â€œMy Brotherâ€ is a personal tribute to the silent contributions of migrant workers globally. I grew up in the island city-state of Singapore, where encounters with migrants of countries as diverse as Bangladesh, Myanmar, China and the Philippines are part of everyday living. Many of them take on jobs that are considered by the larger public to be menial in nature. Sometimes, the differences in our cultures and socioeconomic statuses cause social friction. When we allow this to be left unchecked, it can evolve into darker displays of xenophobic behavior.
But the inability to see past differences is not just a local issue; it is an increasingly global one. From where I am now in the United States, I am beginning to see how irresponsible political rhetoric, among other factors, influences previously big-hearted populations, populations which embraced â€“ indeed championed â€“ diversity. My response to this wave of sentiments is inspired by a quote I came across recently, attributed to the French composer Claude Debussy: music is the silence between the notes. The project aims to recognize the silent migrant workersâ€™ contributions to our communities and celebrate their music between our notes.
â€œMy Brotherâ€ is thus a metaphor for the thousands of underappreciated migrant workers we come across during our daily commute. I believe that bridges are built on bricks of commonalities and so the focus of this project is on the spaces of our shared humanity â€“ school, families and personal dreams.
After viewing the video, it is my personal hope that you make my brother, your brother too.