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Manifest Destiny

Collaborators: Eileen Arcos

“Manifest Destiny” uses architecture to assert the presence of both a local and global Filipina/x/o community that continues to be the subject of American imperialism. The film is motivated by two parallel observations: ethnic enclaves like Historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles are undergoing gentrification, and Filipino-American nurses have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Filipina/x/o nurses play an essential role in the American healthcare system, with 1 out of 20 registered nurses in the United States receiving their medical training in the Philippines. As frontliners, Filipino-Americans represent 3 out of 5 COVID-related nurse deaths in California alone. Through descriptions of hospitals and Historic Filipinotown’s urban fabric, the film attempts to draw out symmetries between varying states of (dis)appearance, (in)visibility, and aspiration.

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