a group called Women of Diverse Origins. Through these two experiences I began to understand the role Canadian immigration and labor policies played in institutionalizing the precarity of temporary foreign workers, as well as how women were particularly implicated in this reality.
While conducting research on the international division of caregiving labor, I looked at not only the pull of Canadian, and other “receiving” countries’, immigration practices but also the push of the labor-export policies in “sending” countries. I paid particular attention to how recruitment agencies function in cities where globalized labor circuits facilitate the migration process.
At the same time, I began to explore photography as a research methodology during the course of my field research in the Philippines and Hong Kong. I wanted to document my findings, but I also wanted to show what it actually looks like when approximately 4,000 people, mostly women, leave a country every day to work abroad. I wanted to show what it looks like when women’s photos are plastered to the wall of a recruitment agency, pictured smiling, hands clasped, with only a number pinned on their apron to identify them. I wanted to show a reality and to illustrate the numbers of people that cross borders everyday with only the hopes of bettering their lives and sending money back home.
- Born: Chur, Switzerland
- Based: Mali