Spectres of (In)visibility: Filipina/o Labour, Culture, and Youth in Canada

Coloma, R., McElhinny, B., Tungohan, E., Catungal, J. P. C. and Davidson, L. (2012)
In B. McElhinny, L. Davidson, J. P. C. Catungal and R. Coloma (Eds.), Disturbing Invisibility: Filipinos in Canada (pp. 5-45), University of Toronto Press

Prevalent conversations in Canadian media, academic, and politicized public spheres tend to represent and account for Filipina/os living in Canada within the tropes of victimized nanny, sel?ess nurse, and problematic gangster youth. These images render hypervisible in social and academic spaces certain problems facing Filipina/o communities, which are then calci?ed as Filipina/o stereotypes. These spectral ?gures on the one hand enable the visibility of Filipina/o lives in Canada within a narrow purview and on the other hand contribute to the misrecognition and alienation of the diverse experiences and histories of Filipina/os in Canada. Filipina/o communities are therefore put into the paradoxical position of being invisible and hypervisible: invisible because numerous kinds of people, problems, and achievements are ignored, and hypervisible because only the stereotypes are deemed relevant and signi?cant for public circulation. In this landmark volume, the ?rst wide-ranging edited collection of academic writings on Filipina/os in Canada, we ask how the contours of Canadian political, academic, and social institutions, both historical and contemporary, shape the politics of Filipina/o invisibility, visibility, and hypervisibility, how Filipina/o spectral ?gures ‘haunt’ processes, representations, and agentive experiences of being and becoming Filipina/o Canadians, and how we can disrupt and intervene in the prevailing themes of the spectral ?gures that have come to de?ne the lives of Filipina/os in Canada