The article investigates the disjunctive mirroring of images and representations through films that evoke the larger socioeconomic and political relations between Singapore and the Philippines. The two films analyzed are about related plights of Filipina domestic workers in Singapore, whose body, labor, and travel provide the nexus for illumination of the cultural politics of representation of the self and other. The sense of self and identity in film alludes to the larger polity in which Philippine and Singaporean self-representations quote and implicate the other. What then becomes interestingly poised is that the representations do not necessarily dialogue, more so ending in a failure of engagement. Partly coded in myth making, the representation of the self in films and binational polity is distinguished from the authority of the other, initially foregrounding then later abjecting the conditions in which the other can render visible the self. The article calls for an abandoning of essentialism, vulgarities, and cultural misrepresentation for a genuine dialogue to ensue.
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Benjamin McKay; The Politics of Mirrored Metaphors: Flor Contemplacion and The Maid. positions 1 May 2011; 19 (2): 463–498. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10679847-1331796
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