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.