Shifting Narratives: LA art exhibit empowers women and survivors of abuse

LOS ANGELES — If these walls can talk, this particular painting, done by a Filipina artist, has a story to tell.

The bright colors on this canvas represent the darkest days of 59-year-old domestic worker Terry Vilasenor.

Escaping spousal abuse in the Philippines, she was hoping to find a better life and a way to provide for her 6 children.

But it resulted in worker abuse, and a case of human trafficking.

It’s part of the ongoing exhibit Shifting Narratives, a monthlong showcase celebrates Women’s History Month along a walkway in Los Angeles City Hall.

All of these paintings represent the stories of survivors catching the eye of visitors and public servants.

Villasenor, who now does advocacy work with the Pilipino Workers Center, wants to make an impact beyond its frame…

And as she carries on with her advocacy work, she’s found her own happy ending.

Villasenor got married last year, having a beach-style wedding. And this summer, days after Philippine Independence Day, she’s excited to celebrate her 60th birthday as a free woman, fighting for the freedom and dignity of others.

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