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Refuge life viewed through the lens

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : A photographic exhibition showcasing the lives of migrant workers hidden behind the protective concrete walls of Bethune House as seen through the lens of Xyza Cruz Bacani’s camera, will open between 6.00pm and 8.00pm on November 22 and continue until November 29 in Jordan, Kowloon.

Bacani will speak to her graphic images at the opening ceremony of the 20-photograph exhibition. Her photographs reveal the feelings of hope, anxiety and empowerment of the residents at the refuge shelter.

A former domestic worker, Bacani is now a freelance photographer. She travels through various countries at the invitation of different organisations to talk about the plight of foreign migrant women in Hong Kong.

This exhibition is one activity organised by Bethune House to mark its 29th anniversary.

Edwina Antonio, the executive director, said, “It means to promote the rights of foreign domestic workers in distress and tell people how they live in the shelter and are empowered through the support of communities.”

She explained that the exhibition is titled Behind concrete walls, as the general public may not know anything about the lives of foreign domestic workers, who are forced to take refuge inside the shelter, and how they are able to change from being a victim to being a survivor.

“It aims to raise the awareness of the community and provide a venue for discussion about the plight of the migrants,” she said.

Antonio said that after the exhibition in Jordon Road, the shelter plans to exhibit the photographs in several schools, universities and churches.

The project is supported by Her Fund, which gives grants to promote women’s and girls’ rights projects in Hong Kong.


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