Giving Voice to Unspoken Lives

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Written by: Ida Supahat

After months of preparation, Aidha’s signature event, the third annual Unspoken life photography exhibition was open during the weekend of 24th and 25th November 2018 at the Intersections Gallery.

The exhibition featured a diverse group of photography styles, taken by foreign domestic workers (FDWs) and a record number of photographs were selected to be exhibited out of over 200 submissions. The exhibition was curated by a local photography zine, Your Local News Stand.

Representatives from the Philippines embassy dropped in during Opening Night to support the Unspoken Life Photography Exhibition!

At the opening night 23rd November 2018, we started off with a beautiful rendition of a famous Filipino song, “Anak”, sung by Tanya, a Filipino FDW who has won many awards for her singing talent. Competition winners, Nur Aini and Mayrhose Coronado, were able to attend and shared their personal stories and the inspiration behind their photographs.

This exhibition was a way to celebrate FDWs as dreamers, artists and changemakers by sharing the journeys that they have taken since they first arrived in Singapore.

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Aidha’s board member, Ms. Cheam Shou Sen snapped a photograph by the Through My Eyes category winner, Nur Aini

The judges had a tough time to decide the winners. The winners are: “Dream On” category – Jaena Donor, “Aidha and I …” category – Edoh Lukman, “Through My Eyes” category – Nur Aini, “People’s Choice” category – Sholekah and Overall Winner – Mayrhose Coronado.

With over 200 visitors and an impressive demonstration of creativity and technical skills, conveying the featured photographers’ unique stories and passion, the exhibition was very well received by all. Along with the photography exhibition, there was also a range of activities and workshops available. The workshops were specially curated to showcase the different cultures of the home countries of FDWs and most of the workshops were facilitated by FDWs themselves.

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Special thanks to the following partners for contributing to the event: the Myanmar cultural workshop introducing Thanka and Tea Leaf Salad conducted by April and Emily; the Sri Lankan cultural workshop sharing about Rabana, Hakuru and Kandy-styled sarees facilitated by Danushka, Chamendri, Rajitha, Ruwena Herath; the Philippines cultural workshop about the story behind the widely known song, “Anak”, by Tanya; the Indonesian cultural workshop on traditional Javanese dance by Maryati from the Indonesian Family Network, a poetry reading of “Call and Response” by Zakir, Naive and Eli from Migrant Writers of Singapore; the screening of The Helper Documentary; and lastly, a street photography workshop by Nic Foo.

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Photographs are still available for sale on our website and all proceeds will go towards Aidha’s Gift of Education campaign to raise funds for scholarships for Aidha students. You may purchase them here.

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Congratulations to Jaena Donor for winning the “Dream On” category!
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Congratulations to Edoh Lukman for winning the “Aidha and I …” category!
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Congratulations to Nur Aini for winning the “Through My Eyes” category!
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Congratulations to Sholekah for winning the “People’s Choice” category!
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Congratulations to Mayrhose Coronado for winning the “Overall Winner” category!

Congratulations to all the photographers and we look forward to seeing more great photographs from the FDW community!

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