We Are They is a documentary and dance film that features the voices of three Filipino American health care workers reflecting on their battle with the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, with music and choreography informed by indigenous traditions from the Philippines, and performances situated at various sights in the Little Manila neighborhood of Woodside, Queens. Inspired by the lineage of care labor and sacrifice that has come to define the Philippine diaspora, the video is an offering of appreciation as well as a means to bring attention to the community that has made significant contributions to New York City.
During the Covid-19 crisis, the Filipino community was severely impacted. According to reports, 67 Filipino nurses have died of Covid-19—approximately a third of the nationwide number of registered nurses, even though Filipinos make up only 4 percent of those nurses.
We Are They draws on both cultural heritage and the lived experiences of Filipino health care workers, the performances showcase embodied storytelling, utilizing the body and voice to tell a “story” resonant not only to Filipinos but other communities who face similar challenges of reclaiming their histories.
This project was made possible by the Asian Women Giving Circle, BronxNet Television, En Foco Inc, The Laundromat Project, and Wave Farm.