Domestic workers provide much of the reproductive labor—cooking, cleaning, maintenance, care of the elderly, the children, or the sick—and often coinhabit the same space as the families they work for, with extended and ambiguously demarcated schedules and responsibilities. Caretaking involves a certain degree of bonding and even affection that is impossible to monetize and is often carried out by women who, in turn, need to transfer the care duties of their own children, elderly or sick family member to someone else. This labor shift is usually taken by another woman in the nuclear or extended family, a process that is termed the global care chain. Through a series of case studies on Mexico City from the 1950s until today, this talk analyzes how domestic space is configured around orbits of exclusion that shape the trajectories of domestic workers and how the space it is articulated according to specific gendered, classist and racist configurations of the social.
Frida Escobedo is an architect and designer based in Mexico. Her work focuses for the most part on the reactivation of urban spaces often considered residual or forgotten, through projects from housing and community centres to hotels, galleries, and public art installations. She has taught at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University and at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.