Immigration Health Work

Scholarly Definition
The activities and practices that people do through their immigration application process. Preparing to be medically examined, receiving the news that one is HIV-positive, and learning how and if this status will impact on one’s chances of successfully settling in Canada are forms of work, since they require time, effort, resources, intention and skill.

Artistic Statement
The immigrant is often reduced to someone who just submits an application and sits back and waits. It’s assumed that their work ends there, that everything that comes after is merely effortless procedure. In this drawing, I aimed to problematize that assumption. Immigrating is hard work, it involves tiring research, digging through mountains of paperwork and spending many anxiety-laden hours waiting for results. All of this takes place over a long period of time eating away at one’s stamina. Ultimately, despite all this work, their application might be dismissed out of hand for reasons that are out of their control.

Digital art © Ujwal Mantha