Sanga-sanga or interconnection aims to map out in visual form the networks of care that the pandemic has generated as a means of support for migrant workers and their families in their homeland. It is also about mobility or the lack of it with the train map and the bird as reference points.

Two online workshops
explore these themes with two migrant workers, NoemiManguerra and Cristina Cayat,co-founders of Hong Kong-basedartist collective Guhit Kulay, co-facilitatewith Alma Quinto.These are "Sanga sangang Ayuda NgayongPandemya" (Networks of Care during thePandemic) and "Agtayab Tayon" (Let's Fly) whichprovide spaces for the participants to create, tell their stories, meet and learn from others and exchange ways on how to co-exist with the deadly virus. 

 
 
Konektadong Pagmamahal
Konektadong Pagmamahal

Rochelle Size: 51 x76 cm Medium: acrylic, box board, facemask, red pocket, mixed media Year: 2021

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Daan ng Pagmamahal at Pag-asa
Daan ng Pagmamahal at Pag-asa

Noemi Size: 76.2 x 50.8 cm Medium:  mix media (box board, mask, sanitizer, remittance receipts, voucher card, sticker for Covid-19 vaccination) Year: 2021

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May Kaagapay Ngayong Pandemya
May Kaagapay Ngayong Pandemya

Cecil carton, softdrinks opener, remittance receipt, wet wipes, facemask, glue gun 50 x 90 cm

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Konektadong Pagmamahal
Konektadong Pagmamahal

Rochelle Size: 51 x76 cm Medium: acrylic, box board, facemask, red pocket, mixed media Year: 2021

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Facilitators

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Alma Quinto

Visual artist, cultural worker and educator

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Cris

Co-founder and Program coordinator,

Guhit Kulay Migrant Artist Collective

Hongkong

Cris has been working in Hongkong for 25 years, where she’s also an active member of Guhit Kulay, a migrant artist collective set up in 2017. 

 

Pre-pandemic, Cris is mostly a visual artist taking part in workshops and putting up exhibits in Hongkong. Because of the lockdown, she ventured to embroidery and sew cloth masks to cheer up her friends. 

 

She grew up in Baguio where she owns a gown rental business on the side. She looks forward to applying what she learned in the workshops in developing her business. 

Cris is the co-facilitator for the Agtayab Tayon workshops.

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Noemi

Co-founder and President,

Guhit Kulay Migrant Artist Collective

Hongkong

Noemi has been a migrant worker for almost 18 years now. She worked for 2 years in Taiwan and spent the rest of her years in Hongkong, where she became one of the founders of Guhit Kulay, a group of Filipino migrant artist collective set up in 2017. Prior to establishing the organization, Noemi spends her day-offs at the park, drawing. 

 

Noemi says that the Kamustahan sessions excite her because as a self-taught artist, she still discovers new techniques because of the workshops. More than the skills, she also appreciates meeting Filipino migrant workers from different parts of the world. Pre-pandemic, Guhit Kulay also launches physical art workshops, and Noemi is excited to facilitate similar workshops again, with the insights she developed from participating in Kamustahan.

Noemi is the co-facilitator for the "Sanga-sangang Ayuda Ngayong Pandemya" workshops.

Participants

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Francia

Taiwan

Francia has experienced working in 4 different countries: Singapore, Macau, Hongkong, and Taiwan. She recalls how her early years as an OFW were more complicated because there were limited communication channels— she used to fill boxes of letters back in the 2000s. Today, she’s the coordinator of Filipino Domestic Workers Union in Taiwan. 

 

She said that life as a domestic worker taught her about her rights, and empowered by her organization, she learned to speak against injustices against migrant workers. Francia enjoys making art out of recycled materials and sees it as a way to communicate resistance and her community’s advocacies.

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Cielo

London

Cielo spends most of her time organizing for Filipino Domestic Workers Association (FDWA). For Cielo, a hobby is something that one likes doing, and when asked about hers, the first thing that comes to her mind is organizing. Organizing for FDWA is part of Cielo’s daily routine; she responds to the call of migrant workers who need assistance and rescues them from abusive employers, any time of the day. 
 
What motivated Cielo to co-facilitate the workshop was her intention to build a network of migrant workers from Taiwan and Hongkong.

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Chel

Hongkong

Chel joined the “Sanga-Sanga” workshop because it’s what piqued her curiosity the most. She said that art forms like illustration are common, and she wanted to explore forms that are more unusual. She says that juggling her time as a migrant worker in Hongkong and as an artist is challenging, sometimes, she takes a day off to finish art-making because she is determined to work on her passion. 

 

When she posts her work online, she hopes to inspire others to find time to work on what they enjoy doing. She encourages others to explore their talents because “they can do whatever they wish, as long as they put their heart and mind into it,” said Chel.

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Marites

Hongkong

Marites graduated with a degree in Fine Arts and worked as a production artist before becoming a migrant worker. Having graduated with an arts degree, she is knowledgeable in various art forms and techniques. She decided to become a domestic worker in Hongkong to earn better and grow outside her practice from working in a production company. 

She says working with fellow participants in Kamustahan motivates her to create more, that sometimes even at work, she gets an idea of what to sketch once she comes home. She’s happy to meet other artists through the workshops, and hopes to learn how to make furniture in the future.

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Rochelle

Hongkong

Rochelle is a self taught artist but her love for art also runs in their family. Just like many artists, creating art serves as her therapy to console her tired body after the day's work. She has been working as a domestic worker in Hongkong since 2009.

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Marrz

Hongkong / Philippines

Marrz is a transman who now resides in Abra after working in Hong Kong for 40 years. He left HK in November 2020 when his American employer lost her job due to the pandemic. He is a co-founder of Filguys HK, a Hongkong-based organization that advocates for the LGBTQ's rights both in Hong Kong and in the Philippines.
 
Before he left Hongkong, he trained a co-member in Filguys how to officiate same sex marriage which used to be his task as a pastor for the organization.

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Cecil

Hongkong

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Joan

Hongkong / Philippines

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Michelle

Hongkong

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Jo

London

Joan Monis Pabona is a street photographer and domestic worker. She has been based in Hong Kong since 2013. Her affinity for the art came from the enjoyment she took from observing her environment, and her admiration of black and white photography. Her photographs capture the daily life in the city. She is fascinated with taking pictures of people's emotions and expressions that depict the realities of life, which reflects her own personality and experiences as a woman and stranger in a place she calls a second home. Pabona was first runner-up in the National Geographic Wheelock Properties Youth Photo Competition 2017 (People and Happenings in Hong Kong section).