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Sat, Jan 30, 2021 10:00 AM - Sun, Mar 21, 2021 10:00 PM

Float presents two recent films by Berlin-based Stephanie Comilang that narrate overseas Filipino workers’ lives, complicating together documentary forms with references to science fiction.

Lumapit Sa Akin, Paraiso (Come to Me, Paradise) (2016), follows three domestic workers in Hong Kong on their day off, as they gather with peers in the city center to engage in rituals of self-care, leisure, and community, claiming if only temporarily, their right to a city supported by their otherwise invisible daily labor.

The film is narrated by a drone named Paraiso, which serves as an interface through which the women maintain themselves, and their ties to homes and loved ones left behind. Voiced by Comilang’s mother, the drone floats gently, almost lovingly, amongst the women, subverting the technology’s militaristic origins, the camera’s intimacy domesticating its otherwise surveilling gaze. The three-channel video is projected within an immersive installation inspired by the women’s use of cardboard boxes as temporary shelters.

This gesture also recalls the use of balikbayan boxes that Filipinos working abroad use to send goods back home. Complementing this installation will be Comilang’s Diaspora Ad Astra (2020), which imagines the plight of Filipino seafarers quarantined offshore due to  the pandemic, interminably adrift, alone and unable to communicate with their families, tantalizingly close but ultimately unable to return home.

While Lumapit Sa Akin, Paraiso documents intentional gestures of care and community soothe the heartache of separation from kin and culture, land and language, Diaspora Ad Astra portrays the melancholy and isolation that typifies the life of all migrants, for whom home always remains a paradise lost.

This exhibition is curated by Murtaza Vali.


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Jan 30 - Mar 21, 2021

10:00 AM - 10:00 PM

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