DocuAsia Pop-Up 2019: Migrant Dreams

DocuAsia Pop-Up 2019: Migrant Dreams

We acknowledge that this event takes place on unceded Indigenous land belonging to the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations.

This event is part of Cinevolution’s DocuAsia Forum, a signature program that uses documentary film as a platform for bringing together artists, researchers and community organizers to explore sensitive and relevant social issues concerning contemporary Asia and beyond.

Migrant Dreams

90min | 2016 | Canada
Director: Director Min Sook Lee

Film Screening & Panel

Date: November 26, 2019
Time: 6:30pm – 9:00 pm
Place: Room 7000, SFU Harbour Centre (515 West Hastings)
Cost: Free

A powerful feature documentary by multiple award-winning director Min Sook Lee (El Contrato, Hogtown, Tiger Spirit) and Emmy award-winning producer Lisa Valencia-Svensson (Herman’s House), Migrant Dreams tells the undertold story of migrant agricultural workers struggling against Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) that treats foreign workers as modern-day indentured labourers. Under the rules of Canada’s migrant labour program, low wage migrants are tied to one employer. 

Migrant Dreams exposes the underbelly of the Canadian government labour program that has built a system designed to empower brokers and growers to exploit, dehumanize and deceive migrant workers who have virtually no access to support or information in their own language. Workers willing to pay exorbitant fees to work at minimum wage jobs packing the fruits and vegetables we eat in our homes. Migrant workers who deserve basic labour and human rights. Canada it seems, has failed them. 

The film screening will be followed by a lively panel discussion and Q & A with local organizers and community activists Gil Aguilar (Fuerza Migrante), Jeanne Robert (Migrant Workers Centre BC), and Sepideh Yadegar (Access to Media Education Society).

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About the Panelists

Gil Aguilar

Gil Aguilar is a member of Fuerza Migrante. Fuerza Migrante is an organization dedicated to fighting exploitation and injustice by building autonomous migrant power from below, through mutual aid and communal self-defense. Our struggle is multi-dimensional, understanding that ending capitalist exploitation is impossible without directly confronting all forms of oppression (particularly gendered as most migrant farm workers identify as male) and the theft of territories by colonizers, settlers, and corporations. By pooling their skills and resources together, Fuerza Migrante aims to transform the world and be part of the struggles for migrant liberation in the stolen lands incorrectly understood as “Canada” and throughout the world.

Jeanne Robert

Jeanne Robert grew up in France and in Peru. She arrived in Canada in 2012. She graduated from the Quebec Bar School in 2016 and she has a Master’s Degree in International Law focused on Human Rights from the University of Montreal. Before moving to British Columbia, she practiced family law and immigration law in a law firm in Montreal. In 2018, her strong interest for social justice led her to join the Vancouver Island Human Rights Coalition in Victoria as a human rights advocate. In this position, she provided advocacy in human rights cases, primarily in regard to complaints made to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. She joined MWC as a legal advocate in 2019. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and volunteering in various cultural areas.

Sepideh Yadegar

As a young girl growing up in Iran – where the idea of gender equality is equated with the end of civilizations – Sepideh always struggled to find a means to express her emotions, to tell her story. In the summer of 2010, she was finally driven to reject the predetermined role her society sought to weigh her down with; after a series of political events, she was forced to leave her homeland. When she arrived in Canada, she was elated with her newfound ability to express herself. She found voices like hers in films. She graduated from Emily Carr University with a degree in Film, Video and Integrated Media and continues her film practice on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ(Tsleil-Waututh)Nations.

Our Partners

This program is supported by the City of Richmond and presented in partnership with SFU David Lam Centre, SFU TSSU, AMES, and Fuerza Migrante.

Illustration by: Jenniffer Tai