Ƶ exhibit shines a light on some of the country’s most vulnerable workers

A new Amelia ƵGallery exhibit opening today provides a glimpse into the lives of one of the most vulnerable labour groups in Canada: temporary foreign workers.  

Vancouver-based Mexican artists and co-created the exhibit Invisibles y desechables. Temporary Foreign Farm Workers. Life and Rituals After Work. Translating to “Invisible and disposable,” this collaboration aims to raise awareness of the discrimination and exploitation faced by these workers in their daily lives. 

Bringing visibility to communities and populations that are often unseen, Rosas has documented the lives of temporary foreign workers in B.C. since 2009 – amounting to one of the largest photographic archives of this group in Canada.  

Through muted tones, her photography depicts the life of workers on farms, at leisure and during their daily rituals at home. Paired with the bold and colourful social commentary of Colín’s visual artwork, the two come together to tell a rich story of the realities and challenges of working in a new country while navigating language barriers, long workdays and minimal access to benefits, emergency and mental health supports, or other vital support services. 

This exhibit was organized by the a non-profit created by temporary foreign workers from Mexico, Guatemala, the Philippines, and numerous other countries in Europe, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Founded in 2006, and currently located in Surrey, the organization was created to address abuse, exploitation, human and labour trafficking of workers, as well as improve their rights, benefits, and mental and physical well-being through support services. 

Both Rosas and Colín are volunteers with the cultural and artistic commission at the Dignidad Migrante Society, and this is just one of several educational and artistic initiatives put on by the organization.  

The exhibit runs until Sept. 6 at the New Westminster Campus’s Amelia ƵGallery. Admission is free. 

Ƶ is the largest college in B.C., combining the academic foundations of a university and the employer-ready skills of a college to graduate resilient global citizens who adapt, innovate and lead in a changing world.  

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Elizabeth Douglas 

Communications Officer 


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