The Scoop: Alternative News & Views

Not Only in May

Susan Gold Smith

26 August 2016 in Archive

The "After Work" project came full circle with a second installation at Leamington Arts Centre in July.

Collette Broeders and Doug MacLellan visited the Leamington area for four months in 2015 to find out "what migrant workers do after work?".

Essex County is the temporary home to well over 5,000 foreign workers, mostly from Mexico and Jamaica. Over the years these workers have been documented by artists, Larry Towell and Vincenzo Pietropaola, and Min Sook Lee. Broeders and MacLellan set out to add another dimension to the portrayal of these largely anonymous workers, who sometimes return to our area year after year, and are an important part of our community. The outcome reveals the complexity and nuance of their not-easily-balanced lives.

The exhibition features thirty prints and two videos. It is important to the project that Broeders and MacLellan invite temporary workers and residents to meet and view the exhibition, as well as to gather informally to discuss topics of mutual concern. These opportunities for communication and awareness, looking and understanding, are created to make actual working conditions fairer and safer.

"After Work" was made possible with a grant from Windsor Workers' Education Centre at 328 Pelissier. The multimedia exhibition that opened in Downtown Windsor had its life continued in another installation in Leamington where it began. In each configuration the work is to be seen anew and take on additional meaning. The beautiful handmade folio of the "After Work" photographs and text can be seen at WWEC at anytime.

Broeders says that their project was focused on changing the stereotyping and comodifying of the migrant worker and restoring the human value of the migrant worker in our community.