This Is Me – Life Through a Lens

As part of Aidha’s 10-year anniversary celebrations, students, mentors and the Singapore public came together for this interactive weekend-long exhibition….

Written by: Sarah Reeve

On 19th and 20th of November, at the beautiful Intersections Gallery tucked away in the Arab Street area, we held Aidha’s first ever photography exhibition. This event, open to the public and part of our Aidha10 anniversary celebrations, spanned two packed days of workshops, games and interactive talks about photography and poetry. The focal element, however, was an exhibition of an amazing collection of photographs taken by Aidha students and other FDWs.

Ms. Jacqueline Loh, Aidha’s CEO talks about future plans on Aidha and thanking the generous donors and supporters over the years

These photos were shortlisted from those submitted for the ‘This is Me’ competition prior to the event. We asked students and other FDWs to take photos that showed us their lives through a lens – a snapshot into how they see their world. The results were not only beautiful images of scenes in Singapore and back in their home countries, but also inspiring messages about life, Aidha and love.

Visitors looking at the photographs from the “Home” personal series of Nur Aini, Erlin and Ruliani

The 15 finalist shots included images of landscapes, people and even wildlife. Photographers also submitted a short blurb about their photo to explain their vision. Some were motivational, others spoke of hardships. Yet all were deeply thought provoking, drawing the observer into the mind of the artist. All visitors to the gallery were asked to pick their favourite image – and were also invited to purchase copies, with all proceeds going towards the Aidha10 Expanding Access Campaign.

In addition to the exhibition, visitors – which included current students – were invited to participate in various workshops and games. The Poetry Workshop was facilitated by literary non-profit Sing Lit Station and the group behind the Migrant Worker Poetry Competition, the latter of which many of our students have previously competed in. The Money Managing game was hosted by one of our Aidha staff, drawing on many of the principles students learn on Aidha courses. The third key event, a photography workshop, was facilitated by photographer Mr. Elvin Ling and the social enterprise, Lensational. In this interactive workshop, participants were taught some basic photography tips and tricks to create exciting images using just small pieces of Lego and the backdrop of the Arab Street area.

Poetry in session: Sing Lit Station drew their inspiration of the workshop from the ever inspiring poet, Ms. Maya Angelou
Fun and games: FDWs and the public get to understand how FDWs manage their savings and how difficult their financial struggles are

 Just shoot! Mr. Elvin Ling, Ms.Yuen Sin (Lensational) and the attendees head out to Arab St with legos in hand and playing around with perspectives…

This amazing event would not have been possible without our partners and volunteers, Lensational, Mr Elvin Ling, Sing Lit Station, Migrant Worker Poetry Competition and the Intersections Gallery, and the kind sponsorship of Mr Ken Cambie.

From L-R: Ms. Jacqueline Loh, Aidha CEO with the winners, Ms. Morica Fatog (This Is Me), Ms. Josephine Abay-Abay (Home), Ms. Funiko Kondo (Life at Aidha) and Ms. Davy Animas (Overall Cateogry) and          Mr Ken Cambie

And a final big congratulations to the exhibition winners! The overall winner was Ms. Davy Animas (Overall Category). Ms. Morica Fatog won for the category ‘This Is Me’, Ms. Josephine Abay-Abay won for ‘Home’ and Ms. Funiko Kondo for ‘Life at Aidha’. The People’s Choice (from visitor votes) is Ms. Wiwik Sunariyah.


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