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The Canadian Sieve by Christen Kong & Felix Kwong examines the Chinese Canadian immigrant experience

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Leading up to FIFSW’s convocation on June 17, we’ll be sharing creative work by students, including drawings, paintings, collage, video projects and more. A number of these art-based projects were created as part of course work. Some were produced as part of a co-curricular initiatives. All offer an alternative way to explore, understand, and communicate knowledge, ideas and experiences — as well as inspire action and foster a sense of community.

The Canadian Sieve

By Felix Kwong & Christen Kong

How does “Border Thinking” help us to understand immigrant migration in the context of Canadian Chinese history?

“The Canadian Sieve” is a multimedia short film about the Chinese Canadian immigrant experience using a mixed audio track to breathe cultural authenticity and emotion into accompanying watercolor and ink illustrations. The artwork is inspired by “Beyond Walls: Border Epistemologies and the Politics of Migration,” a short essay by Mary Gilmartin, to further elucidate the colonial roots of discrimination that persist in Canada’s consciousness as the nation faces a global pandemic.

> Click here to view the full artist statement [PDF]

Image from the “The Canadian Sieve” short film. 

The Canadian Sieve was created for the course Social Work Practice with Immigrants and Refugees (SWK 4658H), taught by Professor Sakamoto. This course examines how immigrants and people of colour are constructed/understood in our society in general and in social services in particular, with special attention paid to how intersecting oppressions of race/ethnicity, gender, class, age, sexual orientation, health status, and differential ability affects immigrants and refugees in Canada.

The course provides an overview of the history of immigration to Canada and the impact of social policies and programs on the settlement and adaptation of newcomers. It also highlights the barriers that newcomers face in Canadian society, with emphasis placed on access, equity and human rights as fundamental principles that should form the basis of human service delivery for newcomers. The course examines different models of service provision with a view to developing empowering practice with immigrants and refugees. Throughout the course, special attention is paid to the integration of theory, research and practice at different levels of practice.


> View more work by Christen Kong on her website.