Remittances are periodic transfers of money or products used by migrant workers in a precarious position to support their families, thereby contributing to the fragile economies of their places of origin. In June 2021, in the encounter Remittances: Care Here and There, held in the Museo Reina Sofía as part of the Situated Voices programme, the need to grant visibility to the stories behind these transfers to the other side of the ocean developed.
Around this idea a workshop was organised and coordinated by photographer Hanna Jarzabek, the results of which are displayed in this performative presentation. The initiative, developed from October to December 2021, was aimed at domestic workers who are part of the collective Territorio Doméstico, which in turn is part of Museo Situado.
Across two sessions in the workshop, different visual accounts were assembled, with the starting point images that participants’ families send of what they can require with resources they have received, on the one hand, and photographs they have taken to highlight the effort involved in generating them, on the other. These images, exhibited during this encounter, introduce the individual story of each participant, while also helping to address common issues such as work carried out by the migrant population in a precarious position, the unequal division of jobs, care, and the role of women inside this cross-border logic. The encounter also featured the participation of researcher and writer Ana Longoni.
Hanna Jarzabek (1976, Poland) is a photographer with an MA in Political Science from the University of Geneva. She has worked for UN agencies such as the United Nations Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and since 2008 she has lived in Spain, where she works as a freelance photojournalist for news websites like BuzzFeed News, El País, XLSemanal and Equal Times, among others. She also combines this work with teaching photography and other personal projects which address discrimination and social dysfunction in the West, gender identity, and sexual diversity.
Ana Longoni (1967, Argentina) is a researcher, writer and lecturer at the University of Buenos Aires who holds a PhD in Philosophy and Literature (majoring in Art History) and specialises in the crossroads between Latin American art and politics. From 2018 to July 2021, she was director of the Museo Reina Sofía’s Department of Public Activities and Study Centre.
Territorio Doméstico is a collective which came into being in 2006 as a space of encounter, care and women’s struggles, mostly migrant women’s, for the recognition of their diminished rights as domestic workers and to give care work more visibility. In 2019, they released the record Sin nosotras se para el mundo (Without Women the World Stops), a compilation of songs that give a voice to the situation these female workers face and were played on the streets to animatedly vindicate their struggles. And in 2020 they carried out the radio series and theatre piece They Wanted Arms but People Arrived on migration and domestic work.