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Images of work, images of defiance: engaging migrant farm worker voice through community-based arts

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Perry, Adam J. (main author)
Online journal article
Publication Date:
Springer Publishing
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
communication barriers, communication methods, communities, community development, farm workers, politics, social movements, immigration, art, Canada (North America), migrant workers, justice, marginalization, public communication campaign
14 pages., via online journal., This article addresses a stated need within the food justice movement scholarship to increase the attention paid to the political socialization of hired farm hands in industrial agriculture. In Canada, tackling the problem of farm worker equity has particular social and political contours related to the Canadian horticultural industry’s reliance on a state-managed migrant agricultural labour program designed to fill the sector’s labour market demands. As Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) produces relations of ‘unfree labour’, engaging migrant farm workers in social movement initiatives can be particularly challenging. Critical educational interventions designed to encourage migrant farm workers’ contribution to contemporary social movements in Canada must therefore confront the socio-cultural obstacles that constrict migrant farm workers’ opportunities to participate as full members of their communities. In this article, I argue that social justice oriented approaches to community-based arts can provide a means for increasing the social movement contributions of farm workers employed through managed labour migration schema such as Canada’s SAWP.