Rosem Morton
Rosem Morton
Rosem Morton
Rosem Morton

Filipino nurses account for 31.5% of COVID-19 nursing deaths in the United States, and yet they continue to be faceless heroes in the ongoing coverage of the pandemic.

Filipino nurses have been on the frontlines of many health crises over the years and it is not by accident. Healthcare in the Philippines was largely modeled after the American system during the U.S. occupation, which lasted 48 years. This led Filipinos to become nurses abroad rather than in their home country.

My project, Diaspora on the Frontlines, documents Filipino nursing families—all of whom represent the large population that has been historically shaped to fill the U.S. shortage of nurses. This project is comprised of documentary images of their lives, along with historical and present day diptychs to illustrate the missing and present-day stories of these migrants.



US Article:

Philippines Article:

Youtube link:

Podcast episode:

Memorial Website of fallen Filipino nurses from COVID-19:

Artist Bios

  • Rosem Morton

    Rosem Morton is a Filipina visual artist, nurse, and educator based in Baltimore, Maryland. Morton utilizes lens-based storytelling, and community engagement to examine intimacy, health, and resilience amidst the prevalence of gender violence and cultural displacement.

    Morton is a National Geographic Explorer, who has spoken at numerous institutions, and whose work has been published in National GeographicThe New York Times, The Washington Post, ProPublica, Reuters, NPR, and CNN. Morton is a member of Authority Collective, Women Photograph, and Women Photojournalists of Washington.


  • Photoville


    Photoville is a New York-based non-profit organization that works to promote a wider understanding and increased access to the art of photography and visual storytelling by producing a free annual festival, amplifying impactful narratives, and connecting artists to a wide global audience by activating accessible public spaces via large scale exhibitions.

    Proudly devoted to cultivating strategic partnerships and creative collaborations with community spirit, UPI approaches its mission of cultivating a wide, diverse audience for powerful photographic narratives by working closely with visual artists, city agencies, nonprofit organizations and educators worldwide to create new exhibition and public art opportunities that showcase thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography. For more information about Photoville visit,

  • Friends of the Philippines

    Friends of the Philippines

Diaspora On The Frontlines

 archive : 2021

Featuring: Rosem Morton

Presented by: Photoville, Friends of the Philippines
  • Photoville
  • Friends of the Philippines
View Location Details Number 11 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map Brooklyn Bridge Park – Empire Fulton Ferry Lawn

1 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

This location is part of Brooklyn Bridge Park
Explore other locations and exhibitions nearby

  • Monday 6:00 am - 1:00 am
  • Tuesday 6:00 am - 1:00 am
  • Wednesday 6:00 am - 1:00 am
  • Thursday 6:00 am - 1:00 am
  • Friday 6:00 am - 1:00 am
  • Saturday 6:00 am - 1:00 am
  • Sunday 6:00 am - 1:00 am

This project was supported by the National Geographic COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Journalists.


Archival Images are from Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry/Ren Capucao, Creative Commons and Library of Congress.

This website was made possible thanks to the generous support and partnership of Photowings