Photo series to showcase steadfast commitment of Filipina care workers during COVID-19


TORONTO, Oct. 19, 2021 – A collection of photos by Filipina nurses, personal support workers and in-home caregivers that capture everyday moments of struggle, while caring for the most vulnerable during the pandemic, will be on display at A Space Gallery in downtown Toronto, starting Oct. 20.

“While they have been lauded as resilient heroes, the romanticization of resilience cannot obscure systemic failures,” points out York University Professor Ethel Tungohan in the Department of Politics in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. “By visualizing the lived realities of Filipina care workers, we aim to make a meaningful impact on Canadian labour and immigration policies that affect them the most.”

image of a photo from matatag filipina photo exhibitMatatag: Filipina Care Workers During COVID-19 is a part of the Filipina Care Workers and COVID-19 research project that began in July 2020. The research used participatory action and photovoice to illustrate how Filipina care workers conducted their duties despite the pandemic-related challenges including a lack of personal protection equipment and sick days, intensified work requirements and precarious immigration status.

“Through kwentuhan (storytelling) sessions, these care workers highlight what it is like to navigate work, immigration processes, and family separation and reunification. Above all, their narratives of hope, faith, and strength shine through,” says Tungohan, who led the project.

Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and York University’s COVID-19 research fund and York Centre for Asian Research funded the project. The research team included community organizers from Gabriela-Ontario and Migrants Resource Center Canada.

WHAT: Matatag: Filipina Care Workers During COVID-19, an exhibit of photos by Filipina nurses, personal support workers and in-home caregivers

WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 at 2 p.m. to Jan. 29, 2021

WHERE: A Space Gallery, 401, Richmond St. W., Toronto M5V 3A8

York University is a modern, multi-campus, urban university located in Toronto, Ontario. Backed by a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners, we bring a uniquely global perspective to help solve societal challenges, drive positive change and prepare our students for success. York's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education. York’s campuses in Costa Rica and India offer students exceptional transnational learning opportunities and innovative programs. Together, we can make things right for our communities, our planet, and our future.

Media Contact:
Gloria Suhasini, York University Media Relations, 647-463-4354,