Browse by author
Lookup NU author(s): Dr Caleb Johnston
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
Framed within the geopolitics of empathy, we describe the process of taking a testimonial play, based on verbatim research interview transcripts with Filipina domestic workers, their families, employers and nanny agents in Vancouver Canada, to the Philippines to present to audiences there, including to members of domestic workers’ families. Aspects of the script and the staging of the play were reworked to solicit empathy in a context where the challenging experiences of domestic workers in Canada sometimes are not heard -- even within families, given the popular image of Canada as a land of opportunity and the perception that Canada is relatively inclusive in terms of labour rights and paths to permanent residency. Interviews with 7 family members who attended the play offer some clues to assessing performance as a space for critical, sometimes uncomfortable forms of empathy. Rather than a purely affirming experience, we argue that empathy can lead to a fuller recognition of the suffering upon which one's one good life depends and challenge fantasies of the good life, in this case, attainable through migration to Canada.
Author(s): Pratt G, Johnston C
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Online publication date: 21/02/2017
Acceptance date: 04/11/2016
Date deposited: 24/02/2017
ISSN (print): 2373-566X
ISSN (electronic): 2373-5678
Altmetrics provided by Altmetric