Category Archives : Photography

PHOTOGRAPHY: Hidden Dreams – Portraits of Hong Kong’s domestic helpers 1

Hidden Dreams is a creative collaboration between Hong Kong photographer E.P. Miller and social activist Silvia Bonvini for HK Helpers Campaign. Work for the project began in late 2014 and finished in early 2015. The photographs bring viewers face to face with 335 helpers, a number that correlates to the estimated 330,000 helpers currently employed in the city. The addition of words chosen by the helpers to describe themselves are human pursuits that every person can relate to.

Ultimately, Hidden Dreams seeks to build compassion for domestic helpers as human beings while underscoring their valuable contributions to households and the overall economy of Hong Kong.

No one should work this way: FCC Photo Exhibition 9

The International Labour Organization is hosting a photo exhibition entitled “No one should work this way”, to highlight the plight of domestic workers who have been abused during their time working in Hong Kong and beyond. The exhibition runs until July 31, 2015 at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Central.

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‘Beth’, now 20, from rural Philippines, abused in Manila.

“My employer would bang my head on the wall and she would throw hot water on me. She would burn my skin with cigarettes. She said this was the punishment for my sins.”

PHOTOGRAPHY – Domestic Worker & Photographer Xyza Cruz Bacani

Filipino domestic worker Xyza Cruz Bacani shares her black and white street photography with HK Helpers Campaign.

Xyza had been working for an ageing Chinese-Australian woman in a wealthy part of Hong Kong. However, this month she was awarded the Magnum Foundation Human Rights scholarship and is begin studying at New York University…

PROTEST – Hundreds Flash Mob in Victoria Park & Erwiana is Released

Hundreds of helpers gathered in Victoria Park on Sunday for the ‘One Billion Rising‘ flashmob, which called for improved rights for domestic helpers and justice for torture victim, Erwiana

Over 500 people braved the drizzle, filling Victoria park and demanding an abolition of discriminatory policies against helpers.

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via Jennifer Ngo on Twitter

PROTEST – Over 5000 Demand ‘Justice for Erwiana’ in Hong Kong (Part 1)

Over 5000 Indonesian domestic workers rallied at police and government headquarters today, demanding justice for torture victim Erwiana Sulistyaningsih.

You can donate to her directly, sign a petition, write letters and more at the Justice for Action Centre.

Dozens of locals and expats also took part. Hong Kong’s Trade Unionist movement, the League of Social Democrats, Socialist Action, Left21 and the Neighbourhood and Worker’s Service were amongst local groups joining the demonstration.

Protesters made the following demands…

1. Investigate Erwiana’s case and prosecute the employer
2. Revoke the agency’s license and punish the agency.
3. Make live out an option.
4. Abolish 2-week rule.
5. Regulate working hours.

PHOTOS – Grainne Quinlan’s Stunning Portraits of HK’s Helper Community

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.

PHOTOS – Dreamseekers: Photographer Reveals Helper’s Journeys from Indonesia to HK

dKd69CQ.jpg (300×300)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.

Madiun, Indonesia

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PROTEST – HK Maid Community Gather for Global Dance-Off

Ahead of the fourth International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees in New York this week, Hong Kong’s migrant community gathered in Central for a globally coordinated dance flash mob…

The UN is set to decide on the fate of 214 million migrants around the world. The ‘High Level Dialogue’ will set policies that enable governments to profit more from the money migrants send home to their families. Millions of migrants and refugees will be excluded from having a say in these negotiations.

PHOTOS – Why Do You Do What You Do?

HK-based Irish photographer Gráinne Quinlan (famed for her ‘elderly Tai Chi‘ series) recently teamed up with the campaign to ask foreign domestic workers why they left their home country to work in another city. A city which often treats them a second-class citizens..

Erna在香港居住愛爾蘭籍的攝影師 Gráinne Quinlan,為於維園聚集的外傭拍下照片,記錄她們為何要離鄉別井去打工。


ART – Maids Plant Toy Grenades for Art… But Were the Curators Ethical?

Sun Yuan and Peng Yu‘s series ‘Intervention‘ examines the working environments of Hong Kong’s Filipino domestic workers.

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100 people took part – placing a toy grenade in their employer’s home whilst they were away and photographing it.

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The project explores spacial intrusions and tensions between local families and their foreign helpers. Each participant was free to place the grenade anywhere within the home, though the artists insist the toy is neutral, does not carry implications of danger and that it is a game”.