My Home is Not My Home is a participatory arts project that emerged as a response to the invisibility and marginality of migrant domestic workers due to their class, gender and ethnicity. It explores the conditions of migrant women workers who often face sexual harassment and assault, 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 installation, photography, artworks and documents produced by migrant domestic workers as part of a participatory arts workshop series, a collaborative project with Joyce Jiang an academic from York University, Tassia Kobylinska a filmmaker and twelve migrant domestic workers from The Voice of Domestic Workers in London.
The video installation, Our Journey, offers a glimpse into the everyday life and work of migrant domestic workers. The exhibition also presents photos, documents and other items which are integral to the identity construction of migrant domestic workers and offer 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 The Voice of Domestic Workers in London.
Tassia Kobylinska is a filmmaker specialising in participatory and collaborative production and lecturer in media practice at Goldsmiths, University of London.
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. The Voice also provides support and counselling for domestic workers who exit from abusive employers.