Debating the Politics of Temporary Migrant Labour: a transnational exchange

  • Johnston, Caleb (Principal Investigator)

Project Details


Developed in a four-year partnership between geographers, migrant advocacy organisations and theatre artists, this research seeks to generate substantive, transnational debate on the policies of migrant labour and the politics of domestic caregiving in the United Kingdom, Canada and the Philippines. This project represents a creative instance of exchange that disseminates conventional social science in a novel way. We are taking a testimonial theatre production—entitled Nanay—to Manila to bring the experiences of Filipino caregivers into conversation with debates happening within the Philippines. Nanay transforms traditional qualitative research transcripts into testimonial theatre; our script is based entirely on verbatim monologues taken from interviews conducted over a fifteen year period with Filipino domestic workers, their children, employers, and nanny agents. As social scientists, we turn to theatre because it embodied quality offers space in which to encourage audiences to think about their world differently, to temporarily suspend judgment, and to extend the terrain of political discussion on the ethics of care in productive ways. We work with the awareness that because labour migration from the global south to the global north is a transnational issue, we must reconfigure the scale at which discussions of justice, care and need take place. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. This research is being carried out in collaboration with Professor Geraldine Pratt (associate dean for faculty) at the University of British Columbia and funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Effective start/end date15/11/1214/11/13


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