Hong Kong domestic workers

Foreign Helpers is an interactive installation created within the Architectural Association Visiting School 2015, in Hong Kong.

Directed by Tomas Laurenzo with the collaboration of AAVS students, the installation explores the relationship of Foreign Domestic Helpers with the city of Hong Kong.

With four projectors and four independent audio channels, interactors can use a hand-held screen to explore images of HK (filmed by AAVS students) paired with interviews of foreign helpers who shared their life experiences.

Foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong are domestic workers employed by Hongkongers, typically families. About three percent of Hong Kong's population, an overwhelming majority are women. The condition of foreign domestic workers is being increasingly scrutinised by human-rights groups and criticised as tantamount to modern slavery. Documented cases of worker abuse, including the successful prosecution of an employer for subjecting Erwiana Sulistyaningsih to grievous bodily harm, assault, criminal intimidation and unpaid wages, are increasing in number. In March 2016, an NGO, Justice Centre, reported its findings that one domestic worker in six in Hong Kong were deemed to have been forced into labour.

The AA Visiting School (AAVS) is a global architecture programme and network comprising different forms. Lanuched in Dubai in 2008, the AAVS has now hosted over 4000 students in more than 100 different programs. The AAVS HK 2015 consisted ofseries of artistic research studios. Directed by Tobias Klein, Victor Leung, Tobias Klein, Ramon van der Hejiden, and Tomas Laurenzo were studio tutors.