Toronto, ON—March 10, 2010—Excitement builds up as the Maleta (Suitcase) Project draws closer to its launching date. Far from your average art exhibit, “End the Exploitation, March for Liberation: The Maleta Launch” will highlight art depicting the Filipino-Canadian community’s rich story of migration and resistance. Speakers and unique art works by progressive Filipino women, workers and youth will draw inspiration from the struggles and resistance of Filipino women to depict the theme of “enhancing Filipino women’s equality, human rights and genuine development.” While embodying an artistic flair without compromising a political punch, the night’s speakers, cultural presentations and art exhibit will show the creative capacities of the Magkaisa Centre in producing art that aims to be genuinely transformative.
An uplifting and inspiring debut performance by Sinag Bayan Ontario, the cultural arm of the Magkaisa Centre, will set the tone for the rest of the night’s program. Speakers from the Philippine Women Centre of Ontario (PWC—ON) will highlight the role of women as makers and innovators of their own history. In commemoration of the 10th year anniversary PWC—ON, Joy C. Sioson, chairperson of the organization, will share the history of Filipino women’s organizing in Ontario. A keynote address by Cecilia Diocson, executive director of the National Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada (NAPWC), will set the context of the need for the just and genuine settlement and integration of the Filipino community on the national level. As well, artists and PWC—ON members Alleben Purugganan and Marissa Largo will speak about role of art in achieving genuine women’s equality and liberation. Emcees Aila Comilang and Danielle Bisnar, also PWC—ON members, are expected to keep the crowd’s energy high through entertainment and education. Members of UKPC/FCYA—ON (Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada/Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance—Ontario) and SIKLAB Ontario (Advance and Uphold the Struggles of Filipino Workers) will also grace the night’s program of art and culture for the people.
Through the use of multi-media techniques, the art pieces in the launching exhibit weaves the stories of Filipino migration together into a unified assertion of the need for the community’s just and genuine settlement and integration. As the art pieces hope to convey, the wholesale empowerment of Filipino women is an integral aspect of the empowerment of the community as a whole. “Decades of Filipino women’s organizing have enabled the creation of these art pieces,” states Alleben Purugganan, member of the Philippine Women Centre of Ontario and Maleta Project coordinator. “Women have not only inspired the creation of these art pieces, but it is their struggles and resistance that embody their very essence.”
The Maleta launch will mark the first of a slew of activities for the 10th year anniversary of PWC—ON. “The time is now for us to reclaim the role of art and culture in building our collective history as a people,” says Joyce Bondoc, PWC—ON member. “With the launch of the Maleta project, it’s certainly an exciting moment in the history of Filipino women’s organizing in Canada,” she continues. Participants and attendees are sure to walk away with a heightened awareness of the community’s struggles and legacy of empowerment.
“End the Exploitation: March for Liberation: The Maleta Launch”
Saturday, March 20, 2010
5:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Doors open at 5:00 PM, show starts at 5:30
International Student Centre
University of Toronto St. George Campus
33 St. George Street
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