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Elena Lopez's public blog postings

Elena Lopez - Blog 5: Commonwealth Connections

Post type: 
Blog post

Now that I've returned home to Canada, this blog post addresses why I think it's important to do research outside of Canada, and why I think doing research in other countries can be relevant to our Canadian context. Although my fieldwork has come to an end, my research will continue, and hopefully strengthen the connection between Canada and Malaysia. 

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blog5.pdf1.3 MB

Elena Lopez - Blog 4: Fieldwork

Post type: 
Blog post

In this blog post, I delve into the challenges and rewards of doing fieldwork. This is my second time doing fieldwork, and while I am still a relative novice, I can provide some guidance and advice for others who are thinking about incorporating fieldwork into their studies. I discuss fieldwork as practice, praxis, and provocation, and I share some excerpts of my fieldnotes to provide a glimpse of what it's like to be in the field. 

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blog4.pdf1.54 MB

Elena Lopez - Blog 3: Migrant Labour

Post type: 
Blog post

In this podcast, I discuss the role migrant workers play in constructing public infrastructure, namely the transit system. Public transportation is often advocated as a good that benefits broader society. However, it's important to remember that migrant workers are part of society too, and their contributions should be recognized. One way of doing this is through the inclusion of migrant workers in union membership.

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5.74 MB

Elena Lopez - Blog 2: Mega Games and Labour Migration

Post type: 
Blog post

In June 2016, I began my stay with the organization Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI) in their regional Asia & Pacific office located in Malaysia. In this blog, I introduce BWI's mega games campaign. International sporting events like the Olympics and the World Cup depend on the construction sector, and often involve migrant workers coming to the host countries to build infrastructure. These mega games provide an opportunity to organize workers and put pressure on the host countries to respect labour rights. 

 

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Elena Lopez Blog 2.pdf1.07 MB

Elena Lopez - Blog 1: Introduction

Post type: 
Blog post

Sophia interviewed me on April 29th about my background, my upcoming field work in Malaysia, and the organization I will be working with (Building and Wood Workers' International). We talked about what I'm most looking forward to in my field work and what I hope to get out of this experience.

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5.06 MB

Elena Lopez - Blog 3: Take Care

Post type: 
Blog post

Forgive me for dusting off an overused saying, but time flies. I’m now in the final month of my six-month internship in the Philippines, but it seems like only yesterday I was taking my first steps in NAIA’s Terminal 1 as a fresh-faced foreigner. My first impression of Manila is still vivid in my mind: a grimy, run-down airport; the noisy masses of humanity; the wall of hot, humid air that slams into you the moment you step outside. I remember standing lost, exhausted, clutching an enormous suitcase, wondering what on earth I had gotten myself into.

Elena Lopez - Podcast 3: Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

Post type: 
Blog post

For my third podcast, I discuss the recent typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) and its disastrous effect on the Visayas in the Philippines. National and international relief efforts are underway, but it's clear that even after the victims' immediate needs are met, rebuilding will be a long and arduous process.

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6.94 MB

Elena Lopez - Podcast 2: Coincidental Connections

Post type: 
Blog post

In my second podcast, I share a story about an unlikely connection between my father in Canada, the NGO I currently work with, and an elementary school in Manila. It demonstrates the unlikely side effects of growing interconnectivity around the world, as well as some of my struggle trying to consolidate my identity as a Canadian and my Filipino background. 

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4.83 MB

Elena Lopez - Blog Post 2: The implementation of the UN Convention on Migrant Workers in the Philippines

Post type: 
Blog post

Being an intern at CMA has granted me access to places I would never be able to go simply as a student.  The very first meeting I attended was a UN legislative drafting session for the UN protocol on smuggling. It was an amazing privilege to see first-hand the process of a government drafting laws to bring itself in line with the UN conventions it has ratified. Of course, having this access means that I’ve had to learn a lot about the United Nations and international law. It’s one thing to know abstractly what the UN does, and another to witness it in action.

Elena Lopez - Blog Post 1: Homecoming in an Unknown Land

Post type: 
Blog post

It has been a month since my plane first touched down in Manila, and it feels like I’ve been here both forever and no time at all. This juxtaposition of emotion mirrors my own juxtaposition of identity: on the one hand, I am born and raised Canadian, and privy to all the privileges it entails; on the other, I am Filipino and visibly so, as I am often reminded by well-meaning compatriots in my home country. It seems that in both Canada and the Philippines, I am marked in some way of being the “other”, whether it is through appearance or through culture.