Rights & realities: Art show puts rare spotlight on domestic workers’ fighting for health & safety

AS May Day nears, we invite members of the media and the public to join us in a one-day pop exhibition honoring the unsung heroes of California’s domestic workforce.

WHAT: “Rights & Realities: Domestic Workers’ Fight for Health & Safety” WHEN: Thursday, April 25 5PM – 8PM, Doors open 5PM, Program 6:45-7:15

[previews and pre-interviews available]

WHERE:  START LOS ANGELES Gallery, 2270 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90006

WHO: Sen. Maria Elena Durazo and some of the 14 domestic workers photographed for this project.

The California Domestic Workers Coalition announces  a one-day pop-up multi-media exhibition of  “Rights & Realities: Domestic Workers’ Fight for Health & Safety.” Over 2 million homes across California depend on the essential care provided by more than 300,000 domestic workers such as home care workers, childcare providers, house cleaners, gardeners, cooks, and day laborers – yet they remain without health and safety protections in the workplace.

“Rights & Realities” offers a poignant exploration of the lives and experiences of domestic workers across California.The exhibit includes photos documenting the worker-led movement to win health and safety protections in the workplace, portraits of domestic workers by renowned art photographers Riccardo Stanley Mejia and Joe Ramos, and an exquisite papel picado art piece by Beatriz Vasquez. Campaign posters in 4 languages, by nationally known artist and cultural worker Melanie Cervantes, who created the CDWC logo, will also be on exhibit.

Senator Maria Elena Durazo, a fierce champion of domestic worker rights, will be one of the guest speakers alongside domestic workers and employers who are featured in the portraits.

Along with the portraits are written testimonies by the worker leaders, who are clear they will continue to fight for their health and safety until they make their rights a reality.

Writes one worker:  “We, as domestic workers, always find a way to take care of our clients. We deserve to have laws that protect our health and safety at work. We are immigrants. We are domestic workers. We are human beings.”

The show includes two deeply poignant photographs of caregiver-client pairs who are members of Hand-in-Hand: The Domestic Employers Network.

Jo Biclar, PWPhoto by Riccardo Stanley Mejia

All portraits featured in the exhibition are windows into the lives and stories of the people behind the work. Each piece captures the unique essence and personality of its subject, offering viewers a glimpse into the rich tapestry of human experience that defines the world of domestic labor.

“We are excited to present this pop-up exhibition, ‘Rights & Realities”’ as a platform to amplify the voices and stories of California’s domestic workers. Through the medium of art, we hope to foster greater understanding and appreciation for the invaluable contributions of this workforce, and to inspire action and transformation in this industry,” says Megan Whelan Escobar, Deputy Director of CWDC

The opening  takes place Thursday, April 25 from 5-8PM at START LOS ANGELES gallery, 2270 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90006.

“Rights & Realities” exhibit will also travel to the Bay Area and open Thursday, March 9 at Oakstop at 1721 Broadway, Oakland.

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