Counter-Producing National Narratives Filipina Diasporic Artists Challenge the Global Health Care System

Christina Ayson Plank: University of California, Santa Cruz

Published Date: Dec 30, 2021 | Accepted Date: Oct 27, 2021 | Submitted Date: Apr 16, 2021


The Philippine nation-state relies on the production and circulation of hegemonic narratives that represent overseas Filipino workers as flexible laborers to generate profit through remittances. In this article, I analyze Lizza May David and Claudia Liebelt’s documentary Cycles of Care (2011) and Jenifer Wofford’s paintings and illustrations Point of Departure (2007) and Flor 1973-78 (2008) to demonstrate that these works of art counter national narratives by portraying Filipinos in non-capitalizable, non-laboring moments, thereby disrupting the mechanisms of global capitalism. I argue that Filipino artists employ what I call counter-production, an artistic practice that represents the fragmented experiences of displacement, critiques official nationalisms, and reconstructs care worker subjectivities that cannot be incorporated into the national project.


care worker, diaspora, Filipino contemporary art, global capitalism, overseas Filipino workers

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