LondonMy Home Is Not My Home
Exhibition talk. Sunday 20 January, 3pm-5pm
Dr Joyce Jiang, Tassia Kobylinska, Marissa Begonia and The Voice of Domestic Workers
l’étrangére hosts an exhibition, My Home is Not My Home, a project that emerged as a response to the invisibility and marginality of migrant domestic workers due to their class, gender and ethnic positions. It explores the question of how art practices intervene in dominant structures and culture when the conditions of migrant women workers are impaired by sexualisation, racism and labour exploitation.
Each year the Home Office issues approximately 16,000-19,000 visas under its ‘domestic workers in private households’ scheme, which allows foreign families to bring domestic workers to the UK. However, working in private households, migrant domestic workers rarely have the opportunity to share their stories of hardship, struggle and disempowerment.
The exhibition presents a combination of video interviews and mobile phone footage produced by migrant domestic workers who were trained in video production during the participatory workshop series. The workshop series was a collaborative project held by an academic, a filmmaker and twelve migrant domestic workers from The Voice of Domestic Workers in London. The videos offer a glimpse into the everyday work and life of migrant domestic workers. The exhibition also presents photos, documents and other items which are integral to the identity construction of migrant domestic workers. They provide us with new ways to think about what we see or don’t see – in migrant domestic workers and even in ourselves.
Dr Joyce Jiang is a Lecturer in Human Resource Management and Sociology of Work at The York Management School, University of York, UK. She is also a trustee of a charity organisation -The Voice of Domestic Workers in London. Her research areas include migration and globalisation, social movement, politicised art, as well as art-based research methods. Her research takes an ethnographic approach that involves the use of photography and video. She has published a number of journal papers and book chapters on migrant domestic workers. She is on the editorial board of the journal Work, Employment and Society.
Tassia Kobylinska is a lecturer in digital media production at Goldsmiths, University of London, and a community filmmaker. She is the founder of Roving Eye Film and has worked on many participatory and collaborative productions with people from marginalised groups over the last two decades. She is passionate about sharing the skills of production with those who traditionally have not had access to them. Mainly specialising in Nepal, her work includes films made with former child soldiers, those at risk from child marriage, street children and child workers. She has also worked with community groups in the UK and across Europe and Africa.
The Voice of Domestic Workers is a London-based charity organisation protecting the rights of migrant domestic workers in the UK. It provides educational and community activities for domestic workers – including English lessons, drama and art classes, and employment advice, and provides support for domestic workers who exit from abusive employers.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)