Maleta (suitcase): Project Launch
When:Saturday, March 20, 2010
Where:University of Toronto, International Student Centre (33 St. George Street)
Come and join us for the arrival of the Maleta (suitcase) in Toronto. The project launching will showcase some of the work of our Filipino community members discussing and unraveling the journal of migration of Filipinos in Canada.
Featuring: A keynote from Cecilia Diocson, National Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada Executive Director, and speakers Marissa Largo and Alleben Purugganan.
Filipino-Canadians await the arrival of the Maleta (Suitcase) in Toronto
Toronto, ON – On Saturday, March 20, 2010, Filipino workers, women, youth, and their allies will gather in anticipation for the arrival of the Maleta (“Suitcase”) Project launch, signaling the beginning of a groundbreaking grassroots arts initiative that unpacks the community’s rich history of migration and community-building. Entitled “End the Exploitation, March for Liberation,” the project launch will spark a dynamic and creative way of depicting the community’s struggles and legacy of empowerment. The launch will take place a few weeks after International Women’s Day, highlighting women’s struggles and resistance through a multi-media arts exhibit and a live cultural show.
The Magkaisa Centre, a community centre that houses progressive Filipino-Canadian organizations in Ontario, takes pride in welcoming the escalation of Maleta Project to a national level. Initially from the Kalayaan Centre in Vancouver, the project has served as an inspiration to all Filipino-Canadians to embrace the community’s culture of resistance. “This month, the Magkaisa Centre will carry forward a historic project that will creatively depict the rich history and stories of our community in Canada,” announces Joy C. Sioson, Chairperson of the Philippine Women Centre of Ontario (PWC–ON).
John Nerier, a member of Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada/Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance–Ontario (UKPC/FCYA–ON) states that “the Maleta is our collective story. The project reclaims the power of art and culture in depicting the centrality of Filipino women’s issues in the struggles of the Filipino-Canadian community as a whole, and the resistance that Filipino women have mobilized to empower the entire community towards social change.”
The theme of “Enhancing Filipino Women’s Equality” shows the role of women as active creators and producers of their own history and innovators of various forms of creative expression. The night is one of the Magkaisa Centre’s first round of events to celebrate Philippine Women Centre of Ontario’s 10th year anniversary. “Through art, we aim to bring the real struggles our women go through out to the rest of the community and to the mainstream Canadian society,” Aila Comilang, a member of PWC-ON and UKPC/FCYA stated. “As women of colour who will no longer accept this ongoing marginalization and exploitation, we are taking on the active role of empowerment and in building a movement towards genuine women’s equality and liberation,” she continues.
The launch will feature an art exhibition created by members of the Magkaisa Centre. Live performances from the Sinag Bayan Ontario Cultural Collective and light refreshments will grace this evening of celebrating art and culture for the people.
“The Maleta Project launch is only the beginning in exercising the vision of an empowered Filipino community,” Sioson states. “We are more than just members of Canada’s multicultural mosaic. We are active participants who are entitled to our own voice in Canadian society.” Participants of the launching will get a glimpse of the Maleta Project, activities for which will continue throughout the entire year and will culminate in a final exhibit in October, in time for the 10th year anniversary celebration of PWC–ON. The Maleta Project launch is yet another step towards the just and genuine settlement and integration of the Filipino-Canadian community.
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