Kung ikaw ay nagtratrabaho bilang isang domestic helper dito sa Hong Kong at may kwento o karansan, masaya man o malungkot na gustong ipamahagi sa publiko. O di kaya nama ay isang mas komplikadong isyu na nais nyong maipamahagi sa media? Maari nyo po kaming i-contact dito at tignan ang aming kasapi Stories Beyond Borders na tumutulong din na maikwento and sitwasyon at kalagayan ng mga kapwa domestic helpers dito sa Hong Kong. (Kung pipiliin, ay maaari rin naman na hingin na maitago ang pagkakakilanlan— upang maiwasan ang pag-aalala ukol sa inyong trabaho o pinapasukan)
Best known for her Elderly Tai Chi series, HK-based Irish photographer Grainne Quinlan has built on her first maid mini-project with some stunning portraits of the city’s foreign domestic helpers. The shots, entitled ‘Victoria Park’, are due to be publicly exhibited soon in Wan Chai. The set was commissioned the HK Helpers Campaign.
Quinlan says “the aim of this work is to humanise a marginalised and often vulnerable segment of the Hong Kong population through portraiture.” Click here for more details.
Saturday saw key figures from the foreign domestic worker community gather for a discussion and Q&A session at the McAulay Studio in Wan Chai. The event formed part of the 2013 Hong Kong Literary Festival which put three helpers-turned-writers at the centre of the live debate…
“The dishes are all washed and the baby is asleep. While you have your nose buried in your favourite novel or your eyes peeled to the TV screen, do you ever wonder what your domestic helper may be doing behind her door? Penning a tome may not cross your mind. But an increasing number of them are. Three Indonesian migrant writers, Susie Utomo, Yulia Jafar Purwanto, Pandan Arum, pen short stories and full-length novels about their lonely journeys far from home, working in strangers’ homes.”
It is rare we get an insight into the world which domestic maids have arrived from, or what they must go through in order to even make it to Hong Kong.
In her first major photography project, French photographer Gratiane de Moustier followed Indonesian girls from their training camp in Java to their final place of employment – the homes of Hong Kong families. She says, “They leave their homeland with high hopes and aspirations… But more often than not, the reality at their destination turns their dreams in to nightmares… I kept getting the feeling that these girls are not prepared for this life.”
She observed what she described as sadistic and bizarre abuse, with helpers becoming an outlet for explosions of suppressed anger and frustration. She says, “I’m illustrating what I consider a modern version of slavery and human trafficking”. The shots below were taken in late 2012 after almost a year of research and networking.
De Moustier graduated from the London College of Communication in 2009 with a master’s degree in photojournalism and documentary photography. Her work has been featured in the New York Times – you can visit her portfolio here.